The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (Entry : 0600 to 1800 hrs) Lying close to the plantations, in the rich jungles of Periyar in Thekkady is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves - the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 777 sq. km, of which 360 sq. km is thick evergreen forest, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geo-morphological diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors from all over the world.
Periyar is easily the best sanctuary in India for observing and photographing elephants at close quarters. On the boat cruise, if you’re lucky, you will spot a herd or two in search of water at the edge of the lake. But for a truly memorable jungle experience, you should stay for a couple of days, preferably in one of the Forest Department’s huts inside the sanctuary.At Thekkady there are opportunities for trekking, elephant rides and boating. This is especially popular as the boat navigates through the branched tops of trees submerged long ago by the man-made lake. Though the sanctuary is open throughout the year (the monsoons can bring a totally different experience), the best season is from September to May.
There are three watch towers for observing wild life - at Edappalayam and Manakkavala and Thannikudi.
While at Munnar, a not-to-be missed excursion is the the Eravikulam National Park, at the crest of the Anamala range. It can be reached only by trekking from Rajamalai, 17 km from Munnar. In its 97 sq km area can be found the Nilgiri tahr, and endangered species.
Kodanad, set on the southern banks of the Periyar
river amid the beautiful high ranges near
Perumbavoor, is one of the largest elephant
training centres of Kerala. Earlier elephants
captured from the Malayatoor forests (the forests
in the east and north of Kodanad) were trained
here. Since the introduction of a ban to elephant
capture Kodanad has been reduced to a training
centre. The famous Malayatoor Church is near
Situated 63kms from Ernakulam, 'Bhoothathan Kettu'
is a good picnic spot. There is a dam here and in
the reservoir one can go for boating too. The
legend says that the dam was built by a
"Bhootham" using the rocks, which is the
ample proof for the name. Trekking through the
forest to the old Bhoothathan Kettu is very
interesting. The forest offers a wide variety of
flora and fauna and is a botanist delight.
Thattekad which is 20kms from Koithamangalam is
the home for the bird sanctuary where we can find
some of the rare species of birds. Exotic birds
flock in the sanctuary and make this place a
heaven for any ornithologist.
Wildlife Sanctuary - 110 km from Palakkad.
Sprawled across 285 sq. km, the Parambikulam
Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare wild animals.
· Boating/cruising facilities are available at
the Parambikulam Reservoir. The Rest Houses of the
State Forest Department at Thoonakkadavu,
Thellikkal and Anappady offer accommodation. A
tree house in the reserve forest area in
Thoonakkadavu has to be booked in advance. The
oldest teak tree, kannimari is Found here .
Permitting authority: Divisional Forest Officer,
Parambikulam, Thoonakkadavu Ph: 0425-367233/67228
- 90 km south of Nenmara
This fascinating hill station is at a height of
467 to 1572 m above sea level. At least 10 hair
pin bends have to be negotiated on the Ghat road
that passes through the breathtaking evergreen
forests of the Sahya Ranges. Seethakundu at
Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one
third of Palakkad. This hill country is the
delight of trekkers. The DTPC Palakkad offers
accommodation in the tourist resort with all
facilities (6 double rooms and 2 dormitories). Ph:
Valley National Park (40 km northwest of
The 89.52 sq. km national park is believed to be
the sole surviving bit of evergreen forests in the
Sahya Ranges. The peculiarity of the Silent Valley
forest is that it is devoid even of the chirping
of cicadas. Vehicular transport is possible only
up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the park. The
rest of the way has to be covered on foot up to
the source of Kunthipuzha which Flows through the
valley before merging into the Bharathapuzha
Permitting authority: Wildlife Warden, Silent
Valley National Park, Mukkali Ph:453225
- 50 km from Kozhikode.
As the name suggests, land and water have struck
an extraordinary kinship here. Famous for its
trekking tracks, Tusharagiri is located near
Vythiri in Wayanad. Trekkers start early morning
from the second waterfall and climb uphill through
the pristine, dense evergreen forests populated
with exotic birds and wildlife to reach Vythiri by
evening. Tusharagiri also abounds in rubber,
arecanut, pepper, ginger and spice plantations.
The river Pamba originates in the mountains of
Idukki. With high ranges of altitude varying from
2500 feet to over 5000 feet above sea level,
Idukki is the district where forests and wildlife
abound. About 1500 sq ft of its area is reserved
forest, much of which is home to a variety of
flora and fauna. These forests are a source of
teak wood, rose wood and sandal wood. They are
also home to wildlife like tigers, deer, bisons
and monkeys. Streams, valleys and hills combine to
make Idukki district an ideal year-round holiday
The winding journey to this hill town, along the
Periyar river, offers a stunning view of the
rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet
lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of
Pullumedu which can be accessed from a jeep. The
famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the
Makara Joythi illuminations at the shrine are
visible from here. Since it is part of the
restricted forest zone, special permission to
visit Pullumedu has to be obtained from the
Wildlife Preservation Officer.
Established in 1973, the Wayanad 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 Nigeria Biosphere Reserve,
which has been established with the specific
objective of conserving the bio logical heritage
of the region. The sanctuary is very rich in flora
and fauna. The management lays emphasis on
scientific conservation with due consideration for
the general lifestyle of the trials and others who
live in and around the forest region.
This is the original home of the Cholainaickans,
the oldest aboriginal tribe of Kerala. The
extensively forested land is well known for
Canoli's Plot the world's oldest teak plantation
and bamboo woods.