5 Incredible Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala (2021)
Let Us Take A Look At Some Of The Most Popular Wildlife Sanctuaries In Kerala That You Must Visit.
1. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is perhaps the most famous sanctuary in Kerala. Nestled in the heart of the Western Ghats hills, this sanctuary is also known as the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary, and it is a tourist hotspot in the state. The sanctuary is sprawled over a massive 675 square kilometers, and it is a unique reservoir of many endangered and rare species of birds and animals.
The sanctuary takes its name from the Periyar Lake, which is located inside the sanctuary itself. This wildlife sanctuary is also home to over 170 species of grass, 1800 flowering plants, 35 species of mammals, 143 species of orchids, and over 265 species of birds.
What Can You See At The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary?
You can spot animals like elephants, langurs, sambar, stork, and many others at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. At the same time, if you are lucky, you can also catch sight of the Malabar Giant Squirrel, lion-tailed Macaques, other species of flying squirrels, and many others.
Trekking and boating are other activities you can indulge in at the sanctuary, and for the courageous tourists, taking an elephant ride through the jungle can also be arranged.
What Are The Timings Of The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary?
The sanctuary is open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm every day, and there is also a night safari available that begins after 8:00 pm.
Do I Need A Ticket To Visit The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary?
Yes, there is an entry fee for visiting the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. For citizens of India, the ticket price is Rs. 45 for adults and Rs. 15 for children. For foreigners, the ticket price is Rs. 500 for adults and Rs. 180 for children. There is also a ticket needed for boating, which stands at Rs. 255 per person. If you want to rent a binocular, you will need to pay a security deposit of Rs. 100, and a fee of Rs. 50.
2. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kannur
The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the northern-most part of Kerala in Kannur. Since it is the only wildlife sanctuary in this region, it is quite famous and popular with tourists. The sanctuary is located amongst sky-high trees and lush greenery. There are many unique and exotic wildlife species that have made Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary their homes. Image Source
What Animals Can You See At The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary?
As you take a safari through the forests, you will run into many extraordinary and striking animal species and birds that will leave you mesmerized. Due to the vast diversity and tropical climate of this area, the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 23 species of mammals. As you embark on a jeep safari through the sanctuary, you will get to see many of the native animals, including mouse deer, sloth bear, sambar, wild boar, barking deer, and gaur. If you are lucky, you can also spot many carnivores like tigers, spotted leopards, and other wild cats.
One of the most exciting residents at the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is the Malabar Giant Squirrel, also known as the flying squirrel. This rare mammal species is very rare, and it is indeed a wonderful experience to see it in action.
The sanctuary is also home to approximately 23 species of amphibians and 22 species of reptiles, including the rare King Cobra.
The Cheenkannippuzha River, which runs through this sanctuary, also makes this place a haven for ornithologists and avifauna lovers. People from all over Kerala come here to watch birds as there are over 188 different species of birds that have made their homes here. Numerous endangered and endemic species can also be seen, including the Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Great Pied Hornbill, the Ceylon Frogmouth, the Blue Winged Parakeet, the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, and the Broad Billed Roller.
To add to the charm of this sanctuary, you can see over 144 spectacular species of butterflies flittering around the sanctuary.
The sanctuary also houses a thriving fish population, supporting nearly 40 species of fish. There are plans to add more fishes in the future.
Is There An Entry Fee To Visit The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary?
Yes, you will need to buy a ticket to enter the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. Ticket rates are as follows:
- For Indian citizens, tickets are priced at Rs. 15 for adults and Rs. 7 for children below 12 years of age.
- For foreigners, the ticket price is Rs. 150 for both adults and children.
- You can further hire a guide for Rs. 150.
- If you want to take a video or movie camera inside, you need to pay Rs. 150.
- For an ordinary camera, there is a ticket of Rs. 25.
What Is The Best Time To Visit The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary?
The best time to visit this sanctuary is between March and June. This is because all animals tend to come out of hiding to gather at the watering hole, thus increasing the chances of spotting many of these exotic creatures.
3. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Munnar
Located in Munnar, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Western Ghats and is spread over a vast area of 90.44 square kilometers. This entire region is densely populated with numerous species of indigenous flora and fauna, making it a much-sought-after tourist destination. Chinnar, a part of the Idukki District in Kerala, is also known to be home to a wide variety of medicinal plants. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also famous for being home to the star tortoise.
What Animals Can You Spot At The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary?
The sanctuary is home to many exotic and endangered species of animals and birds. Some of the animal populations you can spot here include the spotted deer, gaur, grizzled giant squirrel, slender loris, tufted grey langur, wild elephant, crocodile, leopard, tigers, and many birds.
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a government-protected enclosure, and this allows you to have a look at the indigenous flora and fauna of this region in its natural habitat, undisturbed by the city pollution and clamor.
There are many trekking routes that you can explore through the mixed deciduous forests here.
Can I Go On A Safari At The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary?
Yes, tourists at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary can enjoy the hunter jeep safari and the elephant safari throughout the week. The timings of the safari are from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day. The safari lasts for nearly two hours. The ticket price for the safari begins at Rs. 2000.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary?
The summer months here can get very hot and harsh, while the monsoon seasons bring heavy rainfalls. This is why the winter months are the best time to visit this sanctuary.
4. Neyyar Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary in Trivandrum
Located in Trivandrum, the Neyyar Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its deer and lion safari. The park is home to a crocodile farm and also an elephant rehabilitation center. All this and more makes this sanctuary the perfect getaway for nature lovers.
In order to get the most out of your tour, it is recommended to ask for taking a guided tour of the sanctuary.
5. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary in Ponmudi
The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is the only sanctuary located in Ponmudi. It is situated along the catchment area of the Peppara Dam, which is built on the Karamana River. The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is a treat for the eyes as the exotic and indigenous flora, and fauna all around makes the perfect home for over 43 species of mammals, 46 species of reptiles, 233 species of birds, 27 species of fishes, and 13 species of amphibians.
Some of the commonly found animals here include leopards, tigers, elephants, sloth bears, deer, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Bonnet Macaque, amongst others.