The Wildlife National Parks & Zoos In Kerala are worth visiting which protect several nationally important animal species and biotic communities.
Stroll through the wildlife national parks & zoos can be a beautiful experience for you. With a vast forest cover of around 11,125.59 Sq km that spread over the Western Ghats, Kerala houses several superb wildlife national parks & zoos in the country. In fact, the rich biodiversity make it one of the hot tourist destinations in the world. This state is the repository of several rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. The forest area of this southernmost Indian state is 28.90% of its land area where you can see 28 types of vegetation. The southern region of the state holds around 51% of the forest region while the 49% of the forest cover spreads in the central and northern parts of Kerala.
You can see a large forest area in almost all the districts in Kerala. In fact, Alappuzha district is an exception to this. The Wildlife national parks & zoos in India are intended to ensure necessary natural conditions in order to protect some of the nationally important animal species and biotic communities. Each wildlife sanctuary in the state has different management plan. Large sanctuaries have been divided into different zones in order to provide better management. Most of the national parks have vast natural or almost natural areas for the protection of ecological processes in a large-scale. Here are the most popular wildlife national parks & zoos in Kerala:
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary : This 55 sq.km. Wildlife sanctuary in Kannur offers many activities for their visitors. It is home to an array of exotic flora and fauna which is endemic to Western Ghats. Visitors can spot wildlife like Nilgiri Tahr, Elephant, Hanuman Langur, sambar, spotted deer, gaur, barking deer and Malabar giant squirrel. It is also an ideal place to enjoy trekking, coracle boating, nature walks and bamboo rafting. People also love to stay in the tree houses of this sanctuary. This area is surrounded by semi-evergreen and tropical forests. You need to travel almost 35 kilometres from Tholassery in order to reach Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. Permission: 0490 2413160.
Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary : If you plan a trip to Thrissur, never forget to visit the Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary which almost 37 kilometres from the city. It is worth visiting this sanctuary because of its rich flora and fauna. Besides, this picnic spot offers excellent trekking options. No doubt, visitors can enjoy mind-blowing experience in this wildlife sanctuary. Permission: 0480 3209234.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary : It is an excellent wildlife sanctuary in Kerala on the Tamil Nadu border in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats. Located almost 60 kilometres away from Munnar, it spread across 90.44 sq. km. Visitors can spot a wide range of animals and birds that commonly found in South India. Besides, the special thorny scrub forests of this sanctuary have xerophyte species. It is also the habitat of the endangered species of Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. The number of this species would be less than 200 in this park. Even though the region has mixed deciduous forests and rich wildlife, this area gets only less than 2 months rainfall. The nearby large sandalwood forest is a great attraction of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Explore the sanctuary completely by entering the area before noon. Permission: 04865 231587.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary : Located almost 450-748 meters above sea level, this sanctuary spreads over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks. This sanctuary is almost 55 kilometres away from Thodupuzha and spreads over 77 sq. km. Visitors can spot different types of animal species in this wildlife sanctuary such as elephants, deer, bison, jungle cats, wild dogs, sambar, wild boar and tiger. You can also watch different snake species here such as cobra, viper, kraits and several non-poisonous snakes. Some of the bird species at this sanctuary include Malabar grey hornbill, grey jungle fowl, flycatchers, bulbuls and different species of woodpeckers. Since this sanctuary is adjacent to the famous Idukki Arch Dam, many people to this dam visit here. Permission: 04862 232271.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary : Just visit Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary not only to watch exotic flora and fauna, but also to enjoy amazing trekking. This wildlife sanctuary spreads across 12000 hectares of riffling landscape. The famous Agasthyakoodam peak also locates at this sanctuary which is above 1868 meters above sea level. This wildlife sanctuary is around 20 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. Permission: 0471 2360762.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary : You can reach this sanctuary by travelling around 110 kilometres from Palakkad. Spread across more than 285 sq. km, visitors can spot many rare wild animals here. You will love to watch the striking hill ranges at this sanctuary which located at a height of 300 to 1438 meters above sea level. Kannimari, the oldest teak tree in the state is also in this area. It is interesting to know that the temperature at this region vary from 150C to 320C. Visitors to Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary also involve in boating or cruising at the Parambikulam Reservoir. Permission: 0491 2556393.
Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary : Visiting the oldest wildlife reserve in Kerala can be a wonderful experience for you. This sanctuary established in the year 1958 that spread around the reservoirs of Peechi and Vazhani. This wildlife sanctuary is around 20 kilometres east of Thrissur. Permission: 0487 2699017.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary : You can reach this sanctuary by travelling nearly 50 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram. It is on the way to Ponmudi and the region is famous for eucalyptus plantations. Spread across around 53 kilometres on the Western Ghats, visiting this wildlife sanctuary can be a marvellous experience. Permission: 0471 2360762.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary : Spread across to 777 sq. km, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is among the best and attractive natural wildlife reserves in the world. Lying near the plantations, it is a rich jungle where you can spot many wild animals. In fact, almost 360 sq. km of this sanctuary covers evergreen thick forest. This sanctuary has been a Tiger Reserve in the country since 1978. The best advantage of visiting this tourist attraction is that one can watch many exotic animals at close quarters here. Enjoy beholding wildlife in this sanctuary from the safety and comfort of a boat on the lovely Periyar Lake. Permission: 04869 222027.
Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary : Famous for its rich biodiversity, Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is almost 66 kilometres from Kollam. This sanctuary is on the either side of the lovely Shenduruney River. The Shenduruney forest has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. It got its name from a common species of tree named Chenkurunji. The mixed moist deciduous forests in the region spread across more than 100 sq. km of hilly landscape. There is an artificial lake in the middle of it built across the Kulathupuzha and henduruney rivers by the Parappara Dam. Permission: 0475 2344600.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary : This wildlife sanctuary divided into two sanctuaries namely Muthunga in the south side and Tholpetty in the north. Located almost 18 kilometres west of Sulthan Batheri, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across around 344.33 sq. km. This sanctuary is established in 1973. You can reach this picnic spot by travelling around 15 kilometres from Mananthavadi. It is also adjacent to the protected area network of Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the South east and Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast. Permission: Muthunga – 04936 271010, Tholpetty – 04935 250853.
Kerala is blessed with a few great wildlife National Parks & Zoos. The main national parks in the state are:
Eravikulam National Park : Locates in the Devikulam Taluk, this national park is almost 15 kilometres away from Munnar. This 97 sq. km park is home to the rare species of Nilgiri Tahr. Anamudi, the highest peak in South India (2695 m above sea level) is also located in its southern area. Permission: 04865 231587.
Silent Valley National Park : Visiting the Silent Valley National Park can be a wonderful experience for both adults and children. It is in the Palakkad district almost 40 kilometres North-West of Mannarkad. The peculiarity of this park is that it is free from the chirping of cicadas. Vehicle transport at this 89.52 sq. km park is only up to Mukkali which is around 24 kilometres from the park. Travellers need to cover to the rest of the way on foot. The famous river Kunthipuzha flows through this area before that merging into the Bharathapuzha River. Permission: 04924 222056, 253225.
Thiruvananthapuram: This zoo is among the oldest one in the country with a beautiful garden. Visiting this small jungle in the centre of the capital city can be a beautiful experience. It is established in 1857 as an extension to the Museum by the then Maharaja of Travancore. He made this zoo in order to attract more visitors to the museum. Now it spread across 55 acres of scenic land in the heart of the city. You can watch around 15 different animal species here. It is interesting for the visitors to watch different animal and bird species from Australian and Ethiopian regions.
Thrissur : The zoo in Thrissur established in 1885 spread over around 5.5 hectors of land in the town area. The zoo compound also has a beautiful botanical garden, zoological garden, Natural History Museum and an Art Museum. Visitors can watch around 315 animals in this museum in 46 species. People love to visit this place not only to watch its outstanding animal species but also to enjoy different art work and antiques. You can enjoy an array of antiques and other unique things in the Art Museum. Enjoy a wide range of specimens of various kinds of animals in the Natural History Museum.