Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Thekkady Idukki District Kerala


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Thekkady, about 4 km from Kumili in Idukki district, Central Kerala. Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.  Spread across 777 sq.km, of which 360 sq.km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. The sanctuary surrounds picturesque 26 km2 (10 sq mi) 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.In addition to elephant rides, cruises on the lake and treks to the ruined Mangaladevi temple - a beautiful old stone temple situated in the heart of the Thekkady forest; this sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarters
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Thekkady Idukki District Kerala
The Periyar tiger reserve is considered as one of the best managed reserve in India . The core zone of the park is not accessible to the tourists. Within the buffer zone of 430 km², a zone of 55 km² is kept apart for tourism. Game wardens and staff have been recently spotted illegally fishing and gathering specimens within the sanctuary area. The facilities within the sanctuary are in need of much maintenance and are presently in very poor standards. This has also contributed a steady decline in returning tourists to the sanctuary.In the buffer zone there is also the temple of Sabarimala, which is visited by about 4 million pilgrims annually.Its important to recognize, however, that for the very purpose of protecting its wildlife and shielding them from human interference, Periyar National Park allows extremely limited access to the territory under its jurisdiction, restricting tourist entry only to the northern corner adjacent to man-made lake Periyar.

Flora
 There typically tall tropical tree species such as Vateria indica,Cullenia exarillata, Hopea parviflora, Canarium strictum, Artocarpus hirsutus and Bischofia javanica are seen. 

Fauna
Mammals
Elephant,Tiger, gaur, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards. Nilgiri tahr.

Birds
The bird life includes darters, cormorants, kingfishers, the great Malabar Pied Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongos

Best Time to Visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary 
The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June.

How to Get there
Nearest Airport : Kochi (Cochin) at 200-kms or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at140-kms are the nearest airports from Periyar.
Nearest Railway Station : Kottayam at 114-kms is the nearest railhead from Periyar.
Road : Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar is well served by both state and private buses from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
Entry timing: 0600 - 1800 hrs.
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