Attractions»Wildlife Sanctuaries

Watch wildlife at close quarters. Kerala, with its lush green tropical forests, attracts some exotic flora and fauna that make it worth your while to get a glimpse of life in the wild.Trek up the roads less trodden, follow jungle trials and spend time observing wildlife. Relive the old safari spirit. At the water front, hop on to a raft or a Kayak and enjoy the panorama. Interact with tribal settlements. Explore the spirit of adventure in you.The hills, rocks and valleys which contribute to the very unique character of Wayanad and Idukki provide a lot for adventure tourism. The wildlife of Periyar, Thekkady and the deep dense forests offer the adventure seekers a fine holiday. Bird watching, jungle safaris etc are the other activities perfect for adventure lovers, when exploring the wildlife of Kerala.Periyar National Park Periya beckons are the adventure seekers, nature lovers and the animal watchers alike. Periyar is renowned for the Thekkady/Periyar National Park. At the Periyar National Park you may spot the wild elephants, leopard, wild dog, barking deer, mouse deer, Nilgiri langur (a primate), bonnet macaque, sambhar, porcupines, squirrels, gaur (Indian bison), wild boar and sloth bear besides the tigers and the Nilgiri tahrs. Along with animals Periyar is home to monitor lizards, pythons, king cobras and flying lizards. Birds like darters, cormorants, ibises, gray herons, mynas, flycatchers, orioles, wood pigeons, kingfishers, kites, ospreys, thrushes, and parakeets add to the attraction of Periyar. You may watch the animals on the move from the motorboats on the lake or from watchtowers only after prior permission. Else you may enjoy a walking tour of the Periyar National Park with the local guides. The pride of Kerela and a testimony to nature's splendour and human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar lake - an artificial lake, at Thekkady. Here the high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs.The Periyar Widlife sanctuary is spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wiild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors all over the world and is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. The Periyar Widlife sanctuary is spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wiild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors all over the world and is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. If elephants are what you love to see on your wildlife tour, there is no better place than the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala. The sanctuary was established in 1895 and is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in . The sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve in 1978. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary) is one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in and perhaps the finest in south .Periyar National Park is a Tiger Reserve, the greatest attractions of the park are the herds of wild elephants, who come to the Periyar Lake to frolic in the water. The Periyar National Park is the only wildlife sanctuary in where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. You can also enjoy elephant rides in the Periyar National Park. The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also offers the unique opportunity to photograph wild animals at close quarters.Eravikualam.The Eravikulam National Park (15 kms from Munnar) is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District. It lures the travellers with its irresistible grace and beauty. The 97 sq km park lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It is situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the north where it extends as the Annamalai National Park. The mountains covered with the rolling grasslands and high level sholas is breath-takingly beautiful. This park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr also known as the Nilgiri Ibex. The Rajamala is the natural habitat of this rare mountain goat. Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres) lives here. (Around 1317, according to the 1991 census). Besides the Nilgiri tahr other important fauna are elephant, leopard, tiger, malabar civet, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, langur, phyhon etc. The birds found are imperial pigeon, grey jungle fowl etc. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. The park is divided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area.Eravikulam National Park harbours the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius).Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to the southern Western Ghats.Its relatives are the Himalayan tahr(Hemitragus jemlahicus) and Arabian Tahr(hemitragus jayakiri).The estimated population of Nilgiri tahr inside the park is about 750. Wild dog, leopard and tiger are the main predators.Apart from tahr, other little known animals such as Nilgiri marten, small clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, and dusky striped squirrel are also found. Elephants make seasonal visits.Wild dog, leopard and tiger are the main predators. Apart from tahr, other little known animals such as Nilgiri marten, small clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, and dusky striped squirrel are also found. Elephants make seasonal visits.The high altitude rolling grasslands in the park looks like an emerald stretch highly romantic and captivating. The trekking paths to the park were originally bridle path used by the English planters who lived in Munnar tea town. A steady climb takes one to the cloud covered hillocks with numerous sholas and the Nilgiri tahr moving around. In the tourist zone the Tahrs move unperturbed in spite of the tourists watching them at close range. such is the level of protection afforded! You can be quite fooled thinking that they come to rub shoulders with you too.The beautiful Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is rated amongst the finest wildlife sanctuaries of , and is one of the best tourist spots in Kerala. Set amidst enchanting backwaters of Devikulam in Idukki district of Kerala, the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary covers an area over 90 sq km in the rain shadow region of the. Known for its enchanting scenic beauty, Chinnar is a natural habitat for an amazing variety of flora and fauna including some rare and endangered wildlife species. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, and so receives comparatively less rainfall in comparison to other parts of Kerala. The vegetations of Chinnar primarily comprises of thorny scrub forest, dry deciduous forest, high sholas and wet grasslands, which supports a wide variety of wildlife. Popularly regarded as the second habitat of the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary also shelters Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, Sambars, Bonnets, Spotted Deer, Macaques, Indian Bisons and spectacled Cobras to name a few. The sanctuary is also rich in its avifauna and attracts a wide variety of exotic and colorful birds including Woodpeckers, Peacocks, Little Cormorants, Darters and Black Eagles etc.Located at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-known reserve that extends over an area of over 90 sq km. Recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984, it lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats. As a result, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during the months of October and November when Northeast monsoons are at work. Apart from being the habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel in , the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, elephant, bonnet macaques, gaur, Kraits, spotted deer, spectacled cobras, sambar, turtles, vipers, little cormorants, darters and black eagles. The place is also ideal for boating and trekking.The sanctuary abounds in a variety of trees, including the unique thorny scrub forest with Xerophytic species. The flora of the sanctuary comprises dry deciduous forest, thorny scrub forests, high sholas and wet grasslands. It is, indeed, a reservoir of tranquil greenery ensconced the verdant valley.Among the species of flora include Acacia arabica (Karivelam), Acacia leucofolia (Velvelam), Santalum album (Chandanam), Anogeissuslatifolia (Mazhukanjiram), Elaeocarpus recurvatus (Bhadraksham) and Strobilanthus kunthianus (Neelakurinji). The rippling topography with breathtaking spectacle of craggy rocks adds to the scenic grandeur of the sanctuary. Best Season to visit the sanctuary is from December to April. As far as accommodation is concerned, private lodges are available at Marayoor, Munnar and Udumalpetta. You can also find accommodation in the government guesthouses at Munnar and Udumalpetta.National ParkLocated 40 km from Mannarkkad, Silent valley is Extremely fragile, a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests lying above the equator and the forest strip which causes the summer rains in Kerala. This is one of the best tourist spots in Kerala. The Silent Valley National Park has an area of 90 sq km is located in the north eastern corner of the district. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri Plateau in the north and overlooks the plains of Mannarkkad in the south. The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the Silent Valley National Park. Despite its name, the Silent Valley (the clamour of Cicadas is conspicuously absent here) echoes with the sounds of teeming wildlife. The denizens of this sprawling habitat of endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger. Perhaps, nowhere else can one also find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, over a 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque. The river Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills, an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, and traverses the entire length of the valley and rushes down to the plains through the deep forest. The river Kunthi never turns brown and is always crystal clear, perennial and wild.The evapo-transpiration from these forests is much higher than from any other surfaces. This cools the atmosphere, helps easy condensation of water vapour and thus causes the summer rains. Though smaller in size in comparison to the other national parks in , what makes it unique is the sylvan environment the region has along with its high altitude peaks and several rivers that run through it.Located 40 km from Mannarkkad, Silent valley is extremely fragile, a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests, totally undisturbed, lying above the equator and the forest strip which causes the summer rains during June- July in Kerala.The local name for the park is Sairandhrivanam (the forest in the valley) which is also the last representative of tropical evergreen forests in . The park which is remote has difficult terrain and is surrounded with Attappadi Reserve Forests in the east, and vested forests of the Palghat and Nilambur divisions in the west and south. In the North, the park is an extension of the Nilgiri Forests. The park which has never had human habitation is in the core area of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.The fauna here includes around 100 species of butterflies, 400 species of moths, Ceylon Frogmouth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, the giant Malabar squirrel, Nilgiri langur, the lion-tailed Macaque, elephant, tiger, leopard, wild bear, nilgai, sambar, pit viper etc. The parks best known primates, the Nilgiri Langur and Lion- tailed macaque are both listed in IUCN's Red List of Threatened Animals. A valuable reserve of rare plants and herbs including around 966 flowering and over 100 orchids plants are found along with the wide range of animals and birds. This park consist of 10 sq.kms of evergreen forests, 15 sq.kms of semi evergreen forests and 40 sq.kms of leaf shedding forests with a large variety of trees. There are very old trees in the park including a huge hollow tree which can hide at least 12 people in it.Click to view places within each district.

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