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  Periyar National Park

Best time to visit : September to May

Nearest Airport : Mudhrai, Tamil Nadu (145km)

Nearest Railway Station : Kottayam (114km)

Nearest Town : Kumily (4km)

¤ The Exquisite Location of The Park
The Periyar Wildlife National Park covers an area of 77,700ha of cardamom hill ranges in the Idduki District. The tourist zone of the Periyar National Park is close to the picturesque little town of Kumily, with its exotic and colorful spice market. Thanks to the Maharaja of Travancore, Periyar was given the status of a reserve forest way back in 1934. In the year 1895, a part of the forest was dammed to protect the catchment area of the Periyar River.

The result was the beautiful 26sq km Periyar Lake, dotted with islands and tree stumps. The formalities for declaring the core area of the National Park as a National Park, are in the process of being met.

¤ Flaura and Fauna
The Periyar National Park is a mix of tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, which supports a wide variety of plant and animal species. According to the forest department, the National Park has about 40 tigers, 20 leopards, 900 elephants and 280 gaur.

The reserve also has a population of the Lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, the Malabar giant squirrel, porcupine, wild dog, sloth bear, jungle cat, sambar, palm civet, wild boar, elephant and jackal.

Approximately 180 species of birds are said to have been spotted in the National Park, with a relatively high spotting of the rare Great Indian Hornbill. Grey herons, kingfishers, egrets, darters, coots, fish-owls, grackles and cormorants can be commonly seen around the lake, so do carry your binoculars for the trip.

¤ The Great Attractions of Indian Hornbill
The Great Indian Hornbill is the king of the skies. As large as an eagle, it can devour sizeable preys in flight. It is easily distinguishable by its black wings with two white bands on the ends of the wingspan, and an enormous yellow bill. The Great Indian Hornbill mates for life.

Year after year, the pair generally returns to its home, which it makes in the hollow of trees, preferably fig. Hornbills are slow breeders and generally raise only one young at a time. The male hornbill is quite a knight, and feeds the pregnant female, and then the young for over 3 months.

¤ Best Time To Visit
The ideal time to visit Periyar National Park, is between the months of February and May. During this time of the year, the animals of the forest come to the lake for water as the water holes in the forest dry up. Groups of elephants playing and swimming in the shimmering lake, is not an altogether uncommon sight. Being in a motorboat.

(Periyar National Park : Reservation Form)

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