Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar wildlife Sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Periyar lake, is spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest. The artificial lake in the sanctuary was formed by the construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River.
The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978.
The wildlife can be viewed at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. The herds of wild elephant that come to water on the banks of the lake are a major attraction.
The Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world .These high ranges of the Western Ghats present a varied vegetation; moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands. The sanctuary is home to herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs.
Ecotourism initiatives such as the 'Border Hiking', 'Tiger Trail' and "Jungle patrol tours in which the visitors will be accompanied by tribal wardens, Elephant rides, cruises on the lake and treks to the ruined Mangala Devi temple - a beautiful old stone temple situated in the heart of the Thekkady forest are the choice of activities facing a tourist to Periyar.
This sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarters. The reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna .