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A guide to the best wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala

A guide to the best wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala

Kerala is a state in India known for its rich biodiversity and unique wildlife. Kerala also houses some of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and eco-tourists. In this article, we are going to explore the top wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, their features and attractions. We will provide an overview of each sanctuary so that you can plan your next visit to explore the natural beauty of Kerala's flora and fauna.

The air is fragrant, birds chirp their call, and majestic members of the animal kingdom roam free. The wise trees and ancient relics that date back centuries add to the charm of these 14 wildlife sanctuaries, offering delightful trekking trails and profound tranquility. Adding to the magic are the sprawling plantations that range from cardamom, vanilla, and pepper to tea and coffee. These exotic destinations are perfect for exploring your wild side. So, come and experience the wonders of nature.

Best Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala

Neyyar Sanctuary: (30 km from Thiruvananthapuram)

Nestled in 12,000 hectares of natural vegetation, Neyyar Sanctuary is a haven for exotic flora and fauna. The undulating terrain is interspersed with rushing brooks, flat meadows, and gentle slopes. The 1868 m Agasthyamala Peak is the highest point, making it an ideal trekking destination. For more information, contact: Ph: 0471-2360762, 2272182.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary: (50 km from Thiruvananthapuram)

Spread over 53 sq. km on the Western Ghats, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is accessible from Vithurai. This sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna and dotted with hillocks, forests, and eucalyptus plantations. It is a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts. For entry permits, contact the Wildlife Warden, Wildlife Division, Thiruvananthapuram Ph: 0471-2360762.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary: (66 km from Kollam)

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve and is acclaimed for its rich biodiversity. It owes its name to the endemic species, Gluta Travancorica, locally known as 'Chenkurinnji.' This is the only wildlife sanctuary in Kollam district set amidst luxurious greenery. For more information, contact: Ph: 0475-2344600.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: (1.5 km from Kumily)

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 680 kilometres and is a repository of animal habitats. The best way to tour the sanctuary is from the edge of your seat on a boat, or for a more adventurous alternative, climb onto a bamboo rafter and row while the wild watches you. The sanctuary is home to endangered species, including White tigers, Sambar deers, and Nilgiri Thars. Nature lovers and adventure seekers can spot lion-tailed macaques or Nilgiri Langurs, and the meadows have over 171 species of grass, many known for their medicinal qualities. For more information, visit www.periyarfoundation.online.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km from Munnar)

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the Tamil Nadu border, and the Rajamala-Udumalpet Road winds right through it, offering a chance to spot elephants, sambar, and gaur. Contact: 04865-2531587.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km from Idukki)

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled between the Cheruthoni and Periyar Rivers and features tropical evergreen and deciduous trees. Wildlife sightings include elephants, bison, sambar deer, tigers, and various species of snakes and birds such as the Grey Jungle Fowl and Malabar Grey Hornbill. The sanctuary lies adjacent to the world-famous Idukki Arch Dam.

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary (20 km from Kothamangalam)

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is named after the renowned ornithologist Dr Salim Ali and is nestled in evergreen forests. Contact: 0485-2588302.

Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary (37 km from Thrissur)

Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary features dense forests, various birds and butterflies, and innumerable trekking trails. The Forest Department organizes trekking and bamboo rafting programs, and the sanctuary is also famous for its Moonlight Sonata experience. Contact: 0480-2766972.

 

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary (94 km from Palakkad)

Sprawled across 285 sq. km, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare wild animals, and boating/cruising facilities are available at the Parambikulam Reservoir. Contact: 0491-2556393 or visit www.parambikutam.org.

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary (20 km from Kozhikode)

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is situated on the Kadalundi River estuary, and December to February is the ideal time to spot migratory birds such as seagulls, brahminy kites, sandpipers, and herons. Contact: 0495-2359640.

Muthanga & Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary (30 km from Wayanad)

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and borders the Bandipur reserve forest of Karnataka. Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on the border of Coorg and Wayanad, is home to many nocturnal birds. Contact: 04936-204225.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (35 km from Thalassery)

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary offers nature walks, soft trekking, bamboo rafting, coracle boating, and tree house stays. Contact: 0490-2413160.

 

In conclusion,Kerala provides a unique opportunity to experience India’s rich flora and fauna. With its many diverse wildlife sanctuaries, the state offers something for everyone - from bird watching to safaris and more. Whether you’re an experienced wildlife enthusiast or just looking for a great way to explore the amazing natural world, this guide can help you find the perfect wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. So don’t wait any longer, get out there and explore!