Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, declared as a tiger reserve in 1978, is situated in Thekkady on the Western Ghats. This sanctuary is spread over 777 sq km and is regarded as one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Apart from tigers, the reserve is home to a variety of animals like wild elephants, common langur, Nilgiri langur, bison, leopards, lion-tailed macaque, gaur, sambar and giant squirrel. The ideal time for visiting this sanctuary is between October and June. Over 1965 species of flowering plants, 35 species of mammals, 265 species of birds and many species of reptiles, fish and amphibians can be spotted at this place.