Periyar wildlife sanctuary is located in the hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady nearly 185 kilometers from Cochin. 5500 hectare Periyar Lake is situated in the center of Periyar National Park is the major attraction of this park. Periyar Lake is formed when the construction of a Mullaperiyar dam on the river Periyar in 1895.This dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead tree trunks still jut out of the waters. This wonderful wildlife reserve declared as a national park in the year 1950. In 1978 it is declared as tiger reserve. This is the one & only wildlife sanctuary in India where you can have the exceptional experience of watching wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. On the border of the lake you can find swampy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the major habitats of large mammals because it provides both excellent wrap and sustenance in the form of luscious shoots and grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of wild Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur and the Lion tail Macaque in higher areas.
The surrounded forests are tropical, a mixture of dense semi-evergreen and evergreen forest. The forests alternate with extensive patches of grasslands. Periyar’s wealthy bird life includes the Giant Hornbill, Cormorant, Darter, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo. The Indian Python and King Cobra are among the major reptilian fauna. Periyar has a few Nilgiri Tahr one of the most endangered species in the world. It is assumed that, In Periyar Tiger Reserve there are 50 species of mammals, 263 species of birds, 35 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians, 30 species of fishes and 160 species of butterflies have been identified so far. Some important mammals are tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, sambar, wild dog, barking deer, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur and Nilgiri tahr.Periyar Widllife Sanctuary proud about a quite prosperous and various floras. The flora in Periyar National Park chiefly comprises of Tropical Evergreen forests and Semi-evergreen forests around the reservoir. The major flora in the park include the Teak, Rosewood, Terminalia, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, Jacaranda (a hardwood timber tree with purple flowers), Mango, Jamun, Tamarind, Banyan, Pipal, Plumeria, Gulmohar and Bamboo among many others.