Periyar National Park is situated in the hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala in SW India. Periyar lake formed by the construction of a dam on the Periyar river in 1895.
Along the fringes of the lake are marshy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the richest habitats of large mammals, as it provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur near Aranya Niwas and the Liontail Macaque in higher areas.
The forests are tropical, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen ‘sholas’. The forests alternate with extensive patches of grasslands. Periyar’s rich bird life includes the Giant Hornbill, Cormorant, Darter, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo. The Indian Python and King Cobra are among the reptilian fauna. Periyar has a few Nilgiri Tahr, good numbers of which may also be seen on a day excursion to nearby Eravikulam National Park near Munnar.