A rare example of human intervention having enhanced an ecosystem, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary situated at Thekkady in the high ranges of the Western Ghats, spreads over an area of 777 sq.km. It is situated in the Idukki (Thekkady) and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala.
Thekkady in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1978. Mirror-still lagoons, grassy plains and naked hills, make up the landscape of Periyar, providing the perfect foil to the wildlife found there – elephants, Indian bison and the endangered lion-tailed macaque. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar adds to the charm of the park.
It is one of South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuaries.
Periyar encompasses 777 sq. km and a 26 sq. km artificial lake created by the British in 1895. The vast region is home to bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, 900 to 1000 elephants and 35 to 40 hard-to-spot tigers. Firmly established on both, the Indian and foreigner tourist trails, the place can sometimes feel a bit like Disneyland-in-the-Ghats, but its mountain scenery and jungle walks make for an enjoyable visit. Bring warm and waterproof clothing.
Kumily, 4 km from the sanctuary, is the closest town and home to a growing strip of hotels, spice shops, chocolate shops and Kashmiri emporiums. Thekkady is the sanctuary centre with the KTDC hotels and boat jetty. Confusingly, when people refer to the sanctuary they tend to use Kumily, Thekkady and Periyar interchangeably.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary