Periyar National Park
|Periyar National Park|
|Location||Idukki and Pathanamthitta, India|
|Visitors||180,000 (in 1986)|
|Governing body||Kerala Forest Department|
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is a protected area in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, south India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The protected area covers an area of 925 km2 (357 sq mi). 350 km2 (140 sq mi) of the core zone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982.
The park is often called the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also referred to by the name "Thekkady". It is set high in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the southern Western Ghats along the border with Tamil Nadu state. The park is located 4 km (2.5 mi) from Kumily, approximately 100 km (62 mi) east of Kottayam, 110 km (68 mi) west of Madurai and 120 km (75 mi) southeast of Kochi.
The Periyar protected area lies in the middle of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. In the north and the east it is bounded by mountain ridges of over 1,700 m (5,600 ft) altitude and toward the west it expands into a 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) high plateau. From this level the altitude drops steeply to the deepest point of the reserve, the 100 metre valley of the Pamba River. The highest peak is the 2,019 m (6,624 ft) high Kottamalai. The longest river in Kerala, the Periyar originates from the forests of the Periyar Tiger Reserve as does the holy river of Pamba.
The sanctuary surrounds picturesque 26 km2 (10 sq mi) Periyar lake, formed by the building of Mullaperiyar Dam in 1895. This reservoir and the Periyar River meander around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife.
The temperature varies depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15° Celsius in December and January and 31° Celsius in April and May. The annual amount of precipitation lies between 2000 and 3000 mm. About two thirds of the precipitation occurs during the southwest monsoon between June to September. A smaller amount of precipitation occurs during the northeast monsoon between October and December.
[[Fileea are covered of unaffected evergreen or semi-evergreen rain forest. There typically tall tropical tree species such as Vateria indica,Cullenia exarillata, Hopea parviflora, Canarium strictum, Artocarpus hirsutus and Bischofia javanica are seen. They reach heights of 40 to 50 Metres.
Scarcely 13% consists of damp leaves forest, 7% of Eucalyptus plantation and 1.5% of grassland. The remainder (around 3.5%) of the protected area is covered by the Periyar artificial lake as well as the Periyar River and Pamba rivers.
Altogether the reservation counts nearly 2000 kinds of flowering plants (Angiosperms), three kinds of seed plants (gymnosperms) and 170 different species of ferns. Among the Angiosperms, there are 169 families of sweet grasses and 155 kinds of Fabaceae. Orchids, with 145 representative types, are the most frequent flower.
About 350 of the occurring plant types can be used for medical purposes.
Also they have huge area of picnic spot along with the water frowning off..
Periyar National Park is known for its elephants. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammals have been recorded in Periyar, including many threatened ones. Periyar is a highly protected tiger reserve and elephant reserve. There are an estimated 53 tigers (2010) in the reserve. Tourists also come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake. The elephant number around 900 to 1000 individuals. Other mammals found here include gaur, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards. Also inhabiting the park, though rarely seen, are the elusive Nilgiri tahr.
There are 45 different kinds of reptile in the protected area out of which there are 30 snake, two turtle, and 13 lizard species. Among those are Monitor lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun on the rocks along the lake shore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.
Twenty seven different kinds have been recorded, of which ten are endemic to the Western Ghats, such as some species of frogs and caecilians.
In the waters of the protected area 38 different fish types live, of which four are endemic to the Western Ghats. Salmon and Trout are some of the fish present here.
- 1895 - Construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam
- 1899 - Formation of the Periyar Lake Reserve
- 1933 - S.C.H. Robinson made the first game warden
- 1934 - Formation of Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary
- 1950 - Consolidation of Periyar as a Wildlife sanctuary
- 1978 - Declaration of Periyar as a Tiger Reserve
- 1982 - Preliminary notification of the core area as a National Park
- 1991 - Brought under Project Elephant
- 1996 - India Ecodevelopment Project launched
- 2001 - Reorganised as two Divisions: Periyar East and Periyar West
- 2004 – Formation of Periyar Foundation
- 2007 – Adding of 148 km2 from Goodrical Range of Ranni Division.
- 2012 - An additional 148 km2 of evergreen forest at Ponnambalamedu under the PTR was brought under the tiger reserve.
Tourists and Pilgrims 
The Periyar tiger reserve is considered as one of the best managed reserve in India . The core zone of the park is not accessible to the tourists. Within the buffer zone of 430 km², a zone of 55 km² is kept apart for tourism. Game wardens and staff have been recently spotted illegally fishing and gathering specimens within the sanctuary area. The facilities within the sanctuary are in need of much maintenance and are presently in very poor standards. This has also contributed a steady decline in returning tourists to the sanctuary.
It's important to recognize, however, that for the very purpose of protecting its wildlife and shielding them from human interference, Periyar National Park allows extremely limited access to the territory under its jurisdiction, restricting tourist entry only to the northern corner adjacent to man-made lake Periyar.
See also 
- Welcome to Periyar Tiger Reserve, Periyar Tiger Reserve, 2012, retrieved 2012-01-31
- Periyar Tiger Reserve -> Values of P.T.R -> Catchment Value, Periyar Tiger Reserve, 2012, retrieved 2012-09-11
- Increase in tiger density in PTR
- Ponnambalamedu comes under Periyar Tiger Reserve, IBNLive.com India., 2012-01-28, retrieved 2012-01-31
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Periyar National Park|
- Periyar National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage