Honeymoon in Periyar National Park , Thekkady, Kerala, India

Honeymoon Tours Periyar National Park Thekkady KeralaPeriyar National Park Wildlife Travel Packages Thekkady Kerala
About Periyar National Park

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary) is one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India and perhaps the finest in south India. Located in the scenic surroundings of the Western Ghats hills in the state of Kerala, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 777 sq km. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also has the privilege of being one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries in India. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1934 as the Nelliampatty Sanctuary. After its enlargement in 1950, the sanctuary was named as the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in the year 1978 under the Project Tiger Plan. The Periyar Tiger Reserve attained the status of a national park in 1982 (The first notification to make the core area (30,500ha) of the tiger reserve a national park was issued in 1982). The most scenic national park in South India, the Periyar National Park attracts thousands of wildlife enthusiasts from all around the world.

The Periyar National Park is home to a unique and diverse wildlife. The major wildlife found in the Periyar National Park includes Asian Elephants, Tigers, Gaurs, Sambars, Lion-tailed Macaques, Nilgiri Langurs, Wild Boars, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Wild Dogs, Sloth Bears, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Civet, Nilgiri Tahr to name a few. The Periyar National Park also has a sizable population of birds. Over 260 species of birds have been spotted in the park. The list of major species of birds found in the Periyar National Park include the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Black-winged Kite, Blue-winged Parakeets, Great Indian Hornbill, White-bellied Tree Pies, Laughing Thrushes, Fly Catchers, Darters, Cormorants, Barbets and Plovers among many others.

Though the Periyar National Park is a Tiger Reserve, the greatest attractions of the park are the herds of wild elephants, who come to the Periyar Lake to frolic in the water. The Periyar National Park is the only wildlife sanctuary in India where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. You can also enjoy elephant rides in the Periyar National Park. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also offers the unique opportunity to photograph wild animals at close quarters.

ANIMALS

In Periyar Tiger Reserve there is a rich diversity of vertebrates. The diverse forest types, vayals, marshes, and a large aquatic habitat together support 62 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, 27 species of amphibians, and 38 species of fishes.

MAMMALS

Among the 62 species of mammals, many are rare, endemic and endangered. Periyar is prime elephant country and large herbs are often sighted at the lake fringes. There is an estimated population of 900-1000 animals which is likely to overlap with the population in the adjoining forest areas.

VEGITATION

Tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests constitute 74.6% of the total area of Periyar Tiger Reserve, followed by moist deciduous forests that form 12.7% and grasslands which are 1.5% and eucalyptus come under 7.1% of the area. Periyar Lake constitutes the rest of the area i.e., 3.5%.

MEDICINAL PLANTS

Periyar is rich in medicinal plants. More than 350 species have been recognised as medicinally important. Majority of the medicinal plants are trees followed by herbs and shrubs. Among the families with species of medicinal importance, Fabaceae comes first followed by Euphorbiaceae. The evergreen forests support the majority of the medicinal plants followed by moist deciduous forests and southern hilltop tropical evergreen forests.

FLORA IN PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK

Periyar National Park boasts a quite rich and diverse flora. The flora in Periyar National Park chiefly comprises of Tropical Evergreen forests (30,500ha) and Semi-evergreen forests (27,500ha) around the reservoir, and Moist-deciduous forests and Woody grasslands in the central part of the park. The flora in Periyar National Park mainly comprises of thick evergreen forest, moist deciduous forests and savannah grasslands. In addition, the marshy areas along the fringes of the Periyar Lake are full of tall grasslands, making the region one of the richest habitats of large mammals. The thick vegetation of the Periyar National Park provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses.

One of the major characteristics of the flora in the Periyar National park is the climax forest, the sholas or tropical evergreen forests, found in the moist valleys of the Western Ghats. The sholas are dense patches of forest, characterized by tropical trees that rise up to 130 feet high. Their thick canopies provide shelter and food to a sizable number of wild animals of Periyar.

FAUNA IN PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK

Periyar's sylvan environs offer a refuge to many mammals, reptiles and amphibians and around 320 avian species. The threatened lion-tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur occur here, as do the Flying and Malabar Giant Squirrel. The elusive Nilgiri Tahr is also present in this park. One can watch herds of Elephants swimming in the Periyar Lake. This lake was constructed by the Britishers in the year 1895 by constructing a dam across Periyar river. Now one can see most of the wildlife around this lake by boat launches. The lake also has a sizable population of turtles like Travancore Tortoise and the Black turtle. Periyar is also home to leopard, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer, monitor lizards and a variety of snakes and birds. The birds include darter, cormorant, grey heron, ibis, great malabar hornbill and grey hornbill, kingfishers, ospreys and kites as well as orioles, hill mynas, racket tailed drongos, parakeets, including the unusual blue winged paraket and fly catchers. The animals are viewed from motor launches on the lake and from watch tower.

BIRDS IN PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK

Famous for its diverse flora and fauna in India and all over the world, Periyar National Park is also known for its sizable bird population. Over 265 species of birds have already been spotted and identified in the park, enough to attract thousands of ornithologists and bird lovers to the park. It's difficult to name all 265 species of birds found in the Periyar National Park, so we are naming some of the most important birds only.

The most commonly seen birds in Periyar National Park include the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Black-winged Kite, Blue-winged Parakeets, Great Indian Hornbill, White-bellied Tree Pies, Laughing Thrushes, Fly Catchers, Darters, Cormorants, Barbets and Plovers among many others.

WHERE TO STAY AND EAT

Inside the Park There are three KTDC hotels in the park. These should be booked in advance at any KTDC tourist office or hotel, especially if you plan to stay on a weekend.

PARK VISIT

Most people take a boat ride on the lake. There are five boats a day departing at 7, 9:30 and 11:30 am, and 2 and 4 pm. You have the best chance to see wildlife on the first (7 am) and last boats (4 pm). The normal park boat costs Rs 25 on the lower deck and Rs 50 on the upper deck. The upper deck, which is much better for viewing, is usually booked by tour groups. To get a seat on the upper deck, plan on arriving half an hour early and hope for a no-show. A little baksheesh to the boatman may also help.

General Information of Periyar National Park

LOCATION

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The park has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a perennial source of water for the local wildlife. You may even get a glimpse of the tiger during this season. A summer palace of the former Maharaja of Travancore, set along the lake, is a hotel and a fine place to stay.

How to Reach

By Air

Kochi (Cochin) at 200-kms or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at140-kms are the nearest airports from Periyar.

By Rail

Kottayam at 114-kms is the nearest railhead from Periyar.

By Road

Kumily, the nearest town from Periyar is well served by both state and private buses from Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The temperature during summers (April-June) ranges from 21?C to 24?C. During the monsoon (July-August), it ranges from 19?C to 21?C. Winter season lasts from October to March and is cool and pleasant. Visit the national park with elephant in Periyar make the entire experience unforgettable.

Tourist Attractions in Periyar National Park

Indian Elephants
Indian Elephants Periyar National Park Tour Packages Thekkady Kerala

Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers here. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen.

The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.

In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary's environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.

Guided Trekking

Trained tracker cum guides are available at the boat landing as well as near the check post to take visitors along the different nature trails in the reserve. Visitor can avail a one night or a two night camping and trekking facility inside the forest. This is the best way to experience the rain forests at Periyar. The experienced trackers & guides will take you on an unforgettable trail of the majestic tigers.

The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.

In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary's environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.

Wildlife Safaris & Birding

Boats of different capacities are maintained by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and the Kerala Forest Department. Boats can be hired for a 2 hour cruise, the easy option for sighting wildlife. For those who love the forest, there is a watch tower and a forest rest house, one each at Edappalayam and Manakkavala for overnight stay inside forests are available with advance booking.

Bamboo Rafting
Bamboo Rafting Periyar National Park Wildlife Packages Thekkady Kerala

A new innovative idea of rafting on a tribal raft and trekking to watch wildlife. This is a full day programme.

Wildlife & Tribal Interpretation centre

Visitors arriving Periyar Tiger Reserve can drop by at the Gandhi park near Kumily town. Besides screening wildlife films, essential information on the reserve is provided here. Tribal Village Visits are organized daily by the Eco-Development committees to give an insight into the life of the tribals.

Plantation Tours around the park

In Kumily and neighbourhood areas, there are a number of small and large plantations of tea, coffee and spices like cardamom, pepper, vanilla etc. Many plantations tour operators are available in Kumily.

Elephant ride
Elephant Ride Periyar National Park Holidays Thekkady Kerala

Children and adults can go for a short elephant ride near the Turtle nature park after contacting the wildlife information centre near boat landing.

Other Tourist Attractions in Periyar

Kumily
Kumily Periyar National Park Wildlife Travels Thekkady Kerala

Situated just 4-kms from Periyar, Kumily is a growing town where tourism is fastly catching up just like the spice trade, the major occupation of this small town. The town is also well equipped with the excellent hotels and resorts for accommodation.

Cradomom Hills

Periyar and Kumily are the most convenient points from which visitors can easily explore Kerala's beautiful Cardamom hills. Guide will approach you at offers of trips via jeep or taxi to the hills and if you can get a group together, these trips work out as a good travel value.

Boat Cruises
Boat Cruises Periyar National Park Wildlife Tours Thekkady Kerala

Boat cruises make the best option to check out the wilds of Periyar Sanctuary.Today the Periyar lake presents an excellent boating spot for tourists. Although it is unusual to see many animals from the boats, still you spot a family of Elephants, Wild Boar, and Sambar Deer by the water's edge. The upper deck is best for wildlife viewing when taking a boat cruise, but better turn up half an hour early to get the best seat. To maximise you chances, take the 7.00 am boat. You can also consider renting your own boat.

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