Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

Idukki, once covered with some of the densest evergreen forests in India, has now been seriously denuded as a result of the construction of the Idukki dam in the 60’s. Subsequently, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary came up, extending over Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district and spreading over 77sq km at 450 – 748m above sea level.

The Idukki reservoir formed by three dams-Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu – extending up to 33 sq. kms – forms part of this wildlife sanctuary.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, KeralaElephants, Bison, Sambhar, Deer, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Tiger, Wild boar etc are found here, as also Jungle fowl, Myna, Laughing thrush, Black bulbul, Peafowl, Wood pecker and the King fisher.

Best time to visit :October to May

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve is a fine example of good management of forests. The sanctuary, which was a game reserve, merged with the Forest Department in 1966. It was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 under the Project Tiger scheme. In 1982 the core area of the reserve (350 sq. km.) was notified as National Park.

 

The entire Park covers hills and verdant forests extending over an area of 777 sq. km . It will be no exaggeration to say that Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary Park is one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India. Here, in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience wilderness and abundant wildlife first hand. The uniqueness of this sanctuary is the Periyar lake, an artificial lake, which was created by damming the Periyar river a century ago.

The open grasslands are home to a magnificent variety of animals – the elephant, the bison, Gaur, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Lion-tailed macaque leopards, Jungle cats, Wild dogs and most importantly the tiger.

Best time to visit :October to May

Eravikkulam National Park

It is an ideal place for seeing the biodiversity of high elevation shola-grassland ecosystem. Visitors are taken to Rajamalai in forest dept vehicles and given an opportunity to see all this. Private vehicles are not allowed here. The National Park is usually closed at the time of calving of Nilgiri Tahr which is usually during the early months of every year.

 A sanctuary for the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrious), the Eravikulam National Park stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan devan hills.

Anamudi, the highest peak (2695 m) south of Himalayas, stands majestically in the core area of the national park. The slopes of the hills abound in many kinds of rare flora which include rare terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, and beautiful wild balsams. Important fauna here are the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, leopard, tiger,
Indian bison, etc.

Best time to visit :October to May

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Chinnar is a unique thorny scrub forest in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, about 40 kms from Munnar. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is around 90 sq. kms in area and its rugged undulating terrain has held a special fascination for the adventure traveller. It is the second habitat for the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel (an endangered species) in India.

 

The altitude varies from 500 to 2400 metres and one can sense the drastic variation in the climate and vegetation, since the gradients are quite steep and drastic.The highest peaks are Kottakombumalai (2144 metre), Vellaikal malai (1863m) and Viriyoottu malai (1845 metre). Unlike other forests of Kerala, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during October – November (North – East Monsoons).The forest types comprise thorny scrub forests, dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands.

Best time to visit :October to May

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern state of Kerala in India is spread over the southeast corner of the Western Ghats, and covers a total area of 128 km2   

This is the drainage basin for the Neyyar River and its tributaries – Mullayar and Kallar. The towering peak of Agasthyamalai at an elevation of 1868 meters is a very prominent landmark.it was declared as a sanctuary in 1958, not much was done about wildlife conservation, until 1985, when a separate wildlife wing was set up and as a result, conservation efforts have gathered momentum.

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary serves as a home to over 39 species of preserved and common species of mammals. These include Elephants, Sloth Bears, Nilgiri Tahrs, Gaur, Sambars, Barking Deer, Indian Porcupines and Malabar Squirrels are the predominant animals found here. You can also spot Tigers, Lion-tailed Macaques, Jungle Cats, Wild Boars and Nilgiri Langurs in the park. The sanctuary is an abode for a number of reptiles and avifauna too. Among reptiles Cobras, Vipers, Pythons, Rat Snakes, Flying Snakes and Lizards are commonly found in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of exotic birds, including King Fishers, Indian Cuckoos, White-breasted Water Hen, Little Green Heron, Indian Hill Mynas, Woodpeckers, Gray Jungle Fowl, Little Cormorants, Common Mynas, Darters, Brahminy Kites and Little Egrets etc. Close to the dam, there is a picturesque lake which is ideal for boating activities.

The sanctuary is quite rich in flora and is home to approximately 109 unique species of plants, some of which are known to have medicinal properties. A visit to the sanctuary can surely be a perfect day outing for your family.

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a national wildlife preserve which offers a large number of opportunities to the people who like indulging in activities other than sightseeing. A crocodile farm is located by the sanctuary where you learn how the beasts are bread and taken care of. There is a deer park located in close proximity of the sanctuary. Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its lion Safari Park, which is situated inside the sanctuary. You can always enjoy boating on Neyyar Lake. You can also try trekking on Agastiar Peak, which is really exciting as you come across a variety of small animals during your trek.

Opening Closing Time 8 am to 4 pm

Best time to visit :October to May

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary : is an animal sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala ,India. It has an extent of 344.44 km2 with four ranges namely Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga, Kurichiat and Tholpetty. A variety of large wild animals such as  bison, elephant, deerand ,tiger are found there. There are also quite a few unusual birds in the sanctuary. In particular,peafowl tend to be very common in the area. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. It is bestowed with lush green forests and rich wildlife.This wildlife area houses some of the rare and endangered species of both flora and fauna.

Established in 1973, the sanctuary is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is bounded by protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur ,Karnataka in the northeast, and on the southeast by Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu.

It is part of the Wayanad Plateau and the vegetation is predominantly of the south Indian moist deciduous teak forests. Also, the sanctuary has pastures of the west-coast semi-evergreen trees. The wildlife sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant and one can spot herd of elephants roaming in the area. Elephant rides are arranged by the Kerala Forest Department.
Wayanad has a powerful history. Relicts and edicts found in various parts of Wayanad speak of an important prehistoric era. Historians are of the view that organised human life existed in these parts, at least ten centuries before Christ.

The sanctuary is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000+ km²), including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

The moist deciduous forest of Muthanga is blessed with varieties of trees and other plants. You can sight here maruthi, karimaruthi, rosewood, venteak, vengal etc. Go and get excited with the sight of wild animal like elephant, tiger, panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkeys, wild dogs etc. The sanctuary is also blessed with its endless population of birds like peacocks, babblers, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers, jungle fowls etc.

Wayanad wildlife sanctuary consist of four ranges – Sulthan bathery, Kurichyad, Muthanga and Tholpetty, of which Muthanga and Tholpetty ranges are mostly targeted by the tourists’ to Wayanad. They are separated by plantations. These are two eco-tourism centres in Wayanad wildlife sanctuary. The eco-tourism in these places helps to create conservation awareness in the minds of the travellers and to well maintain the sanctuary and its premises. The eco-tourism programmes consist of elephant camp visit, jeep safari, trekking, bird watching, tribal folklore etc.

Best time to visit :October to May

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, covering an area of barely 25 km2, and located about 12 km from Kothamangalam Kerala state, India, was the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologist described this sanctuary as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India. Thattekkad literally means flat forest, and the region is an evergreen low-land forest located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala.The forest was raised to its current status of a sanctuary in the year 1983, as this was done in line on the recommendation of Dr. Salim Ali. Hence, the sanctuary was named after Dr. Salim Ali, as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Dr. Ali used to be a scientist and ornithologist at this place. In his report on the avifauna life in the region, he described this place as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India. Later after that report in 1930, most parts of the forest diverted to be used for the planned cultivation and Teak and Mahogany Plantation. Whatever is left in the forest is now a preserved bird sanctuary, which is phenomenally the biggest bio diverse habitat in Kerala. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is now home to a large number of resident and migratory birds.

 

The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary has a rich and varied birdlife. Several species of birds, both forest birds as well as the water birds, visit the sanctuaries.As Thattekad Bird Sanctuary was meant primarily for the conservation of avifauna, it serves as an abode for a number of rare and common species of birds. The sanctuary is home for mare than 500 different species of exotic birds and hence the sanctuary is counted among the most famous zoological reserves in Kerala. As the forest is covered with a large variety of tropical deciduous and evergreen variety of trees, it provides a safe haven to all feathered creatures. Apart from numerous species of birds, the sanctuary also provides shelter to as many as 28 species of animals. The most common dwellers of this sanctuary include the Leopard, Sloth Bear and Porcupine. Animals like elephants can also be found occasionally.

Best time to visit :October to May

Kodanad elephant training center

Kodanad elephant training centre is located on the banks of Periyar River in Kodanad – a small village. Kodanad is located in Malayattoor Forest Range. Elephant capturing have been started in Malayatoor Forest Range since 1895. Captured elephants are bringing to the training centre, impart training and kept in the centre till they are properly trained and later used for forestry work.

Elephant centre is one of the memorable places in Kodanad for those people who like elephants. The most attractive part of the visit will start at 08:00 Hrs every day, when all the elephants are bring out from the centre and proceed for a royal bath in the river. The river is located 500 mtrs far from the centre where the elephants are washed. It takes almost 1 – 1.5 Hrs for bathing and later brings back to the centre.

The centre has come under Kerala Forest Department, Govt of Kerala State, India

 

Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 45 km

Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, via Vallom – Kodanad Rd, about 20 km

Best time to visit :October to May