5 Amazing National Parks in Kerala (2021)
Kerala is known for its lush green forests, sun-kissed beaches, serene backwaters, and rich biodiversity. Often referred to as God’s Own Country, the state of Kerala is home to some of the biggest national parks of the country, including tiger and elephant reserves. In fact, the Periyar National Park is an integral part of the Indian Government’s Project Tiger. Many of the national parks in Kerala are also a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere. Here are some of the well-known national parks of Kerala.
5 Amazing National Parks in Kerala
Below Mentioned are National Parks of Kerala:
1. Periyar National Park
Periyar National park and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most famous protected areas and national parks of Kerala. It is located in the Idukki and Pathanamthitta in Kerala. It is a renowned tiger, and elephant reserve spread over an area of 357 square miles (925 sq. kilometers). The park is home to many rare, endemic, and endangered flora and fauna. The park also makes up the major watershed of two of the most important rivers in Kerala – the Periyar River and the Pamba River.
This beautiful park is surrounded by scenic locales all around as it is located high up in the Pandalam Hills and the Cardamom Hills in the southern part of the Western Ghats, near the border of Tamil Nadu.
There are 35 species of mammals present in the park, including several endangered species. There are over 40 Royal Bengal Tigers accounted for inside the 925 square kilometers of the park in 2017. The park is also a valuable reserve for the Asian Elephant, and several other species of white tigers can also be found here. The sambar, gaur, wild pig, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat, Nilgiri tahr, Indian giant squirrel, sloth bear, lion-tailed macaque, Salim Ali’s fruit bat, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, and the stripe-necked mongoose are some of the other species of animals that are commonly seen in the Periyar National Park.
There are also about 266 species of different birds in the park, and it is also home to several migratory birds from all over the world. Some of the endemic birds of this park include:
- Malabar Grey Hornbill
- Blue-winged parakeet
- Nilgiri wood pigeon
- Nilgiri flycatcher
- White-bellied blue flycatcher
- Crimson-backed sunbird
- Brahminy kite
- Great hornbill
- Sri Lanka frogmouth
- Black baza
- And many others.
The park is also home to over 45 species of reptiles, including 13 species of lizards, 30 snakes, and two turtles. The King Cobra, striped coral snake, and the Malabar pit viper can be found here.
The Periyar National Park is also home to over 160 butterfly taxa, including the Southern Birdwing, which is South India’s largest butterfly. Amphibians, including toads, frogs, and caecilians, are aplenty in the park, along with 40 species of fish.
2. Anamudi Shola National Park
The Anamudi Shola National Park is located in the Idukki district in Kerala, along the Western Ghats. This national park is spread over 7.5 square kilometers. This protected area also includes the Pullardi shola, Idivara shola, and the Mannavan shola.
The Anamudi Shola National Park is home to many endemic plants and animals. The place is a popular trekking spot, and you can trek all the way up to the Thoovanam Waterfall, and also check out the Chinnar River, the Pambar River, and the adjacent waterfall to these rivers as well.
The park is managed and looked after by the Munnar Wildlife Division and the Kerala Wildlife and Forest Department.
There is an entry fee of Rs. 90 for Indian adults, and Rs. 65 for children. For foreign nationals, both children and adults, the ticket is priced at Rs. 360.
The national park is open to visitors from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm every day, and the best time to visit the Anamudi Shola National Park is between October to March when the weather remains very pleasant.
3. Kumarakom National Park and Bird Sanctuary
The Kumarakom National Park is one of the most exotic and delightful national parks in Kerala. This scenic park is located on the banks of Lake Vembanad and is one of the only national parks located in the backwaters of Kochi.
The Kumarakom National Park is home to some of the largest number of migratory in India, including the exotic spot larks, herons, owls, cuckoos, flycatchers, and Siberian cranes. Some of these birds frequently migrate from Siberia, while others come from the majestic Himalayas.
The Kumarakom National park is known for its tropical climate, which is what draws so many birds here. This park is the best place for bird watching, and you will find many ornithologists flocking to this charming national park on the lookout for these exotic bird species.
The best time to visit the Kumarakom National park is between September to March.
4. Silent Valley National Park
The Silent Valley National Park is located in Pallakad, in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats. Spread over a huge area of 89 square kilometers, this national park is well-known for housing many endangered species like sambhars, jaguars, tigers, and also a wide variety of unique vegetation.
This national park has also been given a unique status of rainforest and is a must-visit place when you are in Kerala. The park offers many well-planned safari tours that include many stop-overs around the park to check out the various beautiful spots.
This national park is also important because it is the last representative left of a virgin tract of tropical evergreen forest in India. Though this park is relatively smaller in size when compared to the other parks of the country, but what sets the Silent Valley National Park apart is the Sylvan environment of this region, including the majestic peaks of the Western Ghats and the numerous rivers that run through the length of this park.
The most commonly seen animals at the Silent Valley National Park include elephants, lion-tailed macaque, wild pigs, gaur, panthers, and sambhars.
The best time to visit the Silent Valley National Park is between December to April, as by then, the park has already received a good portion of rainfall and the humidity levels are low.
5. Eravikulam National Park
Located just 45-minutes away from Munnar, the Eravikulam National Park is home to a rich and diverse variety of fauna and flora. It has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sometimes also called as the Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, this national park was once a game reserve. The Karnataka Government took over control of this area in 1971 and eventually turned this entire region into a national park.
Some of the common animals you can spot here include elephants, Nilgiri marten, Nilgiri langur, the largest moth species in the world known as the Atlas Moth, lion-tailed macaque, small-clawed otter, and several rare species of tigers and leopards.
September to November and April to June are the best times to visit the Eravikulam National Park.