Kerala, a green paradise on the earth is blessed with numerous national Kerala wildlifeparks and sanctuaries. The lush green forest with elephants, tigers, sambars, gaurs, leopards, and many indigenous and water birds gives tourists with an opportunity to sight these rare creatures in their natural habitat.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
50 km northest of Thiruvanathapuram city in Nedumanged taluk. The catchment ares of the Peppara Dam constructed across the karamana River, wea declared a Sancturay in 1983. There are 13 tribal settlement in tha sanctuary - 11 of them in the Athirumala section and 2 in the Thodayar section.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
30 km northest of Thiruvanathapuram city. The Sanctuary stretches from Neyyatinkara taluk to the Mundanthuari Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. It is the drainage basin of the Neyyar River and its tributaries - Mullayar and Kallar - which originiate in Agasthyarkoodam, the second highestpeak in Kerala (1868 m ). The Sanctuary wes established in 1958.
Eravikulam National Park
While at Munnar, a not-to-be missed excursion is the the Eravikulam National Park, at the crest of the Anamala range. It can be reached only by trekking from Rajamalai, 17 km from Munnar. In its 97 sq km area can be found the Nilgiri tahr, and endangered species.
Kodanad, set on the southern banks of the Periyar river amid the beautiful high ranges near Perumbavoor, is one of the largest elephant training centres of Kerala. Earlier elephants captured from the Malayatoor forests (the forests in the east and north of Kodanad) were trained here. Since the introduction of a ban to elephant capture Kodanad has been reduced to a training centre. The famous Malayatoor Church is near Kodanad.
Situated 63kms from Ernakulam, 'Bhoothathan Kettu' is a good picnic spot. There is a dam here and in the reservoir one can go for boating too. The legend says that the dam was built by a "Bhootham" using the rocks, which is the ample proof for the name. Trekking through the forest to the old Bhoothathan Kettu is very interesting. The forest offers a wide variety of flora and fauna and is a botanist delight.
Thattekad which is 20kms from Koithamangalam is the home for the bird sanctuary where we can find some of the rare species of birds. Exotic birds flock in the sanctuary and make this place a heaven for any ornithologist.
Silent Valley National Park - 40 km northwest of Mannarkad.
The 89.52 sq. km national park is believed to be the sole surviving bit of evergreen forests in the Sahya Ranges. The peculiarity of the Silent Valley forest is that it is devoid even of the chirping of cicadas.
Vehicular transport is possible only up to Mukkali, nearly 24 km from the park. The rest of the way has to be covered on foot up to the source of Kunthipuzha which Flows through the valley before merging into the Bharathapuzha (Nila).
Tusharagiri- 50 km from Kozhikode.
As the name suggests, land and water have struck an extraordinary kinship here. Famous for its trekking tracks, Tusharagiri is located near Vythiri in Wayanad. Trekkers start early morning from the second waterfall and climb uphill through the pristine, dense evergreen forests populated with exotic birds and wildlife to reach Vythiri by evening. Tusharagiri also abounds in rubber, arecanut, pepper, ginger and spice plantations.
The river Pamba originates in the mountains of Idukki. With high ranges of altitude varying from 2500 feet to over 5000 feet above sea level, Idukki is the district where forests and wildlife abound. About 1500 sq ft of its area is reserved forest, much of which is home to a variety of flora and fauna.
These forests are a source of teak wood, rose wood and sandal wood. They are also home to wildlife like tigers, deer, bisons and monkeys. Streams, valleys and hills combine to make Idukki district an ideal year-round holiday destination.
The winding journey to this hill town, along the Periyar river, offers a stunning view of the rolling hills draped in lush greenery. Velvet lawns, rare flora and fauna add to the beauty of Pullumedu which can be accessed from a jeep. The famous Sree Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and the Makara Joythi illuminations at the shrine are visible from here. Since it is part of the restricted forest zone, special permission to visit Pullumedu has to be obtained from the Wildlife Preservation Officer.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nigeria Biosphere Reserve, which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the bio logical heritage of the region.
The sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna. The management lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the trials and others who live in and around the forest region.
This is the original home of the Cholainaickans, the oldest aboriginal tribe of Kerala. The extensively forested land is well known for Canoli's Plot the world's oldest teak plantation and bamboo woods.