Just like green pastures, beaches and backwaters, Kerala is also a wilderness beauty. There are numerous wildlife reserves situated within the state, but the major part is that even if they are wild reserves they present a unique travel experience to every visitor who visit them.
One of the major reasons of a varied wildlife is the breathtakingly beautifully hill range of the Nilgiris. So if you ever get bored of exploring the wilds, there’s always an option of touring the hill resorts and destinations as well as tea estates of Kerala. More of all while exploring the wilds you can always go for a trek or a hike towards the tea estate regions that usually surround the hill stations of Kerala.
Kerela’s wildlife sanctuaries, are home to some of the highly endangered species of flora and fauna. The main wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala include Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary and Thekkady Bird Sanctuary. The well maintained wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of Kerala are teeming with exotic wildlife.
Major Wildlife Sanctuaries
§ Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary : One of the well known wildlife sanctuaries in the south, Periyar sanctuary attracts a large number of nature lovers every year. Also called the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, this place is ideal for watching the animals in their natural habitat.
The forest here, slopes into the manmade lake at the bottom of the hill. This lake serves as the waterhole for the animals and they come here to drink or take a dip. Elephants, Gaur, Sambhar and even Tigers can be spotted here.
§ Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary : Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique thorny scrub forest with xerophyte species. Chinnar is the habitat of the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. Located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike other sanctuaries, Chinnar has only 48 rainy days in a year.
Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands are also found here. As one travels from Karimuthi to Chinnar Elephants, Spotted Deer, Sambhar, Hanuman monkey and even Peacocks can be seen on either sides of the road.
§ Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary : Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a anctuary set up for the preservation of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and shoals, spread over 97-sq-kms of unblemished natural splendour. Anamudi, the highest peak south of Himalayas, towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride.
§ Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary : Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 40-kms from Thodupuzha. This sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district spreading over 77-sq-kms, at 450 – 748m. The Idukki reservoir formed by three dams-Cheruthoni, Idduki and Kulamavu-extends to 33-sq-kms.
§ Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Vembanand Lake is known for its varied avian population. Local varieties such as waterfowls, cuckoos and owls, as well as the migratory Siberian Cranes can be viewed here.
§ Thekkady Bird Sanctuary : In the dense tropical evergreen and deciduous forests and grassland patches is located the Thatekkad Bird Sanctuary. Home to a microcosm of India’s bird population with about 500 winged species, the sanctuary was designed by Dr. Salim Ali, the renowned ornithologist. This bird sanctuary is a peninsular land of 25-sq-kms is covered with deciduous forests and plantation of rosewood, teak etc. Rare birds like the Crimson-Throated Barbet, Bee-eater, Sun bird, Shrike, Black winged Kite and the Night Heron are also commonly sighted.