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Periyar National Park

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Thekkady, is a renowned protected area located in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Spanning over an area of around 925 square kilometers, it is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in South India. Established in 1982, the sanctuary is centered around the picturesque Periyar Lake, which adds to its scenic beauty.

The sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna. It is home to a wide range of animals, including elephants, tigers, leopards, gaur (Indian bison), sambar deer, barking deer, wild boars, and Malabar giant squirrels. Visitors have the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat by taking part in wildlife safaris and boat cruises.

One of the unique features of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the Periyar Tiger Reserve, which was established in 1978 to protect the endangered Bengal tigers. The reserve implements conservation initiatives to safeguard these magnificent predators and their habitat. Although tiger sightings are rare due to the dense vegetation, the reserve contributes significantly to tiger conservation efforts.

The centerpiece of the sanctuary is the Periyar Lake, formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. Boat cruises on the lake provide a memorable experience, offering panoramic views of the surrounding forests and opportunities to spot wildlife along the shores. These cruises also provide an excellent opportunity for bird watching, with over 260 species recorded in the sanctuary, including the great hornbill, Nilgiri wood pigeon, and Malabar grey hornbill.

Trekking is another popular activity in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, allowing visitors to explore the forest trails and enjoy the scenic beauty up close. The sanctuary offers various trekking routes, ranging from easy to challenging, providing opportunities to immerse in the natural surroundings and spot wildlife along the way.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is not only a haven for wildlife but also promotes eco-tourism and community-based conservation initiatives. It collaborates with local communities, including tribal villages, to ensure sustainable practices and create awareness about the importance of conservation.

With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and range of activities, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers a unique and enriching experience for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. It showcases the remarkable biodiversity of Kerala’s Western Ghats and emphasizes the significance of conserving these natural treasures for future generations.

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