Periyar National Park is a protected wildlife reserve in Kerala. The Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills of the Southern Western Ghats are home to the National Park. The Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts of Kerala, India, are home to Periyar National Park. The park is bisected by two major rivers, the Pamba and the Periyar, which aid in the survival of the region's flora and fauna (Pamba River is the third longest river in the Kerala after Periyar and Bharathappuzha).
WHEN WAS THE PROTECTED FORESTS ESTABLISHED?
Periyar National Park was established in 1895 when the Mullaperiyar Dam was built. The dam built across the River Periyar stopped the river's flow and created a water reservoir in the area, resulting in the creation of an artificial lake in the valley.
The reserve served as a hunting area for the Royalty during the 18th and 19th centuries. All of the royal guests congregated at Edapalayam Lake Palace.
By 1899, the areas surrounding Periyar Lake had been designated as forest reserves and given the name Periyar Lake Reserve. This was done to put an end to animal hunting and tea plantation cutting.
S. C. H. Robinson, who served as the first game warden and rose to become the Maharaja of Travancore in the same year, named the area around Periyar Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary in 1934. To combat the area's dwindling wildlife population, the area was designated as a protected wildlife sanctuary in 1966.
By 1978, Periyar had been included in the Central Government's Project Tiger, which had begun in 1972. In 1982, it was designated as a National Park. The ambitious Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests, with Periyar National Park serving as the launch pad.
In order to preserve the ecosystem, the India Eco-Development Project was started in the reserve in 1996. By the year 2001, the sanctuary had been divided into two sections: Periyar East and Periyar West.
MORE ABOUT PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK
Periyar is one of India's 27 tiger reserves. The park is also known as Thekkady or Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The park is known for its elephant and tiger reserves. The protected area is approximately 925 km2.
The Park is well-known for its diverse wildlife and bird species. Elephants, tigers, sambars, gaurs, leopards, wild dogs, barking deer, mouse deer, monitor lizards, and a variety of birds and reptiles are among the abundant wildlife.
The sanctuary's heart is adorned with a picturesque lake, which is an artificial 100-year-old lake at Thekkady and is primarily known for its wild elephants and densely established Western Ghats forests.
Many of Periyar's deep valleys are covered in tropical evergreen forest with dense tree cover, allowing only a few rays of sunlight to penetrate. These trees can reach incredible heights of up to 100-140 feet when fully grown.
The Maharaja of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, declared it a Game Reserve (Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary) in 1934 to protect the area's biodiversity and prevent tea plantations from encroaching.
It was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1950. (Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary). The sanctuary was renamed Periyar Tiger Reserve after it was included in the Central Government's Project Tiger initiative in 1978.
When the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests launched Project Elephant in 1992 to protect free-ranging populations of wild Asian elephants in various Indian states, the reserve became a part of it.
The Goodrical Range was added to the reserve in 2004, covering 148 km2.
Tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, and moist deciduous forests make up the park.
Teak, Banyan, Sacred fig, Royal poinciana, Kino, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Jacarandas, Mangoes, Jamun, Tamarind, Bamboos, Gloriosa lily, and other woods
Wild Pigs, Sambar, Gaur, Mouse Deer, Dole or Barking Deer, Indian Wild Dog, and Tiger are among the other animals found in the Periyar Sanctuary. In the Periyar National Park, there are now estimated to be 40 tigers. The rare lion-tailed macaque, as well as the Nilgiri Langur, Gee's Golden Langur, Common Langur, and Bonnet Macaque, can all be found at Periyar. Periyar is also thought to be the home of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely seen but appreciated for its presence.
Tiger, Gaur, Elephant, Sambar, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Indian Wild Dog, Wild Pig, Indian Giant Squirrel, Travancore Flying Squirrel, Jungle cat, Sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, Gee's Golden Langur, Common Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Nilgiri langur, Common Lang
Birds include the Malabar grey hornbill, Racket-tailed Drongos, Kingfishers, Darters, Cormorants, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Blue winged parakeet, Nilgiri flycatcher, White bellied blue flycatcher, Great hornbill, Brahminy kite, Nilgiri thrush, and others.
Monitor lizards, Pythons, King cobras, Malabar pit vipers, Striped coral snakes, and other reptiles
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND THE PARK?
Kumily: The town of Kumily, located just 4 km from Periyar, is the best option for enjoying the tranquil surroundings of Kerala's spice plantations.
Cardamom Hills: When visiting Periyar, make sure to stop by the stunning cardamom hills.
Boat Cruises: Taking a boat cruise across Periyar Sanctuary is the best way to see the protected forests.
Periyar Lake: This lake is located within the sanctuary area, and the reserve is named after it. Tourists can take a boat ride around the lake to get a full view of the sanctuary.
Mangla Devi Temple: The Mangla Devi Temple is located 15 kilometres from the Thekkady region. The temple, which stands at a height of 1337 metres on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, attracts a large number of pilgrims. Only once a year, on a full moon day between the months of April and May, are prayers held in this 2000-year-old temple.
Pullumedu: Located 43 kilometres from Thekkady, Pullumedu is known for its wildlife sanctuaries and lush greenery. In addition, tourists can visit Shri Ayappa Temple and Makara Jyothi Temple in this area.