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Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryThe Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary at Thekkady is a 777 sq. km reserve on the western slopes of the Western Ghats is the most popular wild life sanctuary. A pleasant place to escape from the madding crowds of the cities and towns, a nice place to cruise on the lake, a place to enjoy a jungle walk with an opportunity to see the wild animals. The park is home to antelopes, bison, sambar, wild boar, elephants and a wide variety of birds in addition to tigers and leopards. The journey to Thekkady itself is quite enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, green plantations and thick jungles.

A study of the Periyar Tiger Reserve conducted by the Kerala Forest Research Institute has revealed the richness of diversity of the park. The reserve was found to have some 1965 species of plants signifying that it is easily among the richest areas in plant variety in the world. A parallel could be drawn only with the Agasthyamala region where 3800 species of plants were recorded. The high degree of endemism exhibited by the Reserve makes it all the more important from the point of view of bio-diversity conservation. About 150 species of plants, which have been placed under various threat categories by the World Conservation Union, have been identified from the Reserve.

Periyar LakeThe park encompasses a 26 sq. km artificial lake created by the British in1895. The sanctuary offers an enchanting view of the wild life by taking a boat trip in the lake. Jungle walks can also be interesting. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between September and May.

There is a Wildlife Information Centre at Thekkady, which is inside the park. The nearest town is Kumily (4 km from the lake) on the Kerala –Tamil Nadu border. Kumily is a 4 hour bus journey from Kottayam [110 km]
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