The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Periyar Tiger Reserve, is a protected area located in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India. It is renowned for its diverse wildlife, scenic beauty, and conservation efforts. Here are some key details about the sanctuary:
Location: The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Idukki district of Kerala, covering an area of approximately 925 square kilometers. It encompasses parts of the Cardamom Hills region of the Western Ghats.
Wildlife: The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, gaurs (Indian bison), sambar deer, wild boars, and various species of birds. The presence of the Bengal tiger makes it a tiger reserve.
Periyar Lake: One of the main attractions within the sanctuary is the Periyar Lake, formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. Visitors can take boat cruises on the lake to observe wildlife and enjoy the serene surroundings.
Conservation and Ecotourism: The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is well-known for its successful conservation efforts and eco-friendly tourism initiatives. The sanctuary has been instrumental in protecting the habitats of various endangered species and promoting sustainable practices.
Activities: Apart from boat cruises, visitors can engage in activities like nature walks, bamboo rafting, and guided trekking to explore the biodiversity and natural beauty of the sanctuary.
Flora: The sanctuary is rich in plant diversity, with various types of forests including tropical evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, and grasslands.
Tribal Communities: The region around the sanctuary is inhabited by indigenous tribal communities like the Mannans, Paliyas, and Uralis, who have traditionally coexisted with the wildlife and forests.
Conservation Challenges: Like many other wildlife reserves, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary faces challenges such as habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflicts, and poaching. Efforts are ongoing to address these issues and ensure the long-term survival of the sanctuary’s biodiversity.
Overall, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a significant natural and cultural heritage site in India, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to connect with nature and contribute to conservation efforts.