Also Known as
Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary
Main Species of animals found
Elephants, Tigers, Spotted Deer
October to June
flowering plants including 171 grass species. 143 species of orchids.
One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a huge number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat.
The forest here, slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even tigers can be spotted here.
There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season to visit the park is between October and June. Spread over 777 sq. km of the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137 km from Madurai.
Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water.
Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc. There are over 260 species of birds here, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged Parakeets, White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers.
Cobra, viper, krait, a number of non poisonous snakes,
bicoloured frogs and crocodiles.
The Periyar lake and streams have several species of fish including the masher, the famous endangered game fish of India. The otter, the only mammal of the lake, can be frequently spotted form the boat.
Plantations: Tea, cardamom, cloves, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin, garlic, star anise etc. Trekking trails: Mangaladevi hills, Mullakudy, Thannikudy, Vellimala etc.
Mammals: 35 species including wild elephants, gaurs, langur, sambar deer and wild boars that can be sighted from the boats, the Nilgiri tahr in the higher rocky areas, the endangered lion tailed macaque confined to the evergreen interiors, bonnet macque, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear etc.
265 species including migrants. The hombill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher,
raptor, darter, cormorant, grackle, cluster etc.
Over 1800 flowering plants including 171 grass species and 143 species of orchids. The only south indian conifer podocarpus wallichianus grows here.
The only south Indian conifer Podocarpus Wallichianus grows here.
Best time to Visit
October - May entry to the reserve 0600 - 1800 hrs
Mammals - 35 Species Including The Wild Elephant, Tiger, Panther, Wild Dog, Gaur, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Civet, Leopard, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur Etc.
Avifauna - 265 Species including Migrants. The great Indian Hornbill,
Peafowl, Brahminy kite and black - Winged Kite. Aquatic birds Like Darter
Little Cormorant, Kingfisher, Black - Necked stork Etc.
Nearest Airport - Madurai (143 Kms)
Nearest Railhead - Kumarakom, (114 Kms).
Nearest Town - Kumily (4km), The entry point to the reserve is Thekkady,
which is accessible by good roads from Madurai, Cochin &
How to Reach
Air : The nearest national airports are Cochin (200 km) and Madurai (140 km).
Rail : The nearest major rail junction is Kottayam.
Road : Well connected by bus service to the major cities