Sprawling in a good 777 square km area that includes low-rising hills, lakes, rivers this is among the few sanctuaries that are world recognized for their bio diversity. Its tropical rain forests shelter majestic elephants, white-eyed tigers, leopards, barking deer, gaur, many kinds of reptiles and great variety of birds. The most remarkable feature of this park is the manner in which poaching is replaced by protection.
The tourism department here has killed two birds with one stone i.e. through a very smart Eco tourism project they have roped in the poachers to become guides in the sanctuary. Without spending anything they have got excellent guides and at the same time curbed the menace of poaching. A comfortable way to view the wildlife is going for a boat safari in the Periyar lake (a manmade lake as the tree stumps jutting out of water) where you can see animals closely but safely as they come to the lake for taking a dip or a sip. The forest department arranges elephant rides and trekking, night trekking, camping and bamboo rafting inside the sanctuary. There are 2D/1N or 3D/2N programs.