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Periyar literally means ?big river? and is the name of the largest river in Kerala. This is the most important river for Kerala with respect to water supply, hydroelectric energy and support to the natural ecology around it. The river originates in the Western Ghats on the state border of Tamil Nadu to the east and most of its water flows westward into Kerala. The Periyar Tiger Reserve and the Periyar National Park, both are located in Thekkady, in the Cardamom Hills, which lie collectively in the Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts of Kerala. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary includes the Tiger and Elephant reserves and has an area of almost 357 sq miles or 925 sq kilometers. The region is one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world, in the Western Ghats and is home to a high concentration of endangered and endemic species of plants, mammals, reptiles and insects. The Periyar region is famous for being the origin of the Periyar and the sacred Pembu Rivers and is at an average height of 1000 meters from the lea level. The highest point in Periyar is the Kottamalai Peak at 2019 meters from the sea level. This region is famous for its untouched evergreen forests and protected wildlife and these same forests are known for various spices that grow here in the wild. The Sanctuary and the National Park is now gaining momentum as the eco-tourism and nature trekking destinations in south India.