National Parks and Sanctuaries
Andamans and Nicobars
Bandavgarh National Park
Bandipura Tiger Reserve
Bardia National Park
Chitwan National Park
Corbett Tiger Reserve
Dachigam National Park
Great Himalayan National Park
Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary
Anamalais (Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary)
Kanha National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Ranthambore National Park
National Parks and Sanctuaries : Periyar Tiger Reserve

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 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.

The Periyar Tiger Reserve at Thekkady in Kerala, derives its name from the Periyar River (meaning Big River) which was dammed in 1895. The large lake that resulted is the most recognisable and well-known feature of the park and the focus of most tourist activity. This area originally lay within the territories of the erstwhile princely state of Travancore and the dam was built to divert water from the Periyar river eastwards via a tunnel near Kumili to irrigate the dry lowlands that fell in the rain-shadow.

With the introduction of tea plantations in the area and the consequent clearing of the forests, the government of Travancore, one of the more enlightened of its time, recognised the need to protect the catchment area of the Periyar Lake. To this end the entire catchment area was declared a Reserve Forest in 1899.

It was used primarily as a hunting reserve for the guests of the Travancore State and the Edapalayam Lake Palace was built on the lake shore was built as hunting lodge.

In 1982 the Periyar reserve forest became the core of the new national park that was formed by adding the adjoining forests. In 1979 it was declared a Project Tiger Reserve.

Location and Geography

Latitude: 9 16' - 9 40' N
Longitude: 76 55' - 77 25'E
Area: 777.5
Lake area: c. 25

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).

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