Periyar wildlife sanctuaryattracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat. Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. In 1895, the British undertook water resource management plans for the area and started work on a dam and an artificial lake under the auspices of Col. J. Pennycuick. The picturesque lake in the heart of the sanctuary was originally 26 sq km but now spans an area of 55 sq km. This perennial source of water, which initially led to the submersion of large tracts of forestland, slowly attracted wild animals.
It eventually resulted in the adjoining forests being granted protection by the Maharaja of Travancore. Post-1975 Periyar finds itself in the enviable position of being a national park as well as a protected tiger reserve.
The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary is spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest; the Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors all over the world and is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves.