17 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks in Kerala

Hill Station | Wildlife | Lake & Backwater

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, especially for wildlife enthusiasts. Situated about 82 km from Munnar, 143 km from Kochi, and 211 km from Trivandrum, it is one of the must include places in Kerala tour packages.

Established in the year 1950, the sanctuary is spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is a thick evergreen forest. The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. Among the top tourist places in Kerala, Thekkady is famous for Asian Elephants, Tigers, Gaurs, Sambars, Lion-tailed Macaques, Nilgiri Langurs, Wild Boars, Spotted Deer, Nilgiri Tahr, etc. This is the only sanctuary in India where you can watch wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat from the lake. The main attraction of the sanctuary is a group of wild elephants that come to play in the lake.

Thekkady offers elephant rides, jeep safari, boating in the lake, tiger trails, and forest treks. Murikkady, Chellar Kovil, Anakkara, Mangala Devi Temple, Suruli Falls, and Pullumedu are the popular places to visit as part of Thekkady packages.

Wildlife | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 16 km from Munnar, Eravikulam National Park is a protected wildlife reserve located in Munnar. Situated on Munnar - Udumalpet Road, it is one of the popular national parks in Kerala, and among the must visit places during Munnar tour.

The Eravikulam National Park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr. Earlier, the area was managed as a game preserve by the Kanan Devan Hills Produce Company. The government of Kerala resumed control in 1971 and declared the Eravikulam-Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975 and became a National Park in 1978.

The national park is spread across an area of 97sq. km and is a protected area. The park is extended into Tamil Nadu and is known as Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. 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 the area. Other faunal species found in the park are elephant Gaur, Giant Squirrel, Leopard, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Tiger, and Sambar. It is one of the beautiful places to see Neelkurnji flowers in South India as part of your wildlife tour in India.

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 and trekking ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 5 km from Kumarakom Bus Station, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a protected reserve situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, this is one of the best places of wildlife in Kerala, and among the must-visit places during your Kumarakom trip.

Spread across 14 acres, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an amazing paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields, and coconut groves. It is one of the best sanctuaries near Kochi, the bird sanctuary, an ornithologist's paradise is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. In addition, visitors can get thrilled by the native kingfishers ablaze in psychedelic colours, experience a walk under rookeries of egrets and night herons or lone golden-backed woodpeckers and even delight in the acrobatics of the paradise fly-catchers.

Regarded as one of the must-visit places of sightseeing in Kumarakom, the sanctuary is accessible by road & boat from Kumarakom village. It has well-laid 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 around the sanctuary through country boats available ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 53 km from Palakkad, & 102 km from Coimbatore, Silent Valley National Park is a national park located in the northeast corner of Palakkad district in Kerala. It is one of the famous national parks in Kerala, and among the top Palakkad tourist places.

Silent Valley National Park is a beautiful representation of the last remaining rain-forest of Kerala. Historically it is a paradigm of people's movement to protect the forest. In 1914, Silent Valley forests were declared as Reserved Forest. It was declared as National Park in 1984 and formally inaugurated in the year 1985. Till 1921, Silent Valley was part of the South Malabar Forest Division with headquarters at Nilambur. In 1921, it came under the control of the Palakkad Forest Division and managed so until 1988.

Silent Valley was called 'Sairandhrivanam' as it was the place where Sairandhiri (the secret identity donned by Panchali, from the epic Mahabharata) hid along with her five husbands, the Pandavas, during their exile. The Kunthippuzha River which feeds the entire forest was named after Kunthi, the mother of the Pandavas.

Initially, the park has only 89.52 sq. km area that forms the core zone of the National Park while in 2007, an area of 148 sq. km was added to this as a buffer zone. It is one of the smallest national parks in India and among the must-include ...

Wildlife

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 ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 14 km from Sulthan Bathery and 39 km from Kalpetta, Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, is a sanctuary and Elephant Reserve in the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is one of the top places of wildlife in Kerala, and among the best places to visit in Wayanad.

Established in 1973, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. The sanctuary is bordered with Nagarhole National Park, 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 to conserve the biological heritage of the region with due consideration to the general lifestyle of tribes and others whose lives are dependent on the forest. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri sub-cluster, including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

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. The Reserve is home to a small population of tigers, Elephants, Jungle Cats, Panthers, Civet Cats, ...

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 23 km from Thrissur, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected sanctuary located near Peechi village. It is one of the prominent places of wildlife in Kerala, and among the must-include places in Thrissur sightseeing tour.

Spread across 125 sq. km, the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1958. It is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani Dams. It is part of the Palapilli-Nelliampathy forests and forms the northern boundary of the Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary.

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. The Forest Department arranges trekking into the sanctuary and is recommended only for experienced trekkers. October to March is the best time to visit.

Bookings can be made at Wildlife Warden at Peechi (Ph: 0487-2699017).

Timings: 8 M - 5 PM

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 and among the popular wildlife sanctuaries in India.

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: 0487-2699017). Best season to visit is Sep-Mar.

Wildlife | Nature & Scenic

At a distance of 13 km from Kothamangalam, and 62 km from Kochi, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a protected area located at Thattekkad near Kochi, Kerala. Also known as Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, it is one of the best bird sanctuaries in India, and among the major places to visit as part of Kochi tour packages.

Spread across 25 Sq. km at the foothills of Western Ghats, the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary was established in 1983 and is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Lies across the Periyar River, this sanctuary owes much of its fame to Dr. Salim Ali, the famous ornithologist. His famous survey of Travancore in the 1930s led to the formation of this modern-day paradise for avian life. This is one of the popular places to visit near Kochi.

The sanctuary is home to about 300 species of birds including Peninsular Bay Owl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Gray Hornbill, Crested Serpent Eagle, Rose-Billed Roller, etc. It also boasts of over 28 mammal species and over 9 species of reptiles. The place offers one of the best boating options in River Periyar. A brief ride on the river might take you close to cormorants, kingfishers, and many other birds, which feed off fish and other small creatures in the water.

There is a deer park inside the sanctuary. Adjacent to the deer park, the Taxidermic Museum showcases the natives of the region. ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 78 km from Kollam, Shendurny Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in the Kollam district of Kerala. Located at the edge of Thenmala Dam's catchment area in the Western Ghats, it is one of the lesser-known wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, and among the major places to visit as part of Kollam holiday packages.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary comes under the control of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. It was established in the year 1984 and comprises 172 sq. km. The name is a corruption of the Chengurinji, a tree endemic to the region (Gluta travancorica). The sanctuary is a valley of green splendour acclaimed for its rich biodiversity lying on either side of the Shendurney river.

The sanctuary is spread across 26 sq. km artificial lake formed by Thenmala Dam. According to recent archaeological findings, this place has witnessed one of the oldest river valley civilizations in India, even older than the 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.

Among the top Kollam places to visit, the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is a treasure house of plant diversity. About 1257 species of flowering plants belonging to more than 150 families are reported from this ...

Wildlife | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 20 km from Munnar, Anamudi Peak is a mountain peak situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala near Munnar. It is the highest point in India outside the Himalaya-Karakoram, and among the popular places of trekking in Kerala.

Located at an altitude of 8842 feet, Anamudi Peak is the highest point in South India, and among the must-visit Munnar tourist places. Located inside the Eravikulam National Park, it is a famous trekking destination in Kerala which offers breathtaking views of the Western Ghats. Anamudi, together with the Eravikulam Park, is home to one of the largest surviving populations of Asian elephants, Gaurs, and Nilgiri Tahrs. Anamudi is also famous for Kurunji flowers that blossom once in 12 years.

The 2-3 days trekking programming starts at the foothill of Eravikulam with night halts at tribal hamlets inside the forest. Taking prior permission from Wildlife authorities is mandatory before starting the trek to Anamudi Peak during your Munnar tour. It is advisable to take guided tours from travel agents in Munnar, who will provide food, guide, accommodation, permissions, pick up / drop, and all other facilities.

In order to just view the Anamudi Peak from a distance, visitors can take the guided minibus tour of Eravikulam National Park which will take to the viewpoint that offers ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 18 km from Iritty and 58 km from Kannur, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Valayamchal village in the Kannur district of Kerala. This is the northernmost wildlife sanctuary of Kerala and among the prime places to visit near Kannur as part of wildlife tour in India.

Established in 1984, the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the northwest slopes of the Western Ghats contiguous with the forests of the Coorg district of Karnataka. It was formed by carving out areas from the Odanthode Malavaram of Thalassery special division and the Kottiyoor Reserve Forest of Wayanad Forest Division. The sanctuary covers 55 sq. km of tropical and semi-evergreen forests. The headquarters of the sanctuary is near Iritty. It is one of the best places of sightseeing in Kannur.

The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is among the finest places of wildlife in Kerala. The tropical forests of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary support diverse plant and animal life. About 23 species of mammals spotted here include Sloth Bear, Mouse Deer, Elephant, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, and Gaur. Leopards, Tigers, and other Wild Cats are also present though they are hard to be sighted on a typical sanctuary visit as part of Kannur sightseeing packages. Besides, the ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 34 km from Munnar, Mathikettan Shola National Park is a national park at Poopara village of Udumbanchola taluk in Kerala. It is one of the protected reserves in Kerala and among the best places to visit in Munnar.

The Mathikettan tract was notified as a Reserve Forest by the Travancore Government in 1897. Some parts of the land, before becoming a national park, had been leased out for the production of Cardamom. It was declared as a national park in 2003 to protect the wildlife and rich biodiversity of the area. The Shola forest in the area is bestowed with geological fauna and flora and geomorphological wealth. Still, certain parts of the forest are used to cultivate cardamom.

The name Mathikettan has been derived from a Tamil word which refers to 'mind confuser'. It has been so named as the paths inside the forest is quite confusing and one who enters the park can easily get lost, according to the local folks. Three streams namely Uchillkuthi Puzha, Mathikettan Puzha, and Njandar being the tributaries of Panniyar, originate from the hill ranges of Mathikettan. The park houses evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, shola grasslands, and semi-evergreens.

Covered an area of 12.82 sq. km, the park is a biodiversity hotspot and plays a vital role in safeguarding wildlife in the region and also being a very important elephant corridor in South India. Elephants visit Mathikettan shola from the Munnar Division become trapped between the Bodinayakkanur ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 32 km from Ponmudi and 40 km from Trivandrum, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located near Ponmudi in the Trivandrum district of Kerala. It is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, and among the must-visit sightseeing places in Ponmudi.

The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary derives its name from Peppara Dam which is commissioned in 1983 to augment the drinking water supply to Thiruvananthapuram city and suburban areas. The area was formerly a part of the Paruthippally range of the Thiruvananthapuram territorial division. Considering the ecological significance of the area, it was declared a sanctuary in 1983. The terrain is undulating with elevation ranging from 100 m to 1717 m. The area of the sanctuary is 75 sq. km with tropical moist evergreen forests and myristica swamps. It consists of part of the Palode reserve (24 sq. km) and part of the Kottoor reserve (29 sq. km).

Open all year round, the sanctuary rich in flora and fauna offers a natural habitat to around 43 species of mammals, 233 species of birds, 46 species of reptiles, 13 species of amphibians, and 27 species of fishes. Tiger, leopard, sloth bear, elephant, sambar (deer), bonnet macaque, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri tahr are the main mammals found in the sanctuary. One can found birdlife like small sunbird, Malabar grey hornbill, white-bellied ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 12 km from Nagarhole National Park, 12 km from Irupu Falls, and 39 km from Kalpetta, Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, is a sanctuary and Elephant Reserve in the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is one of the must include places in India wildlife tours and among the best Wayanad tourist places.

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 Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Among the best sanctuaries near Kozhikode, the sanctuary is divided into two separate parts, known as Upper Wayanad WLS ...

Wildlife

At a distance of 5 km from Topslip, 40 km from Pollachi, 80 km from Palakkad, and 82 km from Coimbatore, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected tiger reserve located in Palakkad district of Kerala. Situated on Tamil Nadu - Kerala Border, it is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, and among the top places to visit near Pollachi.

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, formerly known as Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, is a 391 Sq. km protected area in Chittur taluk of Palakkad district of Kerala. The wildlife sanctuary, which had an area of 285 sq. km was established in 1973. It is in the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills. The sanctuary was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2010. Including the buffer zone, the tiger reserve has a span of 643.66 Sq. km. The Western Ghats, Anamalai sub-cluster, including all of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the top places of wildlife near Coimbatore, and among the must include places in Pollachi tour.

Parambikulam is one of the biodiversity hot spots in ...

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