About Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the largest and most visited wildlife sanctuaries in India, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary occupies an area of 777 sq km of lush green tropical forest in the Cardamom Hills region of the Western Ghats. Centred around a vast artificial lake created by the British in 1895 to supply water to the drier parts of the neighbouring Tamil Nadu state, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary evolved from a favoured hunting ground of the Travancore royal family. It was declared a forest reserve and later expanded to a wildlife reserve in 1933 and declared one of India's 27 Project Tiger reserves in 1979.Read More
In addition to the very elusive tiger, Periyar hosts a population of Indian elephants, sambar deer, wild boars, gaurs, striped-necked mongooses, bison, antelopes, monkeys and langurs. Some 265 species of birds, migratory and endemic, can also be found here including the Malabar grey hornbill, purple-headed parakeets, grey jungle fowls and tree pies. Periyar offers a different yet comfortable way of spotting animals via boat rides on the lake. The best time to visit is from December to April when the dry weather draws animals from the forest to drink at the reservoir, which holds water throughout the year.
Whilst Periyar is the main attraction of this region, most visitors tend to stay close by in the towns of Kumily and Thekkady where there is a good selection of hotels, guesthouses and homestays. Aside from taking a trip through the sanctuary, popular activities for visitors here involve exploring the numerous spice plantations that are scattered throughout the area. They can be easily covered in a half day trip and are definitely worth investigating.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Tours
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on a bespoke touring itinerary to India, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.