Attractions of Kerala - God's Own Country

Wildlife of Kerala


Culture of Kerala


WILDLIFE OF KERALA


The Wild & The Wonderful

Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks of Kerala

Nestled in the lush forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala are twelve wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks. Each one home to rare animals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants. From the endangered Nilgiri Tahr to the Lion-tailed Macaque. From the Atlas Moth - the largest in the world, to the Travancore Evening Brown, one of the rarest butterflies in the world. From the Neelakurinji that blooms once every twelve years to Podocarpus Walichianus, the only South Indian conifer...

And skirting these exotic destinations are some of the most delightful trekking trails in the country. At Wayanad, Nelliampathy, Munnar, Thekkady, Agasthyarkoodam...Some of them adventurously exciting. Others enchanting in equal measure. All washed in the spice-scented air of endless acres of plantations. Tea, coffee, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, oranges, mangoes...

Welcome to a world of spellbinding experiences. Welcomes to experience s as breathtaking as one picturesque land. Welcome to the wild and the wonderful in God’s Own Country.

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Thiruvananthapuram District)

Location : 30 km from Thiruvananthapuram City; Area: 128 sq.km.Core:60sq.km. Topography: Rugged terrain with rushing brooks, flat meadows and gentle to steep slopes 90m to 1868 m high.

The Sanctuary stretches from Neyyatinkara taluk to the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.It is the drainage basin of the Neyyar River and its tributaries – Mullayar and Kallar – which originate in Agasthyarkoodam, the second highest peak in Kerala (1868 m).The Sanctuary was established in 1958.Major tourist attractions are crocodile farm, lion safari park, boat rides on the reservoir and trekking.Agasthyarkoodam,part of the Sahyadri mountain ranges, teems with wildlife and the forests at the peak abound in rare medicinal herbs and brilliantly colored orchids. A bird watcher’s paradise, this legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kotoor near Neyyar Dam and Bonacaud which is 28 km away.

Wildlife Population : Elephant,gaur,sambar,barking deer, wild boar, Indian porcupine, three-striped squirrel,tiger,Malabar Squirrel, lion tailed macaque, mouse deer, bonnet macawue,Nilgiri Tahr,Nilgiri langur etc.

How to Reach : Nearest Airport is Thiruvananthapuram (32 km).Nearest railhead: Thiruvananthapuram, connected with Chennai, Madurai, Delhi, and Kashmir.Tourist can travel by road from Thiruvananthapuram.

Hotels in Neyyar : The youth hostel and rest house at Neyyar, The inspection bungalow of the forest department, The dormitory of the irrigation department, Agasthya House (KTDC), The rest house at Meenmutty.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary( Thiruvananthapuram District)

Location : 50 km northeast of Thiruvananthapuram city in Nedumangad taluk; Area: 53 sq.km; Topography: Hilly terrain 100 m to 1717 m above sea level.

The catchment area of the Peppara Dam constructed across the Karamana River, was declared a Sanctuary in 1983.There are 13 tribal settlements in the Sanctuary – 11 of them in the Athirumala section and 2 in the Thodayar section.

Wildlife Population : Elephant,gaur,sambar,barking deer, wild boar,tiger,panther,wild dog, Malabar Squirrel, lion tailed macaque, mouse deer,Nilgiri langur etc.

How to Reach : The Sanctuary is accessible from Vithura on the Thiruvananthapuram – Ponmudi road. Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram (55 km). Nearest railhead: Thiruvananthapuram, connected with Chennai, Madurai, Delhi, Kashmir. Tourist can travel by road from Thiruvananthapuram.

Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary (Kollam District)

Location : Pathanapuram taluk, 66 km from Kollam on the Kollam – Shencotta road; Area: 100.32 sq.km; Lake: 26 sq.km;Topography:Hilly terrain 100 m to 1717 m above sea level.

The Shenduruny forest was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984.The name Shenduruny comes from an endemic species of tree called Chenkurunny (Gluta travancoria), mainly confined on this region. The artificial lake formed by the Parappar Dam built across the Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers occupies the central region of the Sanctuary. Recent archaeological studies have revealed that Shenduruny was the cradle of one of the oldest river valley civilization in India – one older than Indus Valley(4400-3700 BC).Remains of a Stone Age culture belonging to the Mesolithic period, dating back 5210-4420 BC,have been excavated from a large cave at the northwestern part of the Shenduruny River. The cave which is large enough to hold 20 people at a time has painting similar to the Mesolithic paintings found in the caves of central India.

Wildlife Population : Macaca radiata,bonnet macaque, gaur (Indian bison),sambar,barking deer, wild boar, Indian giant squirrel, three striped palm squirrel, lion- tailed macaque, mouse deer(Indian chevrotain),Nilgiri langur,elephant,tiger,leopard etc.

How to Reach : Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram; nearest railway station: Thenmala connected with Chennai, Madurai, Delhi, Kashmir. Tourist can travel by road from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam.

Periyar Tiger Reserve (Idukki District)

Location : 190 km west of Kochi or Cochin; Area: 777 sq.km; Core: 350sq.km; Periyar lake: 26 sq.km; Evergreen forest: 360 sq.km; Topography:900 m to over 2000 m above sea level.

This is one of the most prestigious regions on the high ranges of the Western Ghats.One of the world’s most fascinating natural wildlife sanctuaries; the Periyar Reserve is noted for its geomorphology, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscape. The drive to Thekkady itself is enchanting as the road winds through tranquil countryside, rich plantations and thick jungles. The Sanctuary declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 under the Project Tiger Scheme, attract travelers from all over the world. This is the only sanctuary in India where the wild elephant can be observe and photographed at close quarters. There are two watch towers in the Periyar forest. Predominantly an evergreen biotope with great scenic beauty and rich assemblage of flora and fauna, Periyar epitomizes the opulent ecological and cultural diversity typical of tropical rain forests.Sabarimala the famous forest shrine of Lord Ayyappa, visited by around 5 million people annually, is situated on the western flank of the reserve.Periyar is a popular destination for thousands of tourist and nature lovers.

The Periyar Lake: Formed by the construction of the dam across the Mullaperiyar River in 1895, the lake harbors within itself a unique aquatic eco system. The numerous little islets in the lake are witness to the intricate inherent interrelationship among the terrestrial aquatic and subterranean life forms. A boat cruise on the lake is perhaps the best way to watch the wildlife in the reserve.

Tourist attractions : ● Boating on the Periyar Lake ● Elephant and bullock cart rides at the boating landing ● Snack bar at the boat landing ● Nature Walk ● The Periyar Tiger Trail ● Border Hiking ● Bamboo Rafting ● Jungle Patrol ● Tribal Heritage ● Jungle Inn ● The Bamboo Grove ● Green Mansions.

Wildlife Population : 35 species including the wild elephant,tiger,panther,wild dog,gaur,Nilgiri langur,sambar deer, barking deer, wild boar, sloth bear,Nilgiri tahr,the endangered lion tailed macaque,otter,Malabar gaint squirrel,civet,leopard etc.

How to Reach : The entry point to the Reserve is Thekkady,which is accessible by good roads from the airports of Madurai (145 km),Kochi (190 km) and Thiruvananthapuram (272 km).The nearest railhead is Kottayam (114 km).The nearest town is Kumily (4 km).

Hotels in Periyar : Lake Palace(KTDC),Spice Village,Aranya Nivas (KTDC),Cardamom County,Taj Garden Retreat, The Hotel Tree Top, Shalimar Spice Garden Resort,Periyar House (KTDC),Ambady,Leela Pankaj,Silver Crest, Tabernacle Resorts, Tabernacle Tourist Home, Hotel Kumily Gate,Micharl’s Inn,Highrange Residency,Revathy International, Lake Queen,Mukkumcka Regent,El Paradiso Home Stay.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary (Idukki District)

Location : 40 km from Thodupuzha town; Area: 77 sq.km; Area: 77 sq.km: Topography: 450 – 748 m above sea level.

Spread over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district, the Sanctuary was formed in 1976.The Idukki arch dam, the first major hydroelectric project in Kerala is situated here. The 33 sq.km.scenic lake around the Sanctuary – the Idukki reservoir is formed by the three dams Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu.

Wildlife Population : Elephant, der, bear, leopard, tiger, wild pig etc.

Hotels in Idukki : Forest inspection bungalow at Vellappara, Rest house of the PWD, Inspection bungalow at Vazhathoppu of Electricity Board,Edassery Resort Kattapana, Private hotels at Cheruthoni, Kattappana, Thodupuzha etc.

Eravikulam National Park (Idukki District)

Location : Devikulam taluk of idukki district, 15 km north of Munnar; Area: 97 sq.km; Topography: 1400 m to 2694 m above sea level.Anamudi (2694m), the highest peak south of the Himalayas is on the southern side of the Park.

Established in 1975 to protect the Nilgiri Tahr, the Eravikulam Sanctuary was declared a National Park in 1978 considered its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological and zoological significance. The park is breathtaking beautiful and comparable to the Alpine ranges. This land of the Neelakurinji is 7 km from the Rajamalai hills.

Wildlife Population : Tiger, Panther and wild dog are usually sighted in the open grasslands and shoal woods. Civet cats live in the shoals, Nilgiri langur and wild boar are generally found in the shoal forests and their fringes. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is seen in the park. Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr live here (1317 of them according to the 1991 census).

How to Reach : Kochi (135 km) and Kottayam (148 km) by road.Nearest airport: Kochi (Cochin); Nearest railhead: Aluva (115 km from Munnar). Tourist can travel by road from other part of Kerala.

Hotels in Munnar : Tea County,Chalot Gate Resort, Windermere Resorts, Abad Copper Castle, Mist Valley Rsort,Edassery East End Hotel,Gigh Range Club, Sterling Resorts,Issac’s Residency, Star Homes Igloo,Suma Status Resorts, Willow Hill Presidency, Royal Retrat,Munnar Inn, Hotel Hill View, Elysium Gardens,Pooppada Resorts, Spring Dale Resorts, Riverview Tourist Home,S N Tourist Home,Misha Holiday Home, Hilltop Tourist Home, Oak Fields –Leisure Hotel, Six Holiday Resorts,Deshadan Mountain Resort, Club Mahindra,Olive Brook, Fort Munnar – Hill Station Leisure Hotel, Cloud 9 Blackberry Hills, The Siena Village.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (Idukki District)

Location : Located in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats,43 km north east of Munnar.;Area:90.422 sq.km;Topography:500 m – 2400 m above sea level. Highest peak: Kottakombumalai (2144 m), Vellaikal malai (1863 m), Viriyoottu malai (1845 m).

The Sanctuary occupies the forested region on either side of the Marayoor – Udumalpet road. This is the second habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel of India. The location of the sanctuary offers the unique advantage of watching its fascinating wildlife at close quarters from the road without venturing deep into the jungle. The Marayoor sandal forest and the beautiful Thoovanam waterfalls are located here.

Wildlife Population : Elephant, gaur, spotted deer, panther, sambar, the endangered giant grizzled squirrel, Hanuman langur, rabbit etc.

How to Reach : Nearest airports are Coimbatore and Kochi (Cochin); Nearest railway stations: Pollachi (60 km) and Aluva (200 km). Tourist can travel by road from other part of Kerala.

Hotels in Chinnar : Private lodges and Government guest houses at Munnar, Marayoor and Udumalpet, Chandana Royal Resort, Hotel Anai Mudi, Chandana Annexe and Chandana Residency.

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary (Ernakulam District)

Location : 13 km northeast of Kothamangalam along the Pooyamkutty Road; Area: 25.16 sq.km; Topography: 35 m – 523 m above sea level. The highest point is Njayapilli peak (523 m).

The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, constituted in 1983, occupies the catchments area of the Bhoothathankettu Dam. The only one of its kind in Kerala, this Sanctuary was designed by Dr.Salim Ali, the renowned ornithologist. He is reported to have identified 167 bird species and his student – Dr.Sugathan, 207.In addition, the Bombay Natural History Society has identified 253 species here. The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary attracts nature lovers from all over the world.

Wildlife Population : Leopard, bear, porcupine etc.Teh elephant is an occasional visitor.

How to Reach : Nearest railway station is Aluva (48 km).Nearest airport is at Kochi (71 km).

Hotels in Thattekkad : PWD rest house near the dam, Birds Lagoon Village Resort, Private Lodges at Kothamangalam.

Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary (Thrissur District)

Location : The Sanctuary lies in the western valley of Nelliampathy in the Mukundapuram taluk of Thrissur District; Area: 75 sq.km; Topography: 40 m – 1116 m above sea level. Highest point: Punda peak (1116 m) on the eastern side.

Part of it is adjacent to the Peechi – Vazhani Sanctuary and the rest to the Parambikulam Sanctuary. An artificial lake has been formed here by the dam across the Chimmini River. The Sanctuary, which was established in 1984, occupies the watershed areas of the Kunumali and Mupliyam rivers and is encircled by hills.

Wildlife Population : Leopard, elephant, bear, wild pig, wild bison, tiger etc.

How to Reach : Amballoor (12 km) on the Ernakulam – Thrissur road.Nearest rail and bus stations are at Thrissur (35 km).Nearest airport is at Kochi (50 km). Tourist can travel by road from other part of Kerala.

Hotels in Chimmini : Inspection Bungalow near the dam, Private Lodges at Amballoor, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Aluva.

Peechi – Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary (Thrissur District)

Location : This Sanctuary is about 20 km east of Thrissur; Area: 125 sq.km; Topography: Plains and hills 45 m – 900 m above sea level.

Established in 1958 in the catchments area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams with headquarters at Peechi, 15 km away. The Sanctuary is part of the Palappilli – Nelliampathy forests and forms the northern boundary of the Chimmini Sanctuary.

Wildlife Population : 25 types of mammals including carnivores like leopard, tiger, fox etc.and herbivores like elk, deer, barking deer etc; bison and elephant which are seen in the interior forests; spotted deer; and elks in the leaf – shedding forests and meadows.

How to Reach : There is direct buses from Thrissur to Peechi.Nearest railway station: Thrissur.Nearest airport: Kochi (Cochin) – 98 km).

Hotels in Peechi : Rest house and information centre at Peechi, Private Lodges and hotels at Thrissur.

Silent Valley National Park (Palakkad District)

Location : 40 km from Mannarkad in the northeastern corner of Palakkad (Palghat) district; Area:90 sq.km.

The Silent Valley National Park is perhaps the closest to a virgin forest in the entire Western Ghats.It is home to India’s last substantial stretch of tropical evergreen rain forest, and a large number of wild animals, thanks to its difficult terrain and remoteness. The Silent Valley was so called by the group of British men who ventured into the forests over a century ago and found that there were no cycads there.Howerver, the park is seldom silent and the song of the birds and the dense forests give it an inexplicable unique character. Unlike other sanctuaries, viewing wildlife here is difficult because of the dense vegetation.

Wildlife Population : The fauna includes a number of possible new species, a few very primitive animal groups, notably Caecilians and some rare small mammals such as the Peshwa’s bat and hairy winged bat. The valley has a fair representation of all peninsular mammals. Lion – tailed macaque,Nilgiri langur,bonnet macaque,tiger,leopard(panther),leopard cat, jungle cat, fishing cat, common palm civet, small Indian civet, brown civet, ruddy mongoose, stripe necked mongoose, wild dog, sloth bear,otter,flying squirrel, Malabar giant squirrel, Indian pangolin,porcupine,wild boar,sambar,spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, gaur and elephant.

How to Reach : Vehicular transport is allowed only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the Park. The rest of the way has to covered on foot up to the source of the river Kunthipuzha which flows through the valley before merging into Bharathapuzha.Nearest bus station:Mannarkad (32 km).Nearest airport:Coimbatore (115 km).

Hotels in Silent Valley : Rest house of the forest department.

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary (Palakkad District)

Location : Tucked away in the valley between the Anamala ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy ranges of Kerala on the majestic Western Ghats is the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary;Area:285 sq.km;Parambikulam Lake:21.2 sq.km;Thoonacadavu Lake:4.33 sq.km,Parivarippallam Lake :2.89 sq.km;Topography:600 m to 1444 m above sea level. Several streams originate from the hill ranges and flow down westward to join the River Chalakudi.

Three dams have been built here by the Tamil Nadu government under the Parambikulam – Aliyar Project. The reservoir harbours several varieties of aquatic fauna.

Wildlife Population : Bonnet macaque, lion tailed macaque,Nilgiri Langur,loris,tiger,leopard,jungle cat,vivet,mongoose,fox,bear,elephant,gaur,Nilgiri tahr,spotted deer,samnar,barking deer, wild boar,pangoline etc.

How to Reach : Nearest bus stations are Pollachi (60 km) and Parambikulam.Nearest railway station: Pollachi; Nearest airport: Coimbatore (100 km).

Hotels in Parambikulam : Forest rest house at Thoonacadavu,Tree house in the reserve forest area in Thoonacadavu which has to be booked in advance, Hotels in Pollachi and Coimbatore,Banyan Tree Estate,Ambulilllam,Woodhouse,Chital Rest House, Tree Top Rest House, Hornbill Rest House.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Wayanad District)

Location : Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarahole and Bandipur of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu; Topography: 650 m to 1150 m above sea level.

Rich in biodiversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nlgiri Biosphere Reserve, which was established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. The management of the sanctuary lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration to the general life style of the tribal and others who live on the fringes of the forest. These forests also have a historical importance as it was from here that Pazhassi Raja fought the British.

Wildlife Population : Elepahant, tiger, panther, jungle cat, civet cat, monkey, wild dog, bison, deer, bear etc.Elephant occupies prime position. Interstate seasonal migration of elephant is common. The tiger population in the sanctuary is fairly good.

How to Reach : Good roads and rails connect the sanctuary with Kozhikode, Mysore and Ooty – all within a 100 km radius. The nearest airport is Kozhikode.Sulthan Bathery, Tholpetty and Muthanga are important centres of the Sanctuary.

Hotels in Wayanad : Green magic Nature Resort, Jungle park,Vythiri Resort,Greeshmam Resort, Rain Country Resort, Stream Valley Cottages,Edakkal Hermitage, The Resort,Dwaraka,Royal Palm Holiday Home, Green Gates Hotel, Pachyderm Palace, Hill View resort,Pranavam,Tranquil,Chakalackal Tourist Home, Hotel Haritagiri,PPS Tourist Home,Seagot Properties, Boys Town.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (Kannur District)

Location : Established in 198, the Sanctuary is situated nest to the Central State Farm at Aralam in Kannur district; Area: 55 sq.km; Topography: 50 m to 1145 m above sea level.

Wildlife Population : Deer, boar, elephant, sloth bear, sambar, bison, leopard, jungle cat and different types of squirrel.

How to Reach : Nearest bus station: Thalasseri (45 km), Kannur (45 km); Nearest railway station: Thalsseri; Nearest airport: Kozhicode (113 km from Irutty).

Hotels in Aralam : Private lodges and hotels are available at Irutty, near the Sanctuary.

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