Situated in the picturesque Cardomom Hills of the Western Ghats, Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala was the former hunting Reserve of the Maharaja of Travancore. The river after which the Reserve is named was dammed in 1895 and the resulting 25 sq.km lake is today the focus of most tourist activity.
On a boat trip one is likely to encounter Elephants, Gaur, Sambar,Wild Boar and Otter. The Indian Wild Dog is possibly the most visible predator, sometimes hunting Sambar around the lake shores. A walk in the Reserve with Forest Department trackers is quite rewarding and one can see Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet macaques, and Giant squirrel. Peiryar is a great birding destination and a good place to see some of the Western Ghat endemics like Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Bluewinged Parakeet, Whitebellied Tree Pie, Wynad Laughing Thrush, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri flycatcher etc.
A very popular destination, Periyar is best visited between October and April.
Latitude: 9 16' - 9 40' N
Longitude: 76 55' - 77 25'E
Area: 777.5 sq.km.
Lake area: c. 25 sq.km.
Elevation: The Reserve is situated in the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats, at an altitude ranging from between 750-1500m (2460 - 4920 feet) with Nagamala at 1830m (6004 feet) being the highest point. The hills fall steeply away to the north and east but the slope gently down to the coastal plains in the west.
Temperatures: Typical temperatures at Periyar range from 15-30°C (59°F -86°F)
Rainfall: The Cardamom Hills lie directly in the path of the SW Monsoon and receive almost two thirds of their annual rainfall between June and October. The NE monsoon also brings in some heavy showers from October to December. Rainfall varies across the reserve depending upon topography and ranges from a minimum of 1200mm (47.2 inches) to a maximum of 3000mm (118 inches).