About Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is located at a drive of 45 minutes from the City Centre of Munnar and is situated atop a summit of Western Ghats. Spread around a land stretch of 97 kilometers, this is one of the most sought tourist hotspots of Kerala. It houses a plethora of flora and fauna and accounts itself amidst the other UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Managed initially as a Game Reserve, Eravikulam National Park is also known as the Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Eravikulam National Park is a massive blend of wildlife. There are around 132 different species of birds, 19 amphibian species, 26 mammalian species, 101 species of butterflies, and 20 different orchid species here. Nilgiri langur, Atlas moth, Nilgiri marten, small-clawed otter, Lion-tailed macaque, and a rare variety of the leopard and lion are some of the chief wildlife to be spotted here.
If you are an avid bird watcher, be ready to treat yourself with the sight of Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White Bellied ShortWing, Kerala Laughing Thrush, and Nilgiri Verditer Flycatcher.Apart from the vast array of wildlife that thrives here, you can easily spot on the Nilgiri Tahr. It is renowned as the endangered species of a mountain goat from South India. Eravikulam National Park is also accounted for the ravishing beauty of its rolling grasslands and Shola forest cover.
If you want to try something new here, participate in its eco-tourism activity. Under this activity, you will be trespassing several attractions and experiences located in and around the national park. Besides, regular educational camps are scheduled here for benefiting youngsters and inculcating a sense of environment conservation in them. Lastly, before you are on your return journey, do not forget to visit the highest peak of Kerala here – the Anamudi Peak.
How to Reach Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is located at a distance of 13.2 km from the city center of Munnar. If you opt to travel via the Eravikulam National Park Road and Udumalpet Road, you will get to your final destination within 32 minutes. Here’s a quick road map for you to travel at ease –
Via Udumalpet Road and Eravikulam National Park Road –
- Head towards west from the Munnar Top Station Highway to the Munnar Colony Road.
- Now, take a sharp right turn on NH85.
- Again, take a right turn towards Munnar-Udumalpet Road .
- Take a sharp left to stay on the Eravikulam National Park Road.
Via Munnar – Udumalpet Road –
- Head in the east direction to stay on the Munnar Top Station Highway.
- Take a left turn followed by a right turn.
- Take a right turn followed by a right turn to stay on the Munnar Udumalpet Road.
- Now, take a sharp left turn to stay on the Eravikulam National Park Road.
Best Time to Visit Eravikulam National Park
The period between September to October (end of monsoons) and then from April to May (summer) is the best time to plan your visit to Eravikulam National Park. This is the ideal period to spot the Nilgiri Tahr and the full-blooming grasslands. The presence of the lush green meadows presents a delightful sight to experience the fantastic nature walk trails. Apart from this, here’s a season-wise break sheet for the Eravikulam National Park –
1.Summers – Kerala experiences its summer period from March to May, where you can spot a plethora of indigenous animals here.
2. Monsoons – The period between June to August is the rainy season here in Kerala. The early showers further adds-on to the beauty of this National Park. However, during the peak monsoon period, the park may be restricted for the visitor entry.
3. Winters – Late October till the end of February marks the winter season of Kerala. The whole environment will give you a feel as if walking underneath a cloudy blanket and trespassing the lush green grassland covers. However, if the atmosphere turns out to be mistier, it might obstruct your ease of spotting the Nilgiri Tahr here.
Other Essential Information About Eravikulam National Park
1. Location –The Wildlife Warden Munnar PO, Idukki, Kerala, 685612
2. Timings - The Eravikulam National Park opens sharp at 07:30 am in the morning and closes down by 04:00 pm in the evening.
3. Entry Fee – Here are the entry fees for the Eravikulam National Park –
Indian Adult – 125 INR per head
Indian Children – 95 INR per head
Foreign Nationals – 420 INR per head
In case you reach late to get your tickets, you are likely to pay 50 INR per head as reservation fees.
4. Photography Charges - If you are bringing in an ordinary camera, you need to pay a sum of 45 INR per unit. Otherwise, for a video camera, the charges are 335 INR.
5. Distance from the city center – Eravikulam National Park is located at a distance of 13.2 km from the city center of Munnar.
History of Eravikulam National Park –
This piece of wildlife reserve was once a Game Reserve under the management of the Kannan Devan Hill Company until 1971. The main force accounted for essential for the protection and management of this national park was the High Range Game Preservation Association.
The terrain of this park was then a favorite spot for flourishing a wide array of flora and fauna. Thus, you would commonly find scientists, naturalists, and hunters gathering in and around the park for their entertainment and research. Colonel Douglas Hamilton was one amongst them. The establishment of the North Travancore Plantation and Agriculture Society gave a boost to the installation of all the modern facilities here.
Later, by the year 1877, J.D. Munro recognized the importance of the spot as an ideal location for raising a plethora of plantations. This gives him morale to acquire around 581.12 square kilometers of land cover from the then local king, Poonjat Raja. It was later that this piece of land was distributed amidst the common members of the society for coffee and cinchona cultivation.
Soon, it was found that the area was more favorable for the cultivation of tea and eucalyptus. Besides acknowledging this piece of land as a commercial center, the Eravikulam National Park held a special interest amidst the English hunters too. As a piece of entertainment, the popular games being played here included a wide array of wildlife such as Sambar Deer, Gaur, Nilgiri Tahr, Barking Deer, Tiger, Wild Boar, and Leopard.
Later, the Kanan Devan Hills t of 1971 was brought into the picture, which leads to the reversion of the uncultivable land back to the Government of Kerala. It was then that this piece of land was intended to be used as a land for cattle farming. However, after the interference of naturalists, planters, bureaucrats, and scientists, it was acknowledged as Eravikulam-Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.