Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, also known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, is a popular bird-watching destination located in Kerala, India. It is one of the richest bird habitats in peninsular India and is named after the renowned Indian ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, who was known as the “Birdman of India.”
Key features of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary:
- Location: The sanctuary is situated in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district in Kerala, southern India. It covers an area of approximately 25 square kilometers (10 square miles).
- Flora and Fauna: Thattekad is primarily composed of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests along the banks of the Periyar River. The diverse habitat attracts a wide range of bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary, including endemics like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, and Malabar Parakeet.
- Birdwatching: Birdwatching is the primary activity for visitors to the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. The dense forest and abundant water bodies provide an ideal environment for various bird species. Birdwatchers can spot numerous resident and migratory birds here, making it an excellent place for bird photography and observation.
- Nature Trails: The sanctuary offers well-marked nature trails that allow visitors to explore the lush greenery and observe birds and other wildlife up close. The trails are designed to be accessible for different age groups and fitness levels.
- Accommodation: Several eco-lodges and forest guesthouses are available in and around the sanctuary, providing visitors with a chance to experience the tranquility of the forest and immerse themselves in nature.
- Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is during the winter months, from November to February. This period coincides with the migratory season, and many species can be spotted during this time.
- Conservation Efforts: The sanctuary was established in 1983 with the aim of preserving the diverse avian life and its natural habitat. It has since been a significant site for bird research and conservation efforts.
When visiting the sanctuary, it’s essential to maintain a respectful distance from the birds and follow the guidelines set by the authorities to ensure minimal disturbance to the wildlife. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary remains a favorite destination for nature enthusiasts and bird lovers alike, providing a unique opportunity to connect with nature’s beauty and diversity.
Witness Avian Wonders At Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary near Kochi is a perfect picnic spot where you can watch several rare local and migratory bird species and many butterflies.
The Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary was given its status in 1983 at the recommendation of Dr. Salim Ali, the ornithologist who described it as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. It is also popularly called the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Spanning over 25km along the north side of the Periyar River, it comprises tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, and deciduous forests. Thattekad literally means ‘flat forest’.
It is home to as many as 500 species of exotic birds, including the ground thrush, large-billed leaf-warbler, Jerdon’s nightjar, whiskered tern, collared Scops owl, frogmouth, etc, and features 28 species of animals including leopard, sloth bear, and porcupine.
Bird-watching is fun. So, people plan bird-watching trips. It is a good way to watch many local and traveling birds. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is a famous bird sanctuary in Kerala. It locates at Thattekkad near Kochi. This picnic place is on the banks of the Periyar River. Yes, it is popular among all bird lovers in the country.
This bird sanctuary is also known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Salim Ali was a world-famous Ornithologist who was associated with this sanctuary for a long time. Visitors can spot many bird species here. Although Thattekkad is famous for birds, you can watch many butterflies also at this sanctuary.
Spot Rare Birds
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary offers many local and migratory bird species. Some of them include Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, Blue Kingfishers, Emerald Dove, Greenish warbler, Malabar grey hornbill, Crested Woodpecker, lack-headed oriole, Indian Pitta, and Red-vented bulbul. Winter is the migratory season for birds. At this time, many rare birds from different parts of the world reach here.
Other Tourist Attractions Near Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
There are several tourist attractions near Thattekad Bird Sanctuary that you can explore while visiting the region. Here are some of the popular places to visit:
- Bhoothathankettu Dam: Located approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Thattekad, Bhoothathankettu is a scenic dam site surrounded by lush greenery. It offers a serene environment for picnics and boat rides.
- Kothamangalam: This town is the nearest major settlement to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. Kothamangalam has several attractions, including the Malayatoor Church, a famous Christian pilgrimage site, and the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, known for its beautiful murals.
- Malayatoor Church: Situated around 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Thattekad, this ancient Christian pilgrimage site is believed to have been visited by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The church is located atop a hill, providing scenic views of the surrounding landscape.
- Abhayaranyam Kaprikkadu Ecotourism: For those interested in elephants, this training center is located near the sanctuary. Visitors can watch and learn about the traditional methods of training elephants used in Kerala.
- Thattekadu River: The Periyar River flows through Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, providing opportunities for boat rides and leisurely walks along the riverbanks.
- Munnar: While not very close, Munnar is a popular hill station located approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Thattekad. It is famous for its picturesque tea plantations, lush hills, and pleasant climate. If you have additional time, a trip to Munnar is worth considering.
- Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary: About 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Thattekad, this sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna. It offers opportunities for trekking and birdwatching.
- Thattekadu Bird Information Centre: If you want to enhance your knowledge of birds and wildlife, this information center provides valuable insights into the avian life of the region.
While visiting these attractions, make sure to check their opening hours, accessibility, and any specific guidelines or regulations they may have for tourists. Kerala’s rich natural beauty and cultural heritage offer a delightful experience for travelers, and exploring the area around Thattekad Bird Sanctuary will undoubtedly add to your memorable journey.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary locates in the middle of rich forests. It has a beautiful landscape. You will love to spend some time close to nature in this area. Besides rich bird life, you can spot some animals rarely like leopards, bears, elephants, Python and Cobra.
Visitors to this bird sanctuary can enjoy elephant rides. They arrange jeep safari also for the visitors. The area also offers many other tourist attractions. It has rich coconut groves, gorgeous rivers, lush forests, and amazing wetlands. You can find a wide range of trees in this area. Nadukani and Bhoothathankettu are near to this picnic spot. Visit them also during your trip to this bird sanctuary.
Thattekkad offers different types of accommodation. A few homestays are also there. The Forest Department of Kerala runs the Inspection Bungalow for the accommodation of travelers. In addition to rooms, it has a dormitory facility. You can also consider the Watch Tower for your stay. Locates inside the forest, it offers basic facilities to travelers.
How To Reach
To reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary), you can follow several transportation options. The sanctuary is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district in Kerala, India. Here are the different ways to get there:
- By Air: The nearest major airport is Cochin International Airport (COK), located approximately 46 kilometers (29 miles) away from Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other modes of public transportation to reach the sanctuary.
- By Train: The nearest railway station is Aluva Railway Station, which is around 48 kilometers (30 miles) from Thattekad. From the station, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the bird sanctuary.
- By Road: Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is well-connected by roads. You can use either private vehicles or public buses to reach the sanctuary from nearby towns like Kothamangalam or Aluva. The sanctuary is situated about 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Kothamangalam town.
- By Bus: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates regular bus services to Thattekad from major cities and towns in Kerala. You can take a bus from cities like Kochi or Kottayam to reach the sanctuary.
- By Taxi/Car: If you prefer a more comfortable and direct mode of transport, you can hire a taxi or rent a car to reach the bird sanctuary from nearby cities or the airport.
Once you arrive at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, you can explore the various birdwatching trails and enjoy the serene beauty of the tropical forests while spotting a wide variety of bird species. Remember to check the sanctuary’s visiting hours and guidelines to have a responsible and enjoyable experience with minimal impact on the wildlife and their habitat.