Bhaskar Sivva, niza.
Thekkady, better known as Tiger Reserve has a rich diversity of vertebrates. The diverse forest types, vayals, marshes, and a large aquatic habitat together support 62 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, 27 species of amphibians, and 38 species of fish.
The invertebrate fauna of Periyar is not well documented, though the predominant invertebrate orders are Protozoa, Annelida, Arthropoda and Mollusca. 160 butterfly species have been listed.
Among the 62 species of mammals, many are rare, endemic and endangered. Periyar is prime elephant country and large herds are often sighted at the lake fringes. There is an estimated population of 900-1000 animals which is likely to overlap with the population in the adjoining forest areas.
A much disproportionate sex ratio of the elephant is found in Periyar and adult tuskers are far too few. Gaur, among the largest of bovines, occurs in all types of habitats. Gaur have staged a remarkable comeback after their near demise due to a rinderpest outbreak in the 70s.
Sambar, the largest deer in India, are extensively distributed and constitute the principal prey base of tiger and wild dog. Wild pig has wide distribution throughout the park. Sometimes, these animals invade agricultural lands often leading to man-wildlife conflicts. Small relict populations of the highly endangered Nilgiri Tahr are found in the high altitude grasslands of Mangaladevi. Four of the five primate species found in the Western Ghats are well represented in Periyar. While the Nilgiri Langur enjoys a wide distribution in the moist forests, the highly endangered Lion Tailed Macaque are confined to the dense evergreen canopies. Malabar Giant Squirrel is common in the area. Though the presence of the endangered species, Small Travancore Flying Squirrel, is recorded from Periyar, the Large Flying Squirrel is more frequently seen.
Salim Ali’s fruit bat reported from Periyar adjoining the High Wavys. It is an endemic and endangered species, considered to be among the rarest of bats.
The Tiger is found in all types of habitats though their density is much less in the evergreen forests. Though sighting one is difficult because of the thick vegetation, evidences like pugmarks, clawings, and scats are located throughout the reserve. The population is estimated to be between 35–40.
The Striped-necked Mongoose is not uncommon, found in the semi-evergreen and evergreen forests.
Nilgiri Marten is an extremely rare and endemic mustellid, though recently sighted a number of times.
Chellarkovil (15 km). This sleepy little village slops to the famous grapes, coconut, cotton and vegetable growing areas of Tamil Nadu. Abundant scenic beauty and a silver cascade add to the charm of the place.
Grampi (24 km). Grampi is also known as Parunthupara. Because of the panoramic view from its high peaks, rocky plains and hillside it has become a tourist centre.
Mangala Devi Temple. people are allowed to visit only once in a year during chitra pournami(hindu festival) and is situated 15 km inside the forest
Mount (18 km). Velvet lawns and the cool pleasant non-polluted continuous breeze make the sojourn on the mount a memorable experience to the tourist. From its top one can enjoy the green beauty of the Periyar Tiger Reserve with the lake on the one side and vast tea plantations on the other side.
Panchalimedu. It is considered to be the place where Pancha Pandavas lived during the exile forest life (Vanavasa Kalam in Mahabaratha epics). It is believed that Pancha Pandavas still hide there though nobody can see them, but they can see everybody. The tourist can see there are stones like furniture which are believed to be used by the Pandavas.
Pandikuzhi (5 km). From its mountain top, one can enjoy the sleepy little village with its view of the plains. It is a feast for the eyes.
Pattumala (25 km). It can be called the home of tea plantations. The Velamkanni Church at the top of the fill is a pilgrim center.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Plantations (Murukady (6 km), Odamade (8 km), Vellaramkunnu (10 km)). Tea, Coffee, Cardamom, Pepper, Vanilla growing areas. A walk through the spice plantations of these areas can be a memorable experience.
Pullumadu. The rolling hills, velvet lawns and rare flora and fauna cascading the Holy Shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala and The Makara Jyothi illuminations are the main attractions of this place.
Spring Valley Mountain, Kurisumala. From the top of this hillock, one can have a panoramic view of the lush green woods of Periyar Tiger Reserve, the beautiful Periyar Lake, surrounding Kumily township and of course adjoining Tamil Nadu borders.
Vandanmedu. Vandanmedu is one of the world's largest cardamom auction centers. An excursion through the wide spread cardamom plantations at Vandanmedu is an intoxicating experience.
Wagamon (60 km). The cool mountain air, mist, grass-covered hills, velvet lawns etc amek Wagamon a perfect holiday resort. The chain of three hills Thangal Hills (Muslim name) Murugan Hills (Hindu name) and Kurisumala (Christian name) isa mark of religious harmony.