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Home :: Wildlife in South India :: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary


Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary


Location : Kerala
Also Known as : Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary
Main Species of animals found : Elephants, Tigers, Spotted Deer
Best Season : October to June


Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryOne of the well known and oldest wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve was established in the verdant stretches of Kerala in 1895 and declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat. The forest slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambar and even tigers can be spotted here.

There are boat services which takes the visitor around the lake. The best season to visit the park is between October and June. The national park and the tiger reserve is rated as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India for wildlife photography, bird watching, elephant herds and tiger watching. Spread over 777 Sq.Kms of the Cardamom Hills of Western Ghats, the Periyar sanctuary is located 137 km from Madurai. Although an excursion on the splendid artificial lake is the standard way to experience the sanctuary, you can also walk around with the local guide in a small group. Wild Elephant herds come to the lake to frolic in the water.

Four primate species found at Periyar, which act as the centre of attraction, are the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque. Periyar is also the only habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr, which is not seen easily. There are over 260 species of birds finding shelter, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, blue-winged Parakeets; White bellied Tree Pies, laughing Thrushes and Fly Catchers. Other attractions of the sanctuary are the Sambar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Tigers, Leopards, Malabar Flying Squirrels, Stripe necked Mongooses, etc.

How to Reach Periyar National Park
By Air : The nearest airports from Periyar are Kochi (Cochin) at 200-kms or Madurai in Tamil Nadu at 140-kms from Periyar.
By Rail : The nearest railhead from Periyar is at Kottayam, which lies at a distance of 114-kms.
By Road : The nearest town from Periyar is Kumily, well connected with Kottayam, Ernakulam and Madurai in Tamil Nadu by regular and frequent buses.

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Viralimalai Sanctuary


Location : 30-km From Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu
Best Place : To Watch Peacocks


An Abode Of The Indian National Bird
Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryViralimalai is famous for its Murugan temple and the Peacock sanctuary. The small and nondescript kind of town, Viralimalai is situated at a distance of 30-kms from Tiruchirapalli and 40-kms from Pudukottai. The highlight of the town is that it is bestowed with a large number of wild peacocks. All varieties of peacock roam majestically around the Murugan temple. The area is a notified sanctuary and is one of the best places to watch peacocks.

There are at least six species of peacock pheasants distributed throughout South East Asia. The Palauan Peacock Pheasant or "Tandikan" (Polyplectron Emphanum) finds protection at Viralimalai sanctuary and is by far the most spectacularly coloured of these beautiful birds.

How to Get There
Air : The nearest airport is at Tiruchirapalli (30-km).
Rail : Tiruchirapalli junction is a main junction on the southern railway. It connects Chennai, Chidambaram, Madurai, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kollam, Rameswaram, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kanyakumari and Mangalore. Pudukkottai is also well connected by rail with the important places within and beyond the state.
Road : There are regular buses from Tiruchirapalli, Pudukkottai and the neighbouring towns to Viralimalai.

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Wildlife in South India
«» Bandipur National Park «» Bhimeshwari National Park «» Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary
«» Crocodile Bank «» Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary «» Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
«» Kunthakulam Bird Sanctuary «» Nagarhole National Park «» Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
«» Viralimalai Sanctuary

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