Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctury, Thekkady spread over the hills Cardamaom and Pandalam, the park’s evergreen tropical and deciduous forests are the point of origin of two prominent rivers pamna and Periyar. The park came in to existence when the then-Maharaja of Travancore converted the forests around periyar into a private game reserve in 1934 to keep poachers at bay. It was declared a national park in 1982. Since then, two conservation initiatives have been conducted here. Project Tiger and Project Elephant to increase their populations.
Mammals: More than 60 species are
found here which include the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Indian Bison, Sambar Deer, Indian Wild Dog, Leopard, Barking Deer and the Smooth-Coated Otter which can be sighted during a boat cruise in the Periyar Lake. The Nilgiri Tahr is confined to the higher rocky areas whereas the endangered Lion Tailed Macaque can be found in the interior evergreen forests. Both the Bonnet Macaques and Nilgiri Langur can be seen foraging from the trees near where the boat lands.
Ideal time to visit
The best season to visit the tiger reserve is September to May. The months of March and April constitute the driest part of the year, because of which the animals spend a lot of time near the lake in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Even the tiger may be spotted approaching the waters in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
By road: Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady is about 4 km from Kumili in Idukki district, and is well connected by road from all major towns of Kerala.
Nearest railway stations: Kottayam, about 114 km; Changanassery, about 120 km.
Nearest airports: Madurai, about 140 km; Cochin International Airport, about 190 km.