Welcome to the enchanting realm of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary! Nestled in the verdant Western Ghats of Kerala, India, this captivating sanctuary beckons wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its diverse ecosystems, ranging from lush forests to serene lakes, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers a remarkable haven for a myriad of species. It is rated among one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India.
As a passionate wildlife blogger and photographer, I am thrilled to share my awe-inspiring experiences, encounters, and photographs of the fascinating creatures that inhabit this lush expanse. Join me on this virtual safari as we embark on a journey to discover the untamed beauty and rich biodiversity of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where every moment is a breathtaking revelation!
History of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich and captivating history that spans several decades. The sanctuary was established in 1950 with the objective of protecting Periyar Lake and the surrounding forests in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India.
Originally, the area was a dense forest known as ‘Poonjars,’ and it was under the reign of the Travancore Maharaja. Recognizing the ecological importance of the region, the Maharaja declared it as a protected area in the early 20th century.
In 1934, the construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River led to the formation of the Periyar Lake, which further enhanced the significance of the region’s wildlife and habitats. However, this also resulted in the submergence of a vast forest area.
Post-independence, in 1950, the Government of India declared the Periyar region as a wildlife sanctuary to safeguard its unique biodiversity and promote eco-tourism. The sanctuary was then named after the Periyar River, which played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape.
Over the years, the sanctuary has been expanded, and additional areas were added to protect the habitats of various wildlife species, making it one of the most well-preserved wildlife sanctuaries in India.
The establishment of the Periyar Tiger Reserve in 1978 further bolstered conservation efforts, aiming to protect the endangered Bengal tiger and its natural habitat.
Throughout its history, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary has remained dedicated to conservation, research, and promoting environmental awareness. It has become a shining example of successful conservation initiatives and a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers from across the globe.
Today, the sanctuary continues to thrive as a sanctuary for diverse flora and fauna, offering visitors a glimpse into the splendor of nature and the wonders of the animal kingdom, all within the embrace of its protected boundaries.
Flora and Fauna at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a mesmerizing tapestry of flora and fauna. The lush forests teem with diverse plant species, providing a vital habitat for a range of wildlife. Towering trees, vibrant flowers, and lush vegetation create a captivating sight at every turn. The sanctuary is renowned for its rich wildlife, including majestic elephants, graceful sambar deer, and elusive leopards. You can spot playful otters frolicking in the sparkling lakes, while the gaur, also known as the Indian bison, roams freely in the grasslands.
Birdwatchers will be delighted by the melodious songs of various avian species, from the vibrant kingfishers to the regal Malabar grey hornbills. The sanctuary also shelters reptiles like the Indian python and the king cobra, adding to its biodiversity. Exploring this sanctuary is a thrilling adventure, as you might encounter langurs swinging through the treetops or even spot the elusive Bengal tiger on a lucky day. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or a nature lover, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary promises an unforgettable experience, immersing you in the wonders of the natural world.
Safari Experience at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Embarking on a safari at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is an exhilarating journey into the heart of nature. The lush landscape comes alive as you venture deep into the verdant forests, anticipating thrilling encounters with the diverse wildlife that inhabits this sanctuary. Riding in an open jeep, the wind in your hair, you feel the excitement building up as you set out on your wildlife adventure. Your senses are heightened, and every rustle of leaves or distant call of an animal sends a thrill down your spine.
As you traverse the sanctuary, keep your camera ready to capture the mesmerizing sight of elephants gracefully strolling in their natural habitat. Spotting a herd of these majestic creatures up close is a moment that leaves you awestruck. The thrill of witnessing wild animals roaming freely in their element is an experience that stays etched in your memory forever.
Periyar’s wildlife is not limited to just elephants; the sanctuary is also home to an incredible variety of bird species. Your eyes will be treated to a kaleidoscope of colors as you observe beautiful birds perched on branches or soaring through the skies. The calls and melodies of these avian wonders create a symphony of nature that is both soothing and enchanting.
If you’re lucky, you may encounter the elusive big cats of the sanctuary – the mighty Bengal tiger and the elusive leopard. Though these sightings are rarer, the excitement of the possibility adds to the thrill of the safari. Even if you don’t spot them, the footprints and signs of their presence heighten the sense of adventure.
As the safari draws to a close, you can’t help but feel grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to witness nature’s grandeur up close. The safari experience at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary leaves you with a profound appreciation for the delicate balance of ecosystems and a deeper connection with the natural world. It is a journey that reminds you of the importance of conserving and protecting these precious habitats so that future generations can also revel in the wonder of this wildlife haven.
Accommodation at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Staying at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a delightful experience that immerses you in the heart of nature. The sanctuary offers a range of accommodation options, catering to various preferences and budgets. Nestled amidst the lush greenery, you’ll find eco-lodges and jungle resorts that blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings.
The eco-lodges provide a unique opportunity to connect with nature while enjoying comfortable amenities. Wake up to the sounds of chirping birds and the gentle rustling of leaves, as the forest comes to life right outside your window.
Jungle resorts offer a more luxurious experience, with well-appointed rooms and modern facilities. Some even feature private balconies or verandas that offer stunning views of the verdant landscapes and the possibility of spotting wildlife from the comfort of your room.
For a more adventurous experience, the sanctuary also has camping facilities. Spending a night under the star-studded sky, surrounded by the wilderness, is an experience that brings you closer to nature like never before.
Many of the accommodations arrange guided nature walks and treks, providing valuable insights into the sanctuary’s rich biodiversity. Experienced naturalists and guides accompany you, sharing their knowledge of the flora and fauna you encounter along the way.
Additionally, some properties organize boat safaris on the serene Periyar Lake, offering a chance to spot wildlife from the water’s edge.
After a day filled with thrilling wildlife encounters and exploring the sanctuary’s beauty, return to your cozy abode, where warm hospitality and delectable local cuisine await you. Savor the flavors of Kerala as you unwind and relish the memories of your day’s adventures.
Staying at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is not just accommodation; it’s an immersive experience that allows you to appreciate and connect with the natural wonders that surround you. Whether you seek serenity or adventure, the sanctuary’s accommodations cater to your needs, ensuring a memorable stay amidst the captivating wilderness.
Best Time to Travel to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The best time to travel to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is during the cool and dry months from October to February. Visiting during this period allows you to enjoy the sanctuary’s beauty and wildlife in pleasant weather.
The cooler temperatures make outdoor activities, such as safaris and nature walks, more comfortable. It’s also an ideal time for birdwatching as many migratory birds visit the sanctuary during these months.
Moreover, the dry season reduces the density of vegetation, making it easier to spot wildlife. Animals often gather near water sources, increasing your chances of sighting them.
In contrast, the monsoon season, from June to September, brings heavy rainfall, leading to slippery trails and limited visibility. Many parts of the sanctuary may be inaccessible during this time.
From March to May, the weather turns hot and humid, making outdoor activities more challenging and uncomfortable.
By planning your visit during the cooler and drier months, you can maximize your wildlife encounters and fully appreciate the beauty of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Remember to book accommodations and safaris in advance to ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience.
How to Reach Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Reaching Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a straightforward and enjoyable journey. If you are traveling by air, the nearest airport is Madurai International Airport, located approximately 140 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the sanctuary.
For those arriving by train, the nearest railway station is Kottayam, situated around 114 kilometers from the sanctuary. Taxis and buses are readily available at the station to transport you to your destination.
If you prefer traveling by road, the sanctuary is well-connected by a network of highways and roads. State-run buses and private taxis operate regularly from nearby cities and towns to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
For a more adventurous approach, you can opt for self-driving. The sanctuary is accessible via major roadways, and the journey through the picturesque Western Ghats is an experience in itself.
Once you reach the sanctuary, you can explore the region on foot or by taking guided safaris and boat rides. The Periyar Tiger Reserve also provides valuable information and assistance to visitors, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip.
With its convenient transportation options and the opportunity to witness the wonders of nature, traveling to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary promises to be an unforgettable experience for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
In conclusion, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary stands as a testament to the power of conservation and environmental stewardship. With a history dating back to the early 20th century, the sanctuary’s journey from a dense forest to a well-preserved haven for wildlife is nothing short of remarkable. Its establishment in 1950 and subsequent expansion, including the formation of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, have solidified its status as one of India’s finest wildlife sanctuaries.
Today, Periyar continues to awe visitors with its stunning landscapes, abundant biodiversity, and thrilling wildlife encounters. As we explore its lush forests, tranquil lakes, and diverse habitats, we are reminded of the importance of preserving and protecting these natural treasures for generations to come. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary remains an enduring testament to the beauty and resilience of our planet’s ecosystems, inspiring us to cherish and safeguard the wonders of the natural world.