State PCS

Edit Template
Edit Template

Periyar National Park, Kerala

Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is a protected area located in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala..

Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is a protected area located in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The protected area encompasses 925 km2 (357 sq mi), of which 305 km2 (118 sq mi) of the core zone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982. The park is a repository of rare, endemic, and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala: the Periyar and the Pamba.

History of Periyar Tiger Reserve

Earlier it was under the reign of the Pandayas in 12th century a dam named Mullaperiyar was constructed across the west flowing river Periyar. As a result, it created an artificial lake in the area which today stands at the centre of the sanctuary, enhancing its beauty to greater extents. With the creation of this lake, the landscape and the features of the valley changed drastically.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the reserve was the hunting ground of the Travancore kings, which is today the part of most of the Southern Kerala. In 1899, the area was declared as a forest reserve called the Periyar Lake Reserve with an intention of protecting the hunting areas of the kings from the encroachment of tea plantations. Further, in 1934, the lake reserve was converted into a game sanctuary, the Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary. The Game Sanctuary covered an area of about 500 sq km. In 1950, some more area was added to create the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. In 1978, the sanctuary was included in the Central Government initiative to be known as the Project Tiger and was renamed as Periyar Tiger Reserve.

In 1992, the reserve also became a part of Project Elephant when it was launched by the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests to protect the free ranging populations of wild Asian elephants in various states of India.

Wildlife in Periyar Sanctuary

Apart from Elephants, the other animals can be found in the Periyar Sanctuary are, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Gaur, Mouse Deer, Dole or Barking Deer, Indian Wild Dog and Tiger. There are, now estimated counts of 40 tigers in the Periyar National Park. The major four species of primates are also found at Periyar – the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Gee’s Golden Langur, Common Langur and Bonnet Macaque. Periyar is also being considered as the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which can rarely be seen but commends its presence.

Interesting Facts About Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park has a significant history and many facts that revolve around its formation and present functioning. Here are some of those:

  • The ecosystem of Periyar Tiger Reserve accounts for annual economic benefits of an estimated 17.6 billion rupees. This works out to approximately 1.9 lakh rupees per hectare of the land!
  • Even though some of these intangible benefits are difficult to quantify, experts have calculated the financial benefits accrued to gene-pool protection to the tune of 7.86 billion rupees annually.
  • About 4.05 billion rupees worth of water provision is provided by this national park to some of the districts of the state of Tamil Nadu on a yearly basis.
  • Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary provides refuge and a habitat to wildlife tipped at an annual worth of 3.55 billion rupees.
  • The towns and districts around the wildlife reserve benefit from the water purification services which are pegged at INR 483 million rupees per year.
  • Only recreational activities such as boating, trekking, camping and safaris that the national park has spurned earn a sum of INR 425 million rupees annually.
  • The local communities, who are directly or indirectly employed for various services related to the wildlife sanctuary, benefit from 25 million rupees worth of jobs yearly.

FAQs about Periyar National Park

How can I reach Periyar National Park in Kerala?

To reach Periyar National Park, you can fly to Cochin International Airport, which is the nearest major airport. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Thekkady, the gateway to the park. Thekkady is about 140 kilometers away from the airport. Alternatively, you can also reach Periyar National Park by train or bus from other cities in Kerala.

What is the best time to visit Periyar National Park?

The best time to visit Periyar National Park is during the winter months, from October to February, when the weather is pleasant and the chances of wildlife sightings are higher. The park remains open throughout the year, but the monsoon season (June to September) can be quite rainy, which might affect activities and wildlife sightings.

What activities can I do in Periyar National Park?

Periyar National Park offers a range of activities for visitors. The most popular activity is taking a boat ride on Periyar Lake, where you can spot wildlife along the shores. You can also go for guided nature walks, bamboo rafting, and trekking in the park. Wildlife safaris are available, both by jeep and on foot, accompanied by trained guides. Additionally, there are cultural shows and performances showcasing the local art forms.

Is it possible to see tigers in Periyar National Park?

Yes, it is possible to spot tigers in Periyar National Park, but please note that tiger sightings are relatively rare. The park is primarily known for its population of elephants. Tigers are elusive and tend to avoid human presence. However, the park authorities and guides make efforts to track their movements and increase the chances of spotting them during wildlife safaris.

Read also:- National Parks in India

Demo Class/Enquiries

blog form

More Links
What's New
IAS NEXT is a topmost Coaching Institute offering guidance for Civil & Judicial services like UPSC, State PCS, PCS-J exams since more than 10 years.
Contact Us
Social Icon

Copyright ©  C S NEXT EDUCATION. All Rights Reserved