Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in God’s Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Periyar wildlife sanctuary has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake.
Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger. There are, now, an estimated 40 tigers here. Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur And Bonnet Macaque. Periyar also happens to be the habitat of the elusive Nilgiri Tahr, which is rarely to be seen. The birdlife comprises of Darters, Cormorants, Kingfishers, the great Malabar Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongoes. The reptilian population boasts Of Monitor Lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun, on the rocks along the lakeshore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra. In the lap of the mountains, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary's environ is like a canvas of many shades. The fresh air of the moist deciduous forest gives one a chance to experience the peace and serenity and long to return for more.