Periyar National Park (Periyar Tiger Reserve)
India, Thekkady

Periyar National Park, better known as the Periyar Tiger Reserve, is located in southern India, in the state of Kerala, on the Western Ghats mountain range. In 1895, a dam was built on the Periyar River, resulting in the formation of a lake of the same name with an area of 26 square kilometers. It has become a constant source of water for plants and animals in the area. In order to preserve the unique ecosystem and biodiversity of the area around the reservoir, in 1899 a forest area of 600 square kilometers was declared protected. The Perigar Tiger Reserve was created in 1978, in 1982 it received the status of a National Park, the protected area was expanded to 925 square kilometers. The landscape of the reserve is diverse - mountain peaks 1,700 meters above sea level in the east and west, a large flat plateau and lowlands in the Pamba river valley, on which tropical evergreen, humid and deciduous forests grow. The main attraction of the National Park is the Tiger Reserve Periyar. According to 2008 data, 24 Bengal tigers live on its territory. In addition, Periyar Park is a member of the international program for the conservation of wild Indian elephants, which number about 1,000 in the park. Lepards, gaurs, Indian zambars, bison, striped marten, muntzhaki, mongooses, lazy bear, Indian porcupine, giant squirrel, vandera and many other mammals (62 species in total) also live in the jungle of the reserve. The park also recorded a huge species diversity of birds (about 265 species), 48 reptile species, 29 amphibian species, 40 fish species, and about 160 butterfly species live on its territory. Flora is represented by 2500 species of plants, including eucalyptus, banyan, sandalwood, 350 types of medicinal plants, 170 types of herbs and 140 types of orchids. Periyar National Park is one of the most famous and most visited natural parks in India. Fascinating tourist routes are organized for visitors to the park, those who wish can ride a boat on Lake Periyar, visit a bamboo grove, and go hiking in the jungle. The park has recreational facilities, there is a campsite and campground.