17 BEST WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES & NATIONAL PARKS IN KERALA

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Hill Station | Lake & Backwater | Wildlife

At a distance of 54 km from Idukki, 143 km from Kochi, 211 km from Trivandrum, 111 km from Kottayam, 136 km from Madurai and 82 km from Munnar, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India, is located in Thekkady in Idukki district of Kerala. It is located at a distance of 4 km from Kumily on Kerala - Tamilnadu boarder. It is one of the most famous Tourist places in kerala and also a well know summer getaway in Kerala state. Thekkady is also known as one of the scenic Kerala Backwater trips in Periyar lake.

In 1899, the Maharaja of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma has declared the forests around Periyar Lake as a private game reserve to stop the invasion of tea plantations. Further, in 1934, the lake reserve was converted into a game sanctuary, the Nellikkampatty Game .....


Wildlife

At a distance of about 29 Kms from Trivandrum Central Railway Station, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 128 sq. kms at the foot of Western Ghats. The Neyyar Dam built over Neyyar River is located within the Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary is the home of unique species of flora and fauna. From wild boars and elephants to the vast range of medicinal herbs, Neyyar is truly a nature lover's paradise. The crocodile farm, the lion safari park and the deer park are some of the main attraction of the Neyyar Sanctuary. Boating facility is available in the reservoir of the Neyyar Dam.

The best time visit Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary is October to March.


Wildlife

At a distance of 39 Kms from Trivandrum Central Railway Station, The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 53 sq. kms. The Peppara Dam located inside the Wildlife Sanctuary is constructed across Karamana River and spread in an area of 5.82 sq. kms. The reservoir provides drinking water to the city of Trivandrum.

It is accessible from Vithurai on Trivandrum - Ponmudi road. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is merged partially with the Palode reserve and the Kottoor reserve, all the three together forming the whole of the area covered by the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary.

The wildlife species found in the sanctuary are tiger, panther, wild dog, lion tailed macaque, elephant, gaur, sambhar etc. The bird species especially the water birds like darter, little cormorant, pied kingfisher are seen here.


Wildlife

At a distance of 5 kms from Kumarakom Bus Station, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the famous bird sanctuaries in Kerala, situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary is an amazing paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves. This is one of the best places to visit in Kumarakom.

Spread across 14 acres, it is a favorite haunt for many migratory birds. The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, Brahminy kite and the duck, as well as the migratory Siberian crane. Parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons.

The sanctuary is accessible by road & boat from Kumarakom village. It has well laid out paths for moving around within the sanctuary (1-2 hours by foot). The best way to watch the birds is to take a 2 hour boat trip .....


Wildlife | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 62 Kms from Kochi and 13 Kms from Kothamangalam, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary located in Thattekkad is one of the best bird sanctuaries in India. Spread across 25 Sq. Kms at the foothills of Western Ghats in Ernakulam District, the sanctuary lies across the Periyar River. This sanctuary owes much of its fame to Dr. Salim Ali, the famous ornithologist. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Kochi.

The entrance to the sanctuary lies across the bridge at Thattekkad. The guides can be hired at Assistant Wildlife Office near the entrance gate. The sanctuary is home for about 300 species of birds including Peninsular Bay Owl, Ceylon Fragmouth, Malabar Gray Hornbill, Crested Serpaent Eagle, Rose-Billed Roller, etc. There is a deer park inside the sanctuary. Adjacent to the deer park, the Taxidermic Museum showcases the denizens of the region.

Vehicles are not allowed inside sanctuary. Thattekkad is connected by private/public vehicles from Kothamangalam .....


Wildlife

At a distance of 4 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is situated behind the High Court, in center of kochi City.

This mangrove forest is home to many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds. It is a mangrove area consisting of a shallow lake in the middle, with its edges covered with thick vegetation. This water body is connected with famous Kochi backwaters (Vembanad Lake) via a canal. In the heart of this lake, there is a small island with mangrove growth. The Bird Sanctuary plays a significant role in balancing the ecology of Kochi. This Sanctuary is surrounded by the backwaters of Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary houses 41species of birds representing 25 families. The most common bird species found at Mangalavanam are Little Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Heron. Highest crowd of birds is found in the months of May and July.

Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM


Wildlife

At a distance of 78 Kms from Kollam, Shendurny Wildlife Sanctuary is located at the edge of Thenmala Dam's catchment area. It is located at a distance of 20 Kms from Thenmala Dam along the reservoir boundaries.

The sanctuary is spread over 100 sq. kms area and home for wide variety of flora and fauna. This place was declared as wildlife sanctuary in 1984. Te sanctuary is home for fauna like Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Bear and the Lion-tailed Macaque.

The sanctuary is spread across 26 sq. kms artificial lake formed by Thenmala Dam. According to recent archaeological findings, this place has witnessed one of the oldest river valley civilisations in India, even older than Indus valley. Remains of Stone Age culture dating back 5210-4420 BC have been excavated from a large cave near the river. The cave also contains ancient paintings.

Oct to Mar is the best season to visit.


Adventure / Trekking | Wildlife

At a distance of 16 Kms from Munnar, Rajamalai is a tiny hill station located inside Eravikulam National Park on Munnar - Udumalpet Road. The Eravikulam National Park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr. The park is extended into Tamil Nadu and known as Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Trip to Rajamalai is one of the top things to do in Munnar and also a popular place for trekking in Munnar.

This region is famous as the natural habitat of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Nearly half the world's population of this rare species is found in area. Other faunal species found in the park are elephant Gaur, Giant Squirrel, Leopard, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Tiger, and Sambar.

The national park is spread across an area of 97sq km and is a protected area. The park is divided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area, which is in the Rajamalai region. Tourists can take safari .....


Adventure / Trekking | Wildlife

At a distance of 20 Kms from Munnar, Anamudi Peak in Western Ghats is the highest point in South India and also the highest point in India outside the Himalaya-Karakoram, at an altitude of 8842 feet. Anamudi is also famous for Kurunji flowers that blossom once in 12 years. It is one of the places most commonly represented for Munnar Tourism.

Located inside the Eravikulam National Park, it is a famous trekking destination in Kerala which offers breathtaking views of Western Ghats and a lifetime experience with wonderful nature views. This is also one of the top tourist places to visit in munnar. Anamudi, together with the Eravikulam Park, is home to one of the largest surviving populations of Asian elephants, Gaurs and Nilgiri Tahrs. Anamunid is one of the top trekking destinations in Munnar.

The 2-3 days trekking programming starts at foothill of Eravikulam with night halts at tribal hamlets .....


Adventure / Trekking | Wildlife | Waterfall

At a distance of 50 Kms from Munnar and 10 Kms from Marayoor, Thoovanam waterfalls are one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kerala. It is located inside Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary near Kerala - Tamil Nadu boarder. This is one of the best among Munnar places to visit and also a popular trekking trail in Munnar. The falls are formed by Pambar River.

At a distance of 4 Kms from Alampetty Junction Checkpost on Munnar - Udamalpet Road, Thoovanam waterfalls is also a popular trekking route in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. This cascading falls is a wonderful place to enjoy the nature, dip & swim in the crystal clear water of Pambar River.

The waterfall has to be reached by 4 Kms trek from Alampetty Checkpost, which is situated on Munnar - Udalampet highway and connected by buses from Munnar. The Thoovanam waterfalls trip is a guided trek (forest guides must be accompanied) and usually takes 2-3 .....


Wildlife

At a distance of 58 Kms from Munnar & 17 km from Marayoor, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a rain shadow area of the Western Ghats which gets only 48 days of rain per year. It is under consideration by UNESCO for selection as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the prime attractions and top trekking sites in Munnar.

Situated on Kerala-Tamil Nadu boarder, it is bordered with Eravikulam National Park, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home for 34 species of Mammals, including Panthers, Spotted deer, Indian Elephants, Gaur, Tigers, Sambar Deer, Common langur, Bonnet Macaque, Hanuman monkey, Nilgiri Tahr, etc.

There are multiple entry points to the safari - at Kerala boarder checkpost, at Chinnar checkpost and Alampetty checkpost. There are no organized safaris in Chinnar Sanctuary. The sanctuary can be explore by taking different trekking .....


Wildlife

At a distance of 53 km from Palakkad, 40 km from Mannarkad & 102 km from Coimbatore, Silent Valley National Park is an evergreen rain forest located in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats.

Spread across 90 sq. kms, it is one of the smallest national parks in India and the only rain forest in India. This altitude of the park varies between 658 to 2383 meters. The park provides shelter for variety of species including elephants, tigers, leopards, wild boar, sambhar, gaur and the endangered lion-tailed macaque. The park is also heaven for bird watchers and trekkers.

The park is divided into 4 parts, Nilikkal, Sairandhri, Poochipara & Walakkad and only Sairandhri is open for tourists. Mukkali (on Mannarkad-Anaikatti-Coimbatore road) is the entry point to the park where private Jeeps are found to get into the park (guides are also available here). Vehicles are allowed till Sairandhri watchtower (23 Kms from Mukkali). Visitors can trek to Kunthi River from watchtower (1.5 Kms).

Timings: .....


Wildlife

At a distance of 23 Kms from Thrissur, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Peechi village. The sanctuary is spread between Peechi Dam and Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary.

Spread across 125 Sq. Kms, the sanctuary was established in 1958. There are more than 50 species of orchids and medicinal plants in this sanctuary. There are 60 types of birds, 25 types of mammals and 10 types of snakes in the sanctuary. The sanctuary provides shelter for Leopards, Tigers, Sambhar Deer, Elks, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Wild Dogs, Fox, Langurs, etc.

Peechi village is the entry point to the sanctuary. Forest department arranges trekking into the sanctuary. The trekking is recommended only for the experienced trekkers. October to March is the best time to visit. Bookings can be made at Wildlife Warden at Peechi (Ph: 0487-2699017). Forest department does not arrange Jeep Safaris at this sanctuary.


Wildlife

At a distance of 34 Kms from Thrissur, Chimmony WLS is located in Echippara village, near Varandarappilly town. The sanctuary is spread around Chimmony Dam. This is one of the popular weekend getaways from Kochi.

Established in 1958, the sanctuary is spread over 100 Sq. Kms on the Nelliyampathy slopes of Western Ghats. It is bordered with Peechi-Vazhahi Wildlife Sanctuary. The entry point into the sanctuary is at Echipara checkpost (guides can be hired at checkpost). Forest department organizes trekking programs - short (3 Hrs - Rs. 250), half-day (Rs. 400) & full-day (Rs. 800). Bamboo rafting is also offered from Inspection Bungalow (2 Hrs - 100 per person). Elephants, Sambar are most common fauna. There are 200 species of birds and 100 species of butterflies in the sanctuary.

Sanctuary timings are 6 AM to 6 PM. Overnight stay is allowed with prior permission. Basic accommodation is available at Inspection Bungalow. For all bookings, contact Wildlife Warden at Peechi (Ph: .....


Wildlife

Established in 1973, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. The sanctuary is bordered with Nagarhole WLS & Bandipur WLS in Karnataka and Mudumalai WLS in Tamilnadu. Occupying an area of 345 sq km, Wayanad WLS is the second largest WLS in Kerala and is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary was set up with an objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region with due consideration to the general life style of tribes and others whose lives are dependent on the forest. The sanctuary is divided into two separate parts, known as Upper Wayanad WLS and Lower Wayanad WLS.

Lower Wayanad WLS at Muthanga is known as Muthanga Wildlife Range, it is 38 Km from Kalpetta and 15 Km from Sulthan Bathery. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, .....


Wildlife

At a distance of 39 kms from Kalpetta, 12 kms from Irupu Falls and 12 kms from Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1973 and brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. The sanctuary is bordered with Nagarhole WLS & Bandipur WLS in Karnataka and Mudumalai WLS in Tamilnadu. Occupying an area of 345 sq. km, Wayanad WLS is the second largest WLS in Kerala and is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary was set up with an objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region with due consideration to the general life style of tribes. The sanctuary is divided into two separate parts, known as Upper Wayanad WLS and Lower Wayanad WLS.

Upper Wayanad WLS at Tholpetty is known as Tholpetty Wildlife Range, it is located 39 Km from .....


Wildlife

At a distance of 55 Kms from Pollachi, 91 Kms from Palakkad and 96 Kms from Coimbatore, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Palakkad district of Kerala. It is under consideration by the UNESCO for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Sprawling over 285 Sq. Kms, it is situated adjacent to the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. Besides being an abode of elephants, wild boar, sambar, gaur, crocodiles and a few tigers and panthers, it has rich diversity of flora and fauna.

Anappadi is the entry point to Sanctuary (all bookings have to be made here). The headquarters for Sanctuary is Thunakadavu (8 Kms from Anappadi & 9 Kms from Parambikulam Dam). There is a tree-house in the Reserve Forest area in Thunakadavu & Parambikulam which has to be booked in advance. Watch towers are available at Anappadi & Zungam (5 Kms from Thunakadavu). Trekking is allowed with prior permission.

Thunakadavu is connected by Bus from .....

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