Periyar, in Kerala, is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in south India. Though billed as a tiger reserve, Periyar is really famous for its wild elephants, 100-year-old artificial lake and its setting in the beautiful thickly forested Western ghats. This is not your best shot at spotting the Bengal Tiger considering there are less than 40 of them that inhabit an area of 777sq.km but there's plenty of other animals like the Nilgiri langoor, Nilgiri tahr, bison, deer, antelope and about 700 elephants to make the trip worthwhile. The Periyar Tiger Reserve consists of tropical evergreen, semi- evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Its legal status as a National Park is still pending and only one notification has been issued. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1978 and the first research started in 1991. The results indicate 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes and 112 species of butterflies. The core area is 350 sq.kms. The final notification of the buffer area is pending. The national park and the tiger reserve is rated as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India for wildlife photography, bird watching, elephant herds and tiger watching.