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25 Popular Wildlife Sanctuaries In Kerala

 

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    • From Munnar in the North to Kovalam in the South, Kerala offers a diverse terrain to suit the tastes and requirements of its visitors. A large number of tourists throng the state in pursuit of peace and tranquility or for a fun filled holiday with some exciting adventure activities.

      The rugged mountain ranges of the Western Ghats provide for an exciting opportunity of trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing etc, while the crystal clear backwaters of Alleppey take you on transcendental journey on pretty houseboats which offer you a glimpse of the rustic countryside.

      The lush green landscape of Kerala has a forest area of 11,125 sq km and houses 5 National Parks and 13 wildlife sanctuaries. From tigers to wild elephants and exotic birds, wildlife in Kerala is a major draw for tourists. Innumerable wildlife enthusiasts flock to Kerala to witness these beautiful animals frolicking in their natural habitat.

      Thrillophilia has some exciting packages for Kerala wildlife tours to offer. These packages are carefully designed and packaged to ensure that you have the best of everything during your trip.

      Here are the 25 most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala:

    • 01Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

      Nestled in the hills of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourism hot spots in Kerala. Spread over an area of 675 sq km, this wildlife sanctuary is a reservoir of several endemic, rare and endangered species of animals. Named after the Periyar Lake, which is located within the sanctuary, this wildlife reservoir is home to 1800 flowering plants, 171 grass species, 143 species of orchids, 35 species of mammals and 265 species of birds.

      Teeming with animals such as elephants, sambar, langurs, stork etc, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is an excellent place to spot some really interesting wildlife such as the Malabar Giant Squirrel, flying squirrel etc, lion tailed Macaques etc.

      You can indulge in trekking and boating at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or take an elephant ride into the jungle.

      Best Time to Visit – November to April

      Vegetation – Tropical

      Nearest Railhead - Kottayam

      Nearest Airport - Madurai

      Nearest Town – Kumily

      Trekking Trails – Mangaladevi Hills, Mullakudy, Thannikudy, Vellimala

    • 02Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Palakkad district of Kerala. Blessed with rich flora and fauna, the sanctuary offers excellent opportunities to experience Kerala wildlife in their natural habitat. Situated adjacent to the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is now under consideration of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to be declared as a World Heritage Site.

      Apart from 39 species of mammals, 16 species of amphibians, 268 varieties of birds, 61 species of reptiles and a 124 types of butterflies, the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to four indigenous tribes that have made their colonies in the sanctuary. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, the Parambikulam Sanctuary is the best place to sight animals such as Lion Tailed Macaques, King Cobras,storks, rollers etc.


      Trekking is allowed within the forest but you will need prior permissions. There are watch towers constructed within the sanctuary to help visitors in sighting wildlife.

      Best Time to Visit – November to April

      Vegetation – Thick forests and scattered grasslands

      Nearest Railhead – Palakkad

      Nearest Airport – Coimbatore

      Nearest Town – Pollachi

    • 03Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is situated between two rivers Cheruthoni and Periyar. This is one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala and is situated at a distance of 40 km from Thodupuzha and spread over 77 sq kilometers. Covered in a dense canopy of evergreen forests, the sanctuary is home to a wide range of wildlife. The wildlife of Idukki includes animals such as Sambhars, Wild Dogs, Jungle Cats, Tigers etc.

      Trekking is possible within the forest with prior permission from the forest department. You can also enjoy boat rides in the rivers which provide a panoramic view of the surroundings.

      Best Time to Visit – December to April

      Vegetation -Dense Evergreen Forests

      Nearest Railhead – Kottayam

      Nearest Airport – Madurai Airport

      Nearest Town – Thodupuzha

    • 04Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over 90 sq km in the Idukki district and is distinct from other sanctuaries due to its thorny scrub forest. This sanctuary receives rain for only 48 days in the year and hence this peculiar vegetation. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on either side of the Marayoor-Udumalpet Road and is famous for sandalwood forests and waterfalls. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary too is under consideration for being declared as a World Heritage Site.

      There are watch towers inside the sanctuary from where you can observe animals. You can also enjoy nature walks, trekking or camping inside the sanctuary.

      Best Time to Visit - December to April

      Vegetation – Thorny Scrubs

      Nearest Railhead – Aluva

      Nearest Airport – Nedumbassery

      Nearest Town - Ernakulam

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    • 05Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is an extension of the Bandipur National Park and is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere. Comprising of thick deciduous forests, the sanctuary is home to wide variety of animals including tigers, leopards, elephants, wild dogs, civets, bears etc. You can enjoy elephant rides within the forest. Spread over 344 sq km, this sanctuary is part of the Wayanad Plateau.

      The area experiences a salubrious climate. There is a beautiful valley called Lakkidi situated within the sanctuary and experiences the highest average rainfall in Kerala. The sanctuary is also home to tribal groups consisting of the Paniyas, the Kurumas, the Adiyars, Kurichyas, Ooralis and Kattunaikkans.

      Best Time to Visit - June to October

      Vegetation - Deciduous forests

      Nearest Railhead - Kozhikode

      Near Airport - Kozhikode

      Nearest Town - Sulthan Bathery

    • 06Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

      Much smaller in comparison to other Wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary spreads across 9.06 sq km. It is situated near the Agasthyakoodam hill which gets its name from the Sage Agastya. Home to a large variety of wild animals including tigers, leopards, sloth bears, elephants, sambhars etc, and the sanctuary offers opportunities for lion and tiger safaris.

      The sanctuary also has an Elephant Rehabilitation Centre and a Deer Rehabilitation Centre. There is a crocodile farm within the sanctuary, which was established in 1977. This farm is home to about 20 mugger crocodiles.

      Best Time to Visit - October to March

      Vegetation - Tropical Evergreen Forest and grasslands

      Nearest Railhead - Neyyattinkara

      Nearest Airport - Thiruvananthapuram

      Nearest Town - Neyyattinkara

    • 07Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 53 sq km and is located at about 50 km from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. The forests of the sanctuary occur in the catchment area of the Peppara dam which stands across the Karamana River, is something to see in the wildlife sanctuaries in kerala. The sanctuary is known for its thick forests, eucalyptus plantations, crystal clear streams and rugged terrain.

      It is home to a wide variety of species such as tigers, panthers, wild dogs, mouse deer etc and to about 13 native tribal groups that are still untouched by civilisation.

      Best Time to Visit - October to March

      Vegetation - Tropical evergreen forests

      Nearest Railhead - Thiruvananthapuram

      Nearest Airport - Thiruvananthapuram

      Nearest Town - Thiruvananthapuram

    • 08Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the northernmost part of Kerala.  In comparison to other wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala this sanctuary has a number of hill ranges that have an elevation between 50 m to 1145 m. The highest peak is of Katti Betta and its slopes are covered in lush semi-evergreen forests.

      Being a part of the Western Ghats, the Aralam Wildlife sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna and has a huge variety of plants and animals. You can spot leopards, jungle cats and different kinds of squirrels in these wildlife santuaries in kerala.

      Best Time to Visit - June to October

      Nearest Railhead -Thalassery

      Nearest Airport - Karipur

      Nearest Town - Kannur

    • 09Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

      The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is a bird watcher’s paradise. Situated in the heart of Kochi, this bird sanctuary is remarkable for its mangroves and the thick population of communally breeding birds. The most commonly sighted birds at the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary are the Little Cormorant and the Black Crowned Night Heron.

      Best Time to Visit - May and July

      Nearest Railhead - Kochi

      Nearest Airport - Nedumbassery

      Nearest Town -  Kochi

    • 10Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary or the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. The sanctuary is best known for its thick population of birds, which is comparable only to that of the Eastern Himalayas. It is home to as many as 500 species of exotic birds and the most commonly sighted avians in the sanctuary are the Falcon Grey, Ceylon Frogmoth, Night Heron etc.

      Best Time to Visit - May and July

      Nearest Railhead - Aluva

      Nearest Airport - Nedumbassery

    • 11Chimmony wildlife sanctuary

      For the animal lovers there is yet another place which you should definitely visit once in your lifetime. Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Western Ghat is one of the hit spot among the people in Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary covers an area of around 85.067 sq km inclusive of the Chimmeney Lake. The sanctuary is an abode to elephants, sambars, gaurs, Malabar squirrels, sloth bears etc.

      Get astonished as you witness the flora and fauna of this sanctuary which is also blessed with scenic beauty. Soak in the serenity as you visit this sanctuary and click some of the best pictures of wildlife. There are around 39 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, and 31 species of fishes.

      The best time to visit this sanctuary is during the month of November to April.

      The easiest way to reach this sanctuary is to take a flight from Cochin International Airport which is about 58 km from Thrissur town. You can also travel by train to Thrissur, which is about 30 kms.
    • 12Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

      Mauthanga Wildlife Sanctuary which is also known as the Waynard Sanctuary is a rainforest which is most visited by the people. This sanctuary was established as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1973. It is one of the second largest sanctuaries in Kerela. The deciduous forest is blessed with a wide variety of flora and fauna. You will find wild animals like tigers, panthers, civet cats, jungle cat, wild dogs, elephants etc. You can also find peacock, babbler, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers, jungle fowls etc. Don’t miss a chance to visit this amazing wildlife sanctuary on your next visit to Kerala.

      The best time to visit this place is during the months of June to October.

      The sanctuary is located 16 km east of Sulthan Bathery and is well connected to the major cities in Kerela. The nearest airport is Karipur International Airport at Calicut (125 km). If you are travelling by train then you can take the Calicut or Mysore train.
    • 13Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

      Image Credit :  ashwin kumar

      If you are a bird enthusiast then you should definitely visit this bird sanctuary in Kumarakom. This bird sanctuary is best known for the migratory birds. The sanctuary spreads over an area of 14 acres. It is maintained by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. You will get to see a variety of local birds like waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, and brahminy kite. As it is known for the migratory birds, you will find migratory birds like Siberian crane, parrot, teal, lark and flycatcher.

      The best time to visit this sanctuary is during the months of May to November.

      You can take a flight from Cochin International Airport, about 94 km from the Sanctuary and if you are travelling by train then Kottayam is just at a distance of 13 km.

    • 14Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary, located in the northern side of Wayanad, beckons you to explore its vast dense regions and engage in a wildlife. You can find a wide variety of flora and fauna. Thopetty Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year 1973. This wildlife sanctuary is bestowed upon with rich wildlife and green vegetation. One can find a variety of rare birds and endangered species in this sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant. The interesting thing about the sanctuary is that you can clearly hear herd of elephants crossing the road as you stroll through the forest.

      The best time to visit this sanctuary is during the months of November to May.

      The sanctuary is located 16 km east of Sulthan Bathery and is well connected to the major cities in Kerela. The nesrest airport is Karipur International Airport at Calicut (125 km). If you are travelling by train then you can take the Calicut or Mysore train.
    • 15Eravikulam National Park

      Spread across the area of 97 sq. km amidst the picturesque Devan Hills, Eravikulam National Park is an amazing place to witness the biodiversity of shola-grassland ecosystem. While visitng the Eravikulam National Park, you can have the sight of endangered South Indian goat, the Nilgiri Tahr. Apart from this, the other fauna include Nilgiri langur, tiger, Indian bison, leopard, and many more. Although the national park is divided into three areas, viz. the core area, the buffer area and tourism area, visitors are only allowed in the tourism area, known as Rajamalai.

      The nearest railway station is Aluva, which is approximately 110 km from Munnar from where you can hire local taxis to reach the national park. Also, the nearest airport is Madurai in Tamil Nadu, around 142 km and Cochin International Airport, around 150 km.
    • 16Begur Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad

      Image Credit : ianduffy
      Situated amidst the mesmerizing mountainous plateaus of Western Ghats, the Begur Wildlife Sanctuary is just 20 km from Manathavady in Wayand. The Begur Wildlife Sanctuary is home to myriads of exotic birds and animals species and highlights rich Kerala wildlife.

      Some of the major animal species that you find here include tigers, spotted deer, bear, elephants, bison, jungle cat, bison, civet cat, monkeys, wild boar, panther, wild dog, and many more.

      Apart from the animal species, there are many birds species too in the Begur Wildlife Sanctuary, some of which include kingfisher, black bulbul, laughing thrush, jungle fowl, peafowl, woodpecker, myna and many more.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Begur Wildlife Sanctuary is from December to May.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Thalassery in the district of Kannur, which is around 80 km from Mananthavady and the nearest airport is the Calicut International Airport, which is about 106 km.
    • 17Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary

      Spread over an array of islands amidst the mesmerizing hillocks, where the holy Kadalundi River meets Arabian sea, the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, and is locally known as Kadalundi Nagaram.

      It is the abode to more than 100 species of native birds and approximately 60 migratory bird species. Some of the most famous bird species that you can sight here include terns, seagulls, sandpipers, turnstones and many more.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is from November to April.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Kozhikode, which is around 19 km from the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary and the nearest airport is the Calicut International Airport, which is about 23 km.
    • 18Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad

      With an area of 237.52 sq km, the Silent Valley National Park is situated at the Northeastern corner of Palakkad district. The Silent Valley National Park is the core of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is the home to more than 1000 species of flowering plants, 34 species of mammals, 128 species of beetles, 200 species of butterflies, 400 species of moths and many more.

      Students from the life sciences, filed biologists and professional scientists can do their research in the Silent Valley National Park due to its rich variety of flora and fauna.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Silent Valley National Park is from December to April.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Palakkad, which is around 69 km from the Silent Valley National Park and the nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 91 km.
    • 19Anamudi Shola National Park

      The Anamudi Shola National Park is an elegant national park, situated amidst the lush green forest of Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala and highlights rich Kerala wildlife. Declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the Anamudi Shola National Park is spread across the area of 7.5 sq km.

      The national park has three shola reserve forests, viz. Mannavan Shola Reserve, Idivara Shola Reserve and Pullardi Shola Reserve. Some of the major wildlife species that you can have the sight of here include langur, flying squirrels, leopards, civet cats, giant grizzled squirrel, tiger, elephant and many more.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Anamudi Shola National Park is from October and March

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Pollachi Railway Station, which is around 100 km from the Anamudi Shola National Park and the nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 150 km.
    • 20Mathikettan Shola National Park

      The Mathikettan Shola National Park is spread across the area of 12.82 sq km and is located at a distance of approximately 130 km from Madurai in the Idukki district of Kerala.
       
      Know as the heaven for wildlife photographers, the Mathikettan Shola National Park is home to myriads of wildlife species some of which include wild elephants, tigers, panthers, giant grizzled squirrel, spotted deer, Nilgiri tahrs, flying squirrels and many more.

      During your visit, you can also have the chance to sight various species of snake like vipers, rat snakes, cobras, pythons, etc. It is advisable that you wear proper clothes and footwear to protect yourself.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Mathikettan Shola National Park is from November and March

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Theni Railway Station, which is around 55 km from the Mathikettan Shola National Park and the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is about 140 km.
    • 21Pampadum Shola National Park

      The Pambadum Shola National Park is the smallest national park in Kerala and is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, which include 22 species of trees, 16 species of climbers, 74 species of herbs, 9 species of mammals, 14 species of birds, 93 species of moths and 100 species of butterflies.

      During your visit, along with the sight of elephant, wild boar, common langur, gaur, sambhar, you can also witness some of the rarest animals like Nilgiri Marten, Indian wild dogs and Niligir Marten.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Pambadum Shola National Park is from April to September.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Aluva Railway Station, which is around 180 km from the Pambadum Shola National Park and the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is about 170 km.
    • 22Peechi-Vaazhaani Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala and is located in the Thrissur district.

      It is spread across the area of 125 sq km and is a home to some of the most exotic Kerala wildlife.
      The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is the home to approximately 25 species of mammals, which include tiger, jungle cat, leopard, Indian bison, and Asian elephant.

      You can also witness some of the most beautiful bird species in the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary during your visit.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is from October to March.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Thrissur Railway Station, which is around 43 km from the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is about 98 km.
    • 23Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is yet another beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala that is the home to some of the most beautiful animals in the country. It is located in the southern part of Kerala and is covered with tropical semi-evergreen forest.

      The primary wild animals that you can witness here include lion-tailed macaques, deer, sambar, leopards, bisons, elephants, langurs, tigers and many more. The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary has thick forest cover, which also possess some of the most exotic plants species and is spread across 100 sq km of area.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is from March to July.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Kollam Railway Station, which is around 66 km from the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearest airport is the Thriuvananthapuram International Airport, which is about 72 km.
    • 24Kurinjimala Sanctuary

      Situated amidst the lush green mountains of Western Ghats is the Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary, the home to some of the most beautiful animals in the country, some of which include Tiger, giant squirrel, sambar, gaur, Nilgiri wood pigeons, Nilgir tahr and many more.

      It is also one of the most loved hotspot for various adventurous activities like rappelling, trekking and is extremely amongst thrill seekers.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary is from September to May.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Alluva Railway Station, which is around 110 km from the Kuinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is about 125 km.
    • 25Karimpuzha National Park/Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary

      The Kalimpuzha National Park is the abode to more than 1600 breeds of flora and approximately 34 breeds of fauna.

      Some of the major animal species that you can find in the Kalimpuzha National Park during your visit include Nilgiri pipit, white bellied blue flycatcher, grey headed bulbul, Nilgiri wood pigeon, ample tailed grass wabler, and many more. Moreover, if you are lucky, you can also have the chance to witness some of the snake species like cobra, viper, rat snake, etc.

      Best Time to Visit: The best time to Karimpuzha National Park is from October to June.

      Getting There: The nearest railway station is the Palakkad Railway Station, from the Karimpuzha National Park and the nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport, which is about 111 km.