is a protected area, and a Project Tiger nature reserve in the
South Indian State of Kerala, set high in the mountains of the Western Ghats
at the border to Tamil Nadu. It lies in the districts of Idukki and
Pathanamthitta. The protected area covers an area of 777 kmē, out of which a
350 kmē part of the core zone was made into the Periyar National Park and
Tiger Reserve, sometimes dubbed the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The park is
often called by the name thekkady also. Thekkady is located four km from
Kumily, approximately 100 km east of Alappuzha, 110 km west of Madurai and 120
km southeast from Kochi.
The Periyar protected area lies in the middle of a
mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. In the north and the east it is
bounded by mountain ridges of over 1700 metres altitude and toward the west it
expands into a 1200 Meter high plateau. From this level the altitude drops
steeply to the deepest point of the reserve, the 100 Meter valley of the Pamba
River. The highest peak is the 2019 Meter high Kottamalai.
The sanctuary surrounds picturesque 26 kmē Periyar lake, formed by the
building of Mullaperiyar Dam in 1895. This reservoir and the Periyar River
meander around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source
of water for the local wildlife.
The temperatures vary depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15°
Celsius in December and January and 31° Celsius in April and May. The annual
amount of precipitation lies between 2000 and 3000 mm. About two thirds of the
precipitation occurs during the southwest monsoon between June to September. A
smaller amount of precipitation occurs during the northeast monsoon between
October and December.
Approximately 75% of the entire protected area are covered of unaffected
evergreen or semi-evergreen rain forest. There typically tall tropical tree
species such as Vateria indica, Cullenia exarillata, Hopea parviflora,
Canarium strictum, Artocarpus hirsutus and Bischofia javanica are seen. They
reach heights of 40 to 50 Metres.
Scarcely 13% consists of damp leaves forest, 7% of Eucalyptus plantation and
1.5% of grassland. The remainder (around 3.5%) of the protected area is
covered by the Periyar artificial lake as well as the Periyar River and Pamba
Altogether the reservation counts nearly 2000 kinds of flowering plants
(Angiosperms), three kinds of seed plants (gymnosperms) and 170 different
species of ferns. Among the Angiosperms, there are 169 families of sweet
grasses and 155 kinds of Fabaceae. Orchids, with 145 representative types, are
the most frequent flower.
About 350 of the occurring plant types can be used for medical purposes.
Altogether 62 different kinds of mammal have been recorded in Periyar,
including many threatened ones. There are an estimated 24 tigers in the
reserve. Tourists also come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of
ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake. The elephant number around 900
to 1000 individuals. Other mammals found here include gaur, sambar (horse
deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes
and leopards. Also inhabiting the park, though rarely seen, are the elusive
Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque,
the Nilgiri Langur, the common langur, and the Bonnet Macaque.
So far 320 different kinds have been counted in Periyar. The bird life
includes darters, cormorants, kingfishers, the great Malabar hornbill and
There are 45 different kinds of reptile in the protected area out of which
there are 30 snake, two turtle, and 13 lizard species. Among those are Monitor
lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun on the rocks along the lake
shore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and
sometimes even a King Cobra.
Twenty seven different kinds have been recorded, of which ten are endemic to
the Western Ghats.
In the waters of the protected area 38 different fish types live, of which
four are endemic to the Western Ghats. In artificial lake there are two
introduced species : the tilapia originally from Africa and the carps
introduced from Europe .
There is a remarkable variety of butterflies and there are about 160 different
kinds in total. Some are dangerous enough to make a human seriously ill
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India.
Periyar Tiger Reserve is located in the Western Ghats in Idukki District of
the Kerala state in India. The terrain of the Reserve is undulating and the
drainage is dendrite. North-eastern boundary of the Reserve is a ridge, which
also forms boundary between Kerala and Tamil Nadu states for 90 km.
Its a must to go for Jungle Trek during your visit to the Periyar National
Park. There are different kind of options available for the Jungle Trek. There
are options available for the short trek of 4 hours starting in morning and
afternoon. One can also trek with the night patrol with the forest guard
through the jungle, when there are better chances of spotting wildlife from up
During the trek the flora and fauna can be experienced at close quarters and
if one is lucky enough there are chances to sight the bigger animals of the
Thekkady (Idukki district) is the location of the Periyar
National Park, which is an important tourist attraction in the
Kerala state of India.
Situated close to the Kerala -Tamil Nadu border town of Kumily,
it is located about 257 km (160 miles) from Trivandrum, 114 km
from Madurai Airport, 185 km from Cochin International Airport
and 114 km from Kottayam railway station. The sanctuary is famous
for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests
and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar,
tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs.
The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is spread across 777 kmē (300 sq.
miles), of which 360 kmē (139 sq. miles) is thick evergreen
forest. The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger
Reserve in 1978. The splendid artificial lake formed by the
Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of
the park. The greatest attraction of Periyar are the herds of
wild elephants that come down to play in the lake.
Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black
pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove.
Periyar wildlife sanctuary
The sanctuary is spread over an area of about 777sqkm and
comprises of a thick evergreen forest with exotic wild life. The
sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve sometime in 1978. It has
an artificial lake formed by the Mullai Periyar Dam, built across
the Periyar river.
This place consists of spice and coffee plantations. It is about
5 km from Thekkady.
This is located about 15km from Kumily and leads to the Cumbum
district of Tamil Nadu. This place has a lot of waterfalls and
Mangala Devi Temlple
It is situated about 15km from Thekkady and sits at an altitude
of 1337m above the sea level. It is only open during the Chitra