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Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (PNP) is a protected area in the Idukki district and Pathanamthitta Districts of Kerala State in South India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The protected area covers an area of . of the core zone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982.

The park is often called the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also referred to by the name "Thekkady". It is set high in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the southern Western Ghats along the border with Tamil Nadu state. The park is located from Kumily, approximately east of Kottayam, west of Madurai and southeast of Kochi.[1]

Contents


Geography

The Periyar protected area lies in the middle of a mountainous area of the Cardamom Hills. In the north and the east it is bounded by mountain ridges of over altitude and toward the west it expands into a high plateau. From this level the altitude drops steeply to the deepest point of the reserve, the 100 meter valley of the Pamba River. The highest peak is the high Kottamalai.

The sanctuary surrounds picturesque Periyar lake, formed by the building of Mullaperiyar Dam in 1895. This reservoir and the Periyar River meander around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife.

Climate

submerged trees in Periyar lake The temperature varies depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15 Celsius in December and January and 31 Celsius in April and May. The annual amount of precipitation lies between 2000 and 3000 mm. About two thirds of the precipitation occurs during the southwest monsoon between June to September. A smaller amount of precipitation occurs during the northeast monsoon between October and December.

Flora

Approximately 75% of the entire protected area are covered of unaffected evergreen or semi-evergreen rain forest. There typically tall tropical tree species such as Vateria indica,Cullenia exarillata, Hopea parviflora, Canarium strictum, Artocarpus hirsutus and Bischofia javanica are seen. They reach heights of 40 to 50 Metres.

Scarcely 13% consists of damp leaves forest, 7% of Eucalyptus plantation and 1.5% of grassland. The remainder (around 3.5%) of the protected area is covered by the Periyar artificial lake as well as the Periyar River and Pamba rivers.

Altogether the reservation counts nearly 2000 kinds of flowering plants (Angiosperms), three kinds of seed plants (gymnosperms) and 170 different species of ferns. Among the Angiosperms, there are 169 families of sweet grasses and 155 kinds of Fabaceae. Orchids, with 145 representative types, are the most frequent flower.

About 350 of the occurring plant types can be used for medical purposes.

Also they have huge area of picnic spot along with the woter frony off..

Fauna

Dholes in Periyar National Park
Dholes in Periyar National Park
Photograph taken during a guided walk through the wildlife sanctuary. Photograph taken during a guided walk through the wildlife sanctuary.

Mammals

Periyar National Park is known for its elephants. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammals have been recorded in Periyar, including many threatened ones. It is clearly better than Ranthambore National Park for spotting tigers. Periyar is a highly protected tiger reserve and elephant reserve. There are an estimated 53 tigers (2010) in the reserve.[2] Tourists also come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake. The elephant number around 900 to 1000 individuals. Other mammals found here include gaur, Bison, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards. Also inhabiting the park, though rarely seen, are the elusive Nilgiri tahr.

Four species of primates are found at Periyar - the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, the common langur, and the Bonnet Macaque.

Birds

So far 320 different kinds have been counted in Periyar. The bird life includes darters, cormorants, kingfishers, the great Malabar Pied Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongos.

Reptiles

There are 45 different kinds of reptile in the protected area out of which there are 30 snake, two turtle, and 13 lizard species. Among those are Monitor lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun on the rocks along the lake shore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra.

Amphibians

Twenty seven different kinds have been recorded, of which ten are endemic to the Western Ghats, such as some species of frogs and cecilians.

Fish

In the waters of the protected area 38 different fish types live, of which four are endemic to the Western Ghats.Salmon,trout is also here.

Insects

There is a remarkable variety of butterflies and there are about 160 different kinds in total. Some are dangerous enough to make a human seriously ill

History

  • 1895 - Construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam
  • 1899 - Formation of the Periyar Lake Reserve
  • 1933 - S.C.H. Robinson made the first game warden
  • 1934 - Formation of Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary
  • 1950 - Consolidation of Periyar as a Wildlife sanctuary
  • 1978 - Declaration of Periyar as a Tiger Reserve
  • 1982 - Preliminary notification of the core area as a National Park
  • 1991 - Brought under Project Elephant
  • 1996 - India Ecodevelopment Project launched
  • 2001 - Reorganised as two Divisions: Periyar East and Periyar West
  • 2004 Formation of Periyar Foundation
  • 2007 Adding of 148 km2 from Goodrical Range of Ranni Division.[1]
  • 2012 - An additional 148 km2 of evergreen forest at Ponnambalamedu under the PTR was brought under the tiger reserve.[3]

Tourists and Pilgrims

A boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Note the tree stumps protruding from the water, which are used for navigation to ascertain the waters depth.

The Periyar tiger reserve is considered as one of the best managed reserve in India http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/17/stories/2011051758470400.htm. The core zone of the park is not accessible to the tourists. Within the buffer zone of 430 km , a zone of 55 km is kept apart for tourism. Game wardens and staff have been recently spotted illegally fishing and gathering specimens within the sanctuary area. The facilities within the sanctuary are in need of much maintenance and are presently in very poor standards. This has also contributed a steady decline in returning tourists to the sanctuary.

In the buffer zone there is also the temple of Sabarimala, which is visited by about 4 million pilgrims annually.

Its important to recognize, however, that for the very purpose of protecting its wildlife and shielding them from human interference, Periyar National Park allows extremely limited access to the territory under its jurisdiction, restricting tourist entry only to the northern corner adjacent to man-made lake Periyar.

See also

References

External links

de:Periyar-Nationalpark fr:Parc national de Periyar hi: it:Parco nazionale di Periyar ml: mr: nl:Nationaal park Periyar pnb: ru: ( ) ta:






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