Nestled in the lush forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala are fourteen wildlife sanctuaries. OSCON Holidays offers most delightful trekking trails in many of these exotic destinations. Some of them adventurously exciting, others enchanting in equal measure. All washed in the spice-scented air of endless acres of plantations. Tea, coffee, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, oranges, mangoes…
One of the world's most captivating natural wildlife sanctuaries, Thekkady is noted for its geomorphology, wildlife and beautiful landscape. This sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. 35 species including wild elephants, gaurs, langur, sambar deer and wild boars can be sighted from the boats.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Periyar National Park is situated in the hills of the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala in SW India. The centre piece of Periyar National park is the 5,500-hectare Periyar lake formed by the construction of a dam on the Periyar river in 1895.The dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead tree trunks still jut out of the waters. Along the fringes of the lake are marshy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the richest habitats of large mammals, as it provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur near Aranya Niwas and the Liontail Macaque in higher areas.
The forests are tropical, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen 'sholas', the last occurring in the moist valleys and characterised by tall trees and a closed canopy. The forests alternate with extensive patches of grasslands. Periyar's rich bird life includes the Giant Hornbill, Cormorant, Darter, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo. The Indian Python and King Cobra are among the reptilian fauna.
Eravikulam National Park, Kerala
Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a sanctuary set up for the preservation of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. The main inhabitant of the park is Nilgiri Tahr. Now the park has the largest known population of Tahr's existing in the world. The park also shelters Atlas Moth, Elephants, Sambhar's, Gaurs, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri, Langur, Tigers and Leopards.
Spread across an area of 97 sq. kms, the park exhibits the breathtaking natural splendor of rolling grasslands and exotic flowers. Anamudi, the highest peak south of Himalayas, towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The Atlas Moth, largest of its kind in the world, is a unique possession of the park.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the north-east and Mudimalai of Tamilnadu on the south-east. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reservem, Which has been established with the specific objective of conservating the biological heritage of the region. Interestingly, it was from here that Pazhassi Raja fought valiantly against the British.
Consisting entirely of notified reserve, the sanctuary is very rich in fauna and flora. The management of the sanctuary lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration to the general lifestyle of the Tribals and others who live on the frings of the forest.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (also commonly known as the Thattekad Sanctuary) is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar river. The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali many years previously. Ali described Thattekad in the 1930's as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. Since then much of the forest has been diverted to cultivation and teak and mahogany plantation but what survives gives a glimpse of the phenomenal bird diversity of the once widespread lowland forests of Kerala.
Silent Valley National Park, Kerala
The Silent Valley National Park is commonly known as Sairndhrivanam in India. Being the main attraction of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, this park is a unique example of tropical rain forest. Declared as a national park in the year 1984 by the government of India, the degradation of this park by human activities has been limited largely because of its rugged terrain and remoteness.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a reservoir of tranquil greenery ensconced in a valley between the Annamalai ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy ranges of Kerala. The areas hilly and rocky, drained by several rivers, including the Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy.
Thickly forested with stands of bamboo, sandalwood, rosewood and teak, the sanctuary has some marshy land and scattered patches of grassland.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
The Neyyar reservoir is easily navigable and extends 9.06 sq. km. The vegetation varies from tropical wet evergreen to grasslands. The Agasthyakoodam hill, 1890 metres high, lies in the premises of the sanctuary. Elephants, gaur, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, jungle cat, wild boar, Nilgiri langur etc. are seen. A crocodile rearing centre, deer farm and lion safari park are the main attractions.
The vegetation varies from tropical wet evergreen to grasslands. The Agasthyarkoodam hill, 1890 metres high, lies in the premises of the sanctuary.
Declared as a sanctuary in 1958, it is the drainage basin for the Neyyar River and its tributaries - Mullayar and Kallar.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
If you love birds and want see them into their original habitats, then you must come to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Kumarakom is one of the prominent bird sanctuaries in India. Kumarakom or better known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary is located at Kumarakom that is part of Kottayam district in Kerala, the southernmost state in India. Complimented by beautiful Vembanad Lake, the sanctuary is the perfect home for ornithologists and migratory birds.
You will be amazed to know that the charming Kumarakom was originally rubber plantation which was later turned into a bird sanctuary by an Englishman, Kumarakom was earlier known as Baker's Estate.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 40 kms from Thodupuzha.This sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district spreading over 77sq. kms, at 450 - 748m above sea level.
The Idukki reservoir formed by three dams-Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu-extends to 33 sq. km.
A picturesque lake, a majestic arch dam across two hills and roaming herds of elephants and gaur are sights that lure you to this enchanting canopy of tropical semi-evergreen and deciduous forests. The fauna also includes Langur, Leopard and Wild Boar