Periyar

Periyar is a kingdom of wilderness. The reserve has majestic tigers roaming its grounds among the dense vegetation. However, sightings of tigers in Periyar are extremely rare. Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. It is also the oldest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, along with being renowned for having the largest protected area. The tiger reserve spans 192,001 acre of land and is blessed with a picturesque landscape home to various flora and fauna. The sanctuary also has boating facilities at its scenic lake. Travellers can see herds of elephants and grazing deer here with the sweet sound of birds chirping in the trees. The sanctuary is about 110 km away from Munnar.

It is home to as many as 1,965 species of flowering plants; this includes 171 grass species and 143 orchid species. The Podocarpus wallichianus, one of the only South Indian conifers, also grows here. As for mammals, there are more 60 species found, including leopard, sambar deer, Indian bison, Indian wild dog, Asian elephant, and barking deer. You can also spot the smooth-coated otter if you take a boat ride in Periyar Lake. The endangered long-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, and Nilgiri langur can be seen playing amongst the trees. The forest has 265 species of birds, some of which are the Malabar grey hornbill, Indian pied hornbill, white-bellied treepie, Malabar Trogon and more.

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