Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
At a distance of 4 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is a protected sanctuary situated behind the High Court, in the center of Kochi City. It is one of the most ecologically sensitive areas in Kerala, and among the most popular places of sightseeing in Kochi.
Established in 2004, the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is the smallest protected area under the state forest department. Covering over an area of about 2.74 hectares, the sanctuary also houses a shallow tidal lake surrounded by thick mangrove vegetation. The lake is connected with Kochi backwaters by a canal and is home to seven species of fishes. It is the only bird sanctuary in Kerala which is located in Mangrove forests. The word Mangal means mangroves in Portuguese.
The Bird Sanctuary plays a significant role in balancing the ecology of Kochi, hence it is often regarded as the 'green lung of Kochi. This area is a roosting place for many kinds of resident and migratory birds. The sanctuary houses 41species of birds representing 25 families. The most common bird species found at Mangalavanam are common redshank, common greenshank, brahminy kite, white-breasted waterhen, and marsh sandpiper. Visitors also get to see 17 species of butterfly and six species of mammals in the sanctuary. Mammals such as flying-fox, painted bat, Eurasian otter, house rat and three-striped palm squirrel can be seen as part of Kochi sightseeing packages.
The watchtower in the sanctuary gives majestic views of the sanctuary. To attract more visitors to the sanctuary and to spread awareness, Kerala Forest and Wildlife department conducts free nature camps for nature lovers.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is between mid-January and early March.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM