Kerala’s verdant landscape prides itself of 11125 sq.km. of forest region. It is the natural habitat of a wide array of wild animals and exotic species. The WildLife sanctuaries in Kerala offer glimpses into the lives of wildlife in their idyllic setup. Kerala piques itself of a diverse array of vibrant and endangered wildlife species, which are painstakingly preserved in these sanctuaries. The top 7 wildlife sanctuaries that must sit in your itinerary during Kerala visit have been shortlisted below for your easy reference.
Chinnar sanctuary is inherently constituted of thorny shrubs, which is owing to the limited rainfall (around forty eight days) it receives during the year. The sanctuary sprawls over ninety sq.km in Idukki district and flanks the Marayoor Udumalpet Road. The sanctuary is interspersed with sandalwood trees and waterfalls. Watch towers have been erected inside the sanctuary to facilitate easy viewing of wild animals. It is an ideal place for bushwalking. The nearest town is Ernakulam whereas the nearest airport is Nedumbassery. December to April is ideally suited for visiting the sanctuary.
Eravikulam National Park
This national park captures the attention of tourists visiting Munnar. Nilgiri Tahr species, which is on the brink of extinction, is protected over here. The park sprawls over 97 sq.km. of area and is the home to numerous rare butterflies, birds and wild animals. You can catch enthralling views of the tea plantations and mist covered rolling hills. During the blooming season of endemic Neelakurinji flower, the slopes of the hills are mantled in blue. The magnificent view occurs once in twelve years in this area of Western Ghats.
Peppara wildlife sanctuary
Situated at approx. 50 Kms from Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, the sanctuary covers an area of about fifty three sq.km. The sylvan region of the sanctuary is located on the catchment side of the Peppara dam constructed across the Karamana river. The thickly packed trees in the rugged terrain are crisscrossed by streams of clear water and eucalyptus plants. The tropical evergreen forests are inhabited by a wide array of panthers, tigers, wild dogs and other exotic species. It is also the home to thirteen tribal groups which still are disconnected from the outer civilized world.
Periyaar wild life sanctuary
The sanctuary, situated among the hills of Western Ghats, occupies an area of around 675 sq.km. It houses numerous endangered, endemic and rare kinds of fauna. Mammals and birds of about 35 and 265 species respectively are found over here. The famous Periyar Lake is located within the sanctuary. The sanctuary boasts of grass species of 171 kinds, flowering plants of about 1800 types, and diverse orchids. The vibrant animal population constitutes of Malabar Giant Squirrel, langurs, elephants, storks, flying squirrels, sambars, and lion tailed Macaques. Elephant rides are organized to view wildlife from close quarters.
Parmbikulam wild life sanctuary
Kerala’s Palakkad district hosts this sanctuary which prides itself of rich and diverse flora and fauna. Mammals, amphibians, birds, reptiles and butterflies of about 39, 16, 268, 61 and 124 varieties respectively can be spotted in this sanctuary. 4 native tribes also reside in the forest. Exotic wildlife like King cobra, lion tailed macaques, rollers and storks can be spotted easily. You need to seek permission for trekking within the forest. You can enjoy the wild life from the watch towers erected at strategic locations across the sanctuary.
Wayand wildlife sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary extends naturally from Bandipur National Park. The Nilgiri biosphere constitutes of thick deciduous forests. Sprawling over 344 sq.km, the sanctuary hosts a wide array of exciting animal species comprising of civets, tigers, bears, leopards, wild dogs etc. Spread over wayanad plateau, you can sight the wildlife closely with elephant rides through the sanctuary. The Lakkidi valley gets Kerala’s highest average rainfall. 6 indigenous tribal groups live in the sanctuary. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between December to march.
Idukki wild life sanctuary
Idukki wildlife sanctuary is sandwiched between Periyar and Cheruthoni rivers. Sprawling over 77 sq.km, the scenic sanctuary is located approx.. 40 kms. from Thodupuzha. Canopied by evergreen forests, a wide array of flora and fauna thrive in their natural habitats. Jungle cats,tigers, wild dogs, sambhars and other animals can be sighted in the natural settings of Idukki sanctuary. You need to seek the permission of the forest authorities to trek in the sanctuary. Boat ride of the rivers offers panoramic views of the sanctuary. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between December to April.