Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

BY Seema Shukla

Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is located in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, India. Established in 1982 the park lies in the middle of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. Both north and east are covered with mountains. Two rivers Periyar and Pamba originate in the forests of the reserve.

The park is easily approachable to visitors. It is 4 km from Kumily, approximately 100 km away from Kottayam, 110 km from Madurai, and 120 km from Kochi. It is famous for its elephant reserve and tiger reserve. The park is spread over an area of almost 925 kilometer squares.

The collection of exotic species and distinctive beauty drew the attention of several visitors. Every year thousands of national and international tourists come to enjoy the panoramic beauty of this national park. 

The Periyar National Park is considered the most protected area for elephants and tigers. The picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary creates mesmeric surroundings for wildlife lovers. The intense valleys of Periyar contain tropical evergreen forests with extremely thick tree cover, hardly allowed any sun rays to get penetrated. These trees are fully grown at heights of up to 130-140 feet. Some of the areas in the park are covered with marshy grasslands, especially near the edges of the lake and other water bodies. Spread out across the park are also patches of semi-evergreen forest used as important cover by many of the animal species.

Apart from Elephants and Tigers, the park is home to other animals like Wild Pigs, Sambar, Gaur, Mouse Deer, Dole or Barking Deer, and Indian Wild dogs. The park is a land of rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee`s Golden Langur, Common Langur, and Bonnet Macaque. The visitors can get a glimpse of around 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes, and 112 species of butterflies found in the Periyar sanctuary.

The management of the park provides Jeep Safari, elephant safari, and most charming boat cruises at Periyar Lake to enhance the wildlife experience. The best way to roam around the park in a jeep and elephant safari because the boat cruise will not make you see many animals. 

 

The timings to Boat Cruise Safari, Jeep Safari Timings, and Elephant Safari are :

Boat Cruise Safari Timings : 7:25 AM, 9:15 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM

Jeep Safari Timings :Night safari: 11.00 PM to 03.00 AM

 Full-Day Safari: Max 03.00 PM Last entry

Elephant Safari: Every day for Half an Hour: 06.00 A.M. to 05.00 P.M.

 

The best season to visit the Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from October to June.

 


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