Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty, with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 Sq .km., Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba.

At a glance

Area: 925 Sq. Km
Latitude:9017’ 56.04”-9037’10.2N.
Longitude:76056’ 12.12” – 770 25’ 5.52”E.

North: Peerumedu taluk
South: Pathanamthitta district
East: Theni, Thirunelveli & Ramnad District of Tamilnadu
West: Kottayam district

Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) is situated in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the Southern Western Ghats of peninsular India. The major portion of the Reserve forms the catchment of the river Periyar and the rest that of river Pamba. Administratively, PTR falls in Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala state. The reserve is divided into two functional divisions, each managed by a Deputy Director. Periyar East is the larger division with an area of 707 and headquartered at Thekkady, where most of the tourism activities are centered. This Division is divided into three Ranges – Thekkady, Periyar and Vallakkadavu.

Periyar West division (218 has its headquarters at Peermedu and is divided into two Ranges, Azhutha and Pamba. Each Range under a Range Officer is further divided into Sections and Beats, looked after by Foresters and Forest Guards respectively.


In 1895, the Periyar Lake was formed, after the Government of the erstwhile Travancore State permitted the Madras State to construct the Mullaperiyar Dam across Periyar Tiger Reserve to provide irrigation facilities to Tamil Nadu. In the year 1899, the forests around the Lake with an extent of 600.88km2 were declared as Periyar Lake Reserve Forests – No. 39. Realizing the importance of game preservation, the Travancore State in 1933 appointed Mr. S.C.H. Robinson, a retired Land Commissioner as the Game Warden. On his recommendation, an area around the lake was declared as the Nellikkampetti Game Sanctuary in 1934 with the headquarters at Peermedu. In 1950 the Nellikampatti Game Sanctuary was expanded into Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (777 Km2) by adding the adjoining forests of Rattendon Valley (12.95 Km2) and Mount Plateau (163.17 Km2) to the Periyar Lake Reserve.

Considering the importance of the sanctuary in respect of its tiger population, the area was brought under Project Tiger in 1978 as the 10th Tiger Reserve in India, and named as Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR). In 1982, an extent of 350.54 km2 was notified as Periyar National Park. In 1991 the area was included as part of Project Elephant Reserve No.10. The then Tiger Reserve had one territorial division with its headquarters at Thekkady. A functional division (about 50km2) namely ‘Grass Land Afforestation Division’ (GLAD), with an overlapping jurisdiction over the Tiger Reserve was also operating from Peermedu. The GLAD was established with the objective to raise pulp wood plantation. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India banned all sorts of extraction works without approved Management Plan/Working Plan in 1996.  But all the extraction activities were stopped during 1999 in view of subsequent orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

By including the areas of GLAD, PTR was reorganized during 2001 into two territorial divisions, viz., Periyar East and Periyar West with headquarters at Thekkady and Peermedu respectively. The India Ecodevelopment Project (IEDP) was implemented in Periyar Tiger Reserve from 1996 to 2004.  For sustaining eco-development initiatives, a trust named Periyar Foundation was established in 2004, which has become a model for the country.

In 2007, the core or critical tiger habitat of PTR was notified with an extent of 881 km2 which includes 733 km2 of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Proper and 148 km2 of Reserved Forests in the adjoining Goodrickal Range of Ranni Division.  An extent of 44 km2 of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Proper is proposed as the buffer for tiger reserve.

Periyar Tiger Reserve  brief History

1895 – Construction of Mullaperiyar Dam
1899 – Formation of Periyar Lake Reserve.
1933 – S.C.H. Robinson made the first game warden
1934 – Formation of Nellikkampatty Game Sanctuary
1950 – Consolidation as Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
1978 – Declaration as Periyar Tiger Reserve.
1982 – Preliminary notification of the core area as National Park.
1991 – Brought under Project Elephant.
1996 – India Eco-development Project launched.
2001 – Reorganised as two Divisions, Periyar East and Periyar West
2004 – Formation of Periyar Foundation
2007 – Adding of 148km2 from Goodrical Range of Ranni Division.

Community Based Eco-Tourism

People oriented and park centered community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. These programmes are conducted by local people responsible for the surveillance of the vulnerable parts of the reserve. By taking tourists along, they are involved in the conservation of the forests of Periyar and some valuable revenue is generated for community welfare. People who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors and earn their livelihood through these programmes. Hence, as a visitor, when you join them in any of these programmes,you are directly contributing towards

Terrain & Geomorphology

Terrain is undulating with lofty peaks of over 1700 meters bordering the north and east. Towards the west it merges into an extensive tableland Mount Plateau of average elevation 1200 meters. rom the edge of this plateau the land falls steeply to the thickly forested tracts of Sabarimala hills in the Pamba River basin. The overall elevation ranges from 100 meters at Pambavalley to 2019 meters at Kottamalai.

Green Tips

All of us can help protect our environment. Whether it is at home, at work or at school, we need to take charge of things around us and help fight global warming. Here are some tips on how to go green and ensure that your home, your school and your (or your parents’) place of work are eco friendly.

  •  Turn off your lights when you are not using them.
  • Use low energy bulbs and tubes such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs as they consume less electricity than high voltage incandescent bulbs.
  • Electronic appliances such as computers, printers, televisions, music systems, etc. should not be left on stand-by. Switch them off when you’re done.
  •  If you have a balcony or any open space plants lots of trees or keep some potted plants. Community gardens are a wonderful way to get your neighbours and friends involved in your work. Another amazing thing to do is to start your own vegetable garden where you can grow organic produce!
  • Remember the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We often print on one side of a page and then throw it away. Don’t print if you don’t need to and always use both sides of the paper. Make sure you always recycle even if it’s just a banana peel – fruit and vegetable skins make great manure. Avoid plastic and instead go for reusable cloth bags, carry your lunch in a box instead of foil – the list is endless!
  • Surely you don’t need the air-conditioner when it’s lovely and breezy outside. Try keeping you’re a/c usage to a minimum – they’re power guzzlers!
  •  Form a car pool with colleagues or friends or take public transport to school, work or any other place you visit. It may take longer, but it is good for our environment. Riding your bike or walking are excellent options.
  •  Do NOT litter! Even though public places may not have dustbins that’s not excuse to make a mess! Put your garbage back in your bag and take it home with you. A good way of doing this is to keep assign a pocket in your bag for litter or to carry a small paper bag for your rubbish. Make it a point to correct people who litter and work with public authorities to install more dustbins and promote cleanliness.
  •  Avoid buying bottled water. The process of harvesting raw materials, processing and manufacturing the plastic and shipping them to the market is extremely energy intensive. Therefore, filter your own water and use reusable water bottles to fill water

Facts about the tiger & tiger sub-species

Tigers are culturally important to people across the globe – and, as a top predator, essential to the proper functioning of their entire ecosystem.

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Common Name

Siberian tiger, Amur tiger;
Tigre de Sibérie (Fr); (Sp)

Periyar Tiger

Scientific Name

Panthera tigris altaica

Periyar Tiger


IUCN: Endangered D ver 3.1 CITES: Appendix I

Periyar Tiger


Around 450 individuals

Periyar Tiger


Boreal forest

Periyar Tiger


up to 300 cm

Periyar Tiger

Horizontal Leap

up to 10 meters

Periyar Tiger

Biggest cat

The Siberian tiger is
the biggest of all cats
found in the wild

Periyar Tiger

Can they be saved?

Yes! Tigers are cats, and cats if given space and food will breed fast and freely

The tiger is a powerful symbol of reverence among the variety of cultures that live across its range.

They command respect, awe or fear from their human neighbours. Even in places where tigers have become extinct or never existed in the wild, they live on in myth and legend.

For tigers, this is it

Tigers are at what scientists call a “tipping point”.The point at which they can go either way in the wild. 

Survival or extinction.

In India alone – the last great refuge for tigers – there are only around 1,400 left.In 2009, 100 of them were killed (that we know of).In the first few weeks of this year, 3 more were lost.This, the most iconic species on our planet. The one ingrained in religions, in songs and in deeds. Ground down into potions. Skins hung on living room walls or put under our feet. Yes. There are so many things in our world that need fixing. So much that needs attention. Yet so little is needed, comparatively, to save this, the world’s most popular animal.

For what it brings to the world in inspiration.

In courage.In strength, and so much more…

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