Kerala is bestowed with spice-scented hills, shimmering backwaters and sun-kissed beaches, together emitting a sense of awe-inspiring charm. Adding to it are the flourishing virgin forests and exotic wildlife creatures! No doubt, nothing teaches the beauty of wildlife like exploring the undiscovered contours of Kerala wildlife destinations.
Cuddled lovingly by the verdant Western Ghats, the wildlife national parks of Kerala are amongst the finest in the world. The incredible variety of flora and fauna find a shelter in a total of 13 wildlife sanctuaries and 5 national parks. These sanctuaries offer tourists with an ample opportunity to explore the wildlife in its natural habitat.
The rich fauna in Kerala includes animals like leopards, tigers, gaurs, barking deers, sloth bears, skunks, geckoes, bisons, wild boars, monkeys, grey langurs, civet cats, flying squirrel and lion-tailed macaque.
Birds like woodpeckers, darters, hornbills, plovers and kingfishers can also be spotted. Variety of trees like Cluster fig, West India Medlar, Cassia fistula, Nuxbvomica and Silk cotton grow in this region.
The rugged range of Western Ghats offer adventure activities apart from its rich wildlife and scenic vistas. So, daredevils, pump up your adrenaline for some thrilling adventure sports like trekking, bamboo rafting, canoeing, kayaking, mountain climbing and of course the wildlife safari.
Following are the famous wildlife parks in Kerala
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
It was established in 1984 and is located about 60 km away from Kannur district. Spread over 55 sq km of undulated land of the Western Ghats, it lies in the northern most part of the state. Katti Betta is highest peak in the sanctuary with a height of 1145m. Park is covered with semi-evergreen and tropical forests and shelters a large variety of flora and fauna.
You can spot Elephant, gaur, spotted deer, barking deer, grey langur and Malabar giant squirrel.
Eravikulam National Park
Located nearly 15 km away from Munnar, this park occupies an area of about 97 sq km in the Kannan Devan hills of the Western Ghats. It was declared a sanctuary in 1975. The sanctuary is sectioned into 3 zones - core part, buffer part and the tourism part called Rajamalai. Tourists are permitted only till Rajamalai.
The animals spotted in the park are Nilgiri tahr, gaur, Nilgiri Marten, ruddy mongoose, wild dog, sambar deer, leopard and tiger. More than 130 species of birds inhabit the park. Nilgiri pipit, black-and-orange flycatcher and Kerala laughing thrush are some of the commonly seen birds.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Idukki district and is one of the famous tourist attractions in Kerala. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1976. It covers an area of about 77 sq km and sits between the Cheruthoni River and the Periyar River. Vanjur Medu is the highest peak with a height of 1272 m.
Elephants, bisons, deers, jungle cats, wild boars, tigers, etc are seen here along with the large variety of snake species like various species cobra, viper and krait. Birds include Malabar grey hornbills, woodpeckers, bulbuls, grey jungle fowls etc. This sanctuary lies close to the famous Idukki Arch Dam.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary falls in the Thekkady region of Idukki district. It is spread over an area of 777 sq km and is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. The sanctuary enjoys the added scenic beauty of the Periyar Lake situated nearby. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1950.
Around 30 species of mammals live in this park. Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, sambar, gaur, sloth bear, wild pig, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque and stripe-necked mongoose are some commonly seen species in the park. Apart from these, 265 types of birds and 45 kinds of reptiles are also kept in the sanctuary.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Sited about 60km away from Munnar, Chinnar is home to the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel. They are left only 240 in numbers. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1984 and receives rainfall of less than 2 months annually.
An expansive sandalwood forest nearby is an added attraction of Chinnar. The park shelters more than 30 species of mammals including tigers, gaurs, common langurs, threatened Rusty-spotted cats and Indian elephants. It has nearly 50 species of reptiles including the largest population of endangered Mugger crocodile in Kerala.
Wildlife is best enjoyed in real than on watching them on television. So, book for Kerala Wildlife Tour and experience the true wilderness.
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