Categories
Wildlife

Pakshipathalam in Wayanad

Pakshipathalam in Wayanad district of Kerala, is located 7 km northeast of Thirunelli , which is about 32 km from Mananthavady, and about 66 km from Kalpetta. It is situated at an altitude of 1740m above sea level.

Wayanad, the northern hill district of Kerala, is covered with dense, moist deciduous forests. Elephants, tigers, leopards, jungle cats, civets, bison, peacocks, various other bird species can be seen here. In the sylvan solitude of this land, perched at a 1740 m above sea level is Pakshipathalam, a picturesque sleepy little place.

Pakshipathalam – the very name of the place refers to the richness of birdlife here. Here virgin forests, rivulets and steep hills together offer challenging avenues for trekking. A cave which rishis (saints) are believed to have used for meditation in ancient times, has become a major attraction for tourists.

Close by is Kuruvadweep, an island (dweep) well known for its rare ecology. Located 17 km from Mananthavady, Kuruvadweep is a 950 acre stretch of evergreen forests on the banks of the Kabani river, and home to rare species of birds, orchids and herbs.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 106 km from Mananthavady.
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 23 km from Kozhikode town

Categories
Wildlife

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thiruvananthapuram

A repository of some of the rarest medicinal herbs, the Neyyar Dam located about 32 km from Thiruvananthapuram, is a popular picnic spot with a lake and a picturesque dam site. The lake formed by the dam across the Neyyar River is the bluest of blue, making boating irresistible for tourists.

The Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary of which the dam is a part is the habitat of over a hundred species of fauna including Asian Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Slender Loris and reptiles like King Cobra, Travancore Tortoise, etc. A crocodile breeding centre and a lion safari park are also located in the dam site.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central, about 32 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 38 km

 

Categories
Wildlife

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Established in 1973, Muthanga Wildlife sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The management lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the tribals and others who live in and around the forest region.The Sanctuary has a large population of pachyderms and has been declared a Project Elephant site.

Elephants roam freely here and tigers are sighted occasionally. Various species of deer, monkeys, birds etc also live here. The Reserve is also home to a small population of tigers, a profusion of birds, butterflies and insects. The trees and plants in the sanctuary are typical of the south Indian moist deciduous forests and west coast semi evergreen forests. A drive along the road to Muthanga and further, offers chances to watch these roaming animals. Elephant rides are arranged by the Forest Department.

Permitting authority:
Wildlife warden,
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary,
Sulthan Bathery
Ph: +91 4936 271010

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 97 km by road from Sulthan Bathery
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, Kozhikode, nearly 120 km from Sulthan Bathery

Categories
Wildlife

Mayiladumpara in Palakkad

Mayiladumpara is a grove at Nedungathpara takes its name from the large number of peacocks (mayil) found here that can be sighted often at dawn and dusk.  About 200 peacocks inhabit the extensive forests of the Mayiladumpara Sanctuary at Nedungathpara near Palakkad. Not bound by gates, the sanctuary which has been home to peacocks since ages, allows free access to visitors.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Palakkad

Distance from district head quaters

2500 m South direction.

Categories
Wildlife

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Kumarakom bird sanctuary, spread across 14 acres, has an interesting variety of birdlife.

If you are a bird enthusiast, visit the sanctuary between June and August, the breeding season of resident wetland birds such as Indian Darter, Little cormorant, different species of egrets and herons, white ibis, several species of kingfishers, etc. Between the months of November and May, the bushes and woods of the sanctuary play host to some rare migratory birds. The Vembanad lake body attracts waterfowl like pin-tailed duck, garganey teal, spot-billed duck, birds of prey like osprey, marsh harrier, steppe eagle, etc

Bird lovers can also take a boat trip to the nearby Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathiramanal, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal and Poothapandi Kayal to watch local birdlife and migrants which could easily be more than a hundred species.

Waterscapes, the backwater resort of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) situated near the sanctuary, has independent cottages built on stilts.

Visiting hours: 0600 to 1800 hrs

Contact details:
Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) office:
Ph: +91 481 2525864
Fax: +91 481 2525862

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 13 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 94 km

Categories
Wildlife

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary

The Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is spread over a cluster of islands in a scenic area surrounded by hillocks where the Kadalundi River flows into the Arabian Sea. The place is locally known as Kadalundi Nagaram.

This virgin land is the abode more than a hundred species of native birds and over 60 species of migratory birds, like seagulls, terns, sandpipers, sandplovers, red and greenshanks, turnstones, that flock here in large numbers from November to April.

A hillock nearby, which is 200 m above sea level, offers a splendid view of the river mouth and the sea. Kadalundi is also known for a wide variety of fish, mussels and crabs. The mangrove vegetation here shelters otters and jackels.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kozhikode, about 19 km
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 23 km from Kozhikode town

Categories
Wildlife

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

A land-locked district, Idukki is one of the most nature-rich areas of Kerala. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary here spreads over an area of 105.364 sq km in the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of the district. Situated at an altitude of 450-748 m above sea level, this sanctuary occupies the forest land between the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. There is a scenic lake around the sanctuary, covered by an enchanting canopy of tropical ever-green and deciduous trees, and offers boat rides.

Elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar etc. are seen here apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones. Birds include grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, several species of woodpeckers, bulbuls, flycatchers, etc. The wildlife here is similar to that of Thekkady. This sanctuary lies adjacent to the world renowned Idukki Arch Dam.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 114 km
Nearest airport: Madurai in neighbouring Tamilnadu, about 140 km away; Cochin International Airport, about 190 km

Categories
Wildlife

Eravikulam 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.

Rajamalai is the tourism zone of the National Park, where the visitors are taken in forest dept vehicles and introduced to the shola – grassland eco system unique to this region. There is a very informative interpretation centre at Rajamalai.

A protected area, the sanctuary is divided into three regions – the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area – Rajamalai – the region lying beyond the road entry into Eravikulam. Here one can observe the Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters.

Don’t make this your destination during the early months of the year, the park may be closed for visitors because it is calving time of the Tahr.

Visiting hours: 0700 to 1800 hrs

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Aluva, about 109 km from Munnar; Angamali, about 108 km from Munnar.
Nearest airport: Madurai (Tamilnadu) about 142 km; Cochin International Airport, about 150 km.

Categories
Wildlife

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki

A unique thorny scrub forest with xerophyte species, Chinnar is the habitat for the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. Their total number here would be less than 200. Located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike other sanctuaries in Kerala, Chinnar gets only less than two months of rain every year. Rich in wildlife, the mixed deciduous forests here are ideal for trekking.

An extensive Sandalwood forest nearby is an added attraction at Chinnar. This is also an ideal place for watching herds of gaur and elephants amble past. Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and some grasslands add to the diversity of the sanctuary. As one travels from Karimuthi to Chinnar, elephants, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman langur and even peacocks can be spotted on either side of the road.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 230 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 204 km

Categories
Wildlife

Chimmini Dam and Sanctuary

The dense tropical forests of Chimmini, shelter diverse flora and fauna. The dam across the Chimmini river offers a breathtaking view. This picturesque picnic spot is a favourite haunt of the local people. Located in the Mukundapuram Taluk of Thrissur district, Chimmini is only a tow-hour drive from Kochi.

The Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary which was established in 1984, lies contiguous with the Peechi – Vazhani sanctuary. The sanctuary is endowed with scenic beauty beyond compare. Living here in joyful abandon are elephants, sambars, gaurs, Malabar squirrels, sloth bears etc.

The forest department organises trekking and bamboo rafting programmes in and around the sanctuary. But the best of all experiences is the Moonlight Sonata, which involves rafting on full moon lights.

Contact details:
Wildlife Forest Office
Peechi, Thrissur
Ph: +91 487 2699017 

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thrissur, about 30 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 58 km from Thrissur town