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Enchanting Wildlife

A land of sprawling green tropical acres and gentle waterways that criss cross the state, Kerala’s lush topography...

A land of sprawling green tropical acres and gentle waterways that criss cross the state, Kerala’s lush topography makes it the ideal home for a variety of rare birds and animals. The regions many bird and wildlife parks provide travellers with some exciting opportunities to see wildlife in their natural surroundings.

Some of the more popular wildlife parks and bird sanctuaries in Kerala include:

The Periyar National Park

The most popular wildlife destination in Kerala is Periyar, an area known for its undulating hills and elephant sightings. Created as a result of a dam built across the Periyar River back in 1895, the Periyar Lake and its surrounding forest areas were abundant in wildlife, leading to the creation of a hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Travancore. One of the twenty seven tiger reserves in India, the Periyar National Park, extending over 300 sq miles in Thekkady is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India. Its unique ecosystem consisting of thick moist deciduous vegetation, dense evergreen forests and the aquatic environment of the Periyar Lake make the park very unique.

Sadly, the number of tigers in the park has been dwindling so sightings of these magnificent cats are rare.However it is very common to see herds of elephants within the park and along the lake where they gather to drink. Watching herds of elephants come to the water’s edge to drink, bathe and engage in mock fights with each other is a fascinating experience. It is also possible to go on jungle treks by jeep and by foot with escorts. Other animals found in the area include bison, deer and fox.

Eravikulam National Park
Wedged between the luxuriant Kannan Devan hills and Anamudi, South India’s highest peak, the Eravikulam National Park stretches along a 60 miles patch marked by verdant grasslands and valleys. Many species of rare plants including the ‘Neelakurinji’ which blossoms once in 12 years can be seen in the forests of Eravikulam. Whilst a large variety of animals and birds can be seen in the Park, what makes it unique is the fact that it is home to nearly a third of the world’s population of ‘Niligiri Tahr’ mountain goats.



Other animals you may chance upon in the park include leopards, jungle cats, civets, wild boar, sloth bear, nilgiri langur, squirrels, mongoose, snakes and other reptiles. Many species of butterfl ies and moths are also seen including the atlas moth which is considered to be one of the world’s largest moths.

THATTEKAD BIRD SANCTUARY
Whilst the lush foliage and miles of waterways make Kerala a favourite hotspot for migrant birds, giving you the opportunity to spot many a variety of species during your travels across the state, more serious bird enthusiasts will enjoy visiting bird sanctuaries like the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary. 

Offi cially recognized as the fi rst bird sanctuary in India, it is also called the Dr.Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary after the renowned ornithologist who helped set it up. The sanctuary is located between two branches of the Periyar River and is surrounded by the serene Anamalai Hills.

Amongst the 300 odd species of birds that can be seen at the park one may get to see woodpeckers, drongos, crow pheasants, robins and darters. Other rare birds include the Malabar grey hornbill, grey headed fi shing eagle, fairy bluebird and night herons.

WAYANAD WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Part of the Niligiri biosphere which includes the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in neighbouring Karnataka and Mudumalai sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over a 135 sq miles area of undulating hills. More than a third of the sanctuary is covered with silver oak, teak and rosewood trees making this a unique feature of the sanctuary. The sanctuary has more than 200 elephants and a small number of tigers and leopards. Other animals include bison, sambhar and spotted deer.

SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
An as yet undiscovered tropical treasure, the Silent Valley National Park is situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala and is considered to be India’s last tropical rainforest and a very precious biodiversity resource. It is named ‘Silent Valley’ owing to the absence of the noisy Cicada insects in the area. Once threatened by the construction of a dam across the Kunti River which fl ows out of the park, the forest was saved from submersion after a protest by environmentalists and conservationists in Kerala. The Silent Valley has an amazing range of wildlife which includes some tigers, deer and mammals native to the South Indian Peninsula such as the Nilgiri langur, malabar giant squirrel, lion-tailed macaque, fl ying squirrel and civet cat.

More than 100 species of butterfl ies and 400 species of moths can also be found in the area. Birds such as the Malabar hornbill, great indian hornbill, hoopoes, tree pie, barbets, crow pheasant, woodpeckers, rollers, drongoes, kingfi shers and parakeets besides many varieties of snakes, amphibians and lizards also populate the park. There are more than 110 species of plants in Silent Valley National Park, including many that are known for their medicinal properties. Monkeys at the Silent Valley National Park

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KERALA BROCHURE

With 230 pages our Kerala brochure is the largest of its kind globally and features;
Extensive regional information
20+ itinerary ideas
More than 100 hotels
Maps and images

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