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Eco Tourism - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 review

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Agasthyavanam Biological Park

The Agasthyvanam Biological Park expands over an area of 23 Sq. Km. The Park is named after the Agasthyarkoodam, the second highest peak in the state. It is located only 35 kilometers away from Trivandrum City.Agasthyvanam Biological Park is a result of the Kerala Government’s initiative of the conservation of wildlife & forest reserve. During the 1980’s Kerala Government understood that because unscientific felling, fire, cattle feeding and many other reason Kerala forest & wildlife were disappearing from the screen very slowly. Kottur in Trivnadrum was one of the highly affected areas because of the man’s unscientific exploitation of nature. The Government of Kerala established a scientific committee to study the feasibility of setting up a Biological park in the highly degraded forest area of Kottur during 1992. The region earmarked under this project had insignificant tree and animal population although it had abundant water resources. The soil was found fertile and the climate salubrious. The flora and fauna, which had existed here, should have been the representatives of Western Ghats. The Kottur Reserve forests lie in the Paruthipalli range of Trivandrum forest division. It lies on the western slope of the Western Ghats, at the south-east corner in Nedumangad taluk. It is contiguous with the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the southwest borders and the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary in the northeast. The highly degraded nature of this area was the reason for not including it in any of the sanctuaries. The ultimate objective of the   Agasthyavanam Biological Park includes the regeneration and eco-restoration of the degraded forest of Kottur Reserve, scientific conservation of the existing flora and fauna, to create maximum biodiversity by reintroducing the extinct endemic species, to achieve maximum sustainable utilization of water and soil, to facilitate documentation of flora and fauna and to encourage research and eco-tourism.

 

The total estimated area of the park is 23 sq.km, out of this 17.5 sq.km is to be converted to thick jungle and the rest is for manipulative programmes of conservation. Conservatories will be established for a variety of plant species and for the reintroduction, production, breeding and propagation of wild animals and birds. Inspite of the good rainfall received, the quick drainage of water from the area to the Arabian Sea leaves the place barren for six months. Small check dams, if built, can retain water in small ponds and preserve the humidity and moisture and promote vegetation growth in the dry season. Thus the Agasthyavanam Project, focus on ecotourism, forestation and conservation. A maximum of 50 persons per day is only  allowed into the park. Visitors are issued an entry pass from the Trivandrum Wildlife Division against  payment of Rs 50. It is better to halt at Athiramal, as there are no facilities for accommodation near the park.

 

 

Biosphere Reserves In Kerala - 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 reviews

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Biosphere Reserves In Kerala

 

Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. There are 531 sites worldwide in 105 countries. Since farming economies appeared five centuries ago, the human population has increased more than 10,000 times, Demographic growth and increasing consumption have made severe pressures on all ecosystems and risk causing the collapse of the earth's life support system. UNESCO believes that utilization and conservation of land and water resources should go hand in hand, and that an interdisciplinary approach and long term vision are key. Biosphere reserves are much like laboratories where new and optimal practices to manage nature and human activities are tested and demonstrated. They outpace traditional confined conservation zones, combining core protected areas with zones where sustainable development is fostered by local dwellers and enterprises. Their governance systems are often highly innovative. In some cases, new legislation can be introduced. Biosphere reserves have three inter-connected functions:

  1. Conservation: landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation
  2. Development: economic and human and culturally adapted
  3. Logistic support: research, monitoring, environmental education and training

They generate knowledge and experience which can be used in the wider land and seascape. They are tools to help countries implement the results of the WSSD and in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Ecosystem Approach. They are "learning sites" for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development.

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve 

 

A Biosphere reserve is a region identified for careful, scientific management. Consistent with the concept of preserving biodiversity in its totality, rather than conservation of plants, animals and micro organism in isolation, the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was constituted on 1st September 1986.This biosphere reserve represents a unique and threatened ecosystem in the tropics within the Western Ghats Mountain system. It is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and provides habitat for the probably largest South Indian populations of tiger (Panthera tigris), elephant (Elephas maximus) and other large mammals. Several ethnic groups inhabit the area, including the only surviving hunter-gatherers of the Indian subcontinent, the Cholanaikans who concentrate in the Nilambur area. The 1,160,200 permanent inhabitants of the biosphere reserve (2000) subsist on the use of natural resources (such as medicinal plants), agriculture, agri-horticulture and the commercialization of these products. Eco-development programmes are envisaged to provide schemes for generating additional income and security for people, such as forest and grassland management, habitat improvement, animal husbandry, apiculture and aquaculture, development of crafts, education and health, etc. About 200,000 people visit this region annually (2000), thus tourism has also become an important source of income.

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve extends over contiguous areas of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. It embraces the sanctuary complex of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur, Mudumalai and the entire hillslopes of Nilambur and Nilgiri, the upper Nilgiri plateau, Silent Valley National Park and Siruvani hill. It includes substantial areas undisturbed by man. The vegetation types range from dry scrub, dry and moist deciduous forest, semi evergreen and wet evergreen forest to evergreen Sholas and grassy downs & swamps. The outer areas are inhabited by a number of tribal groups traditionally dependent on forest for their existence. The total area of the reserve is 5520.4 sq.km, out of  this 1455.5 sq.km falls in Kerala, 1527.4 sq.km in Karanataka and 2537.6 sq.km in Tamilnadu. The reserve has a core area of 1240 sq.km and a buffer zone of about 4280 sq.km in area. The average annual rainfall ranges from 500 mm to 7000 mm. Temperature also shows wide fluctuations. It can reach as high as 40 degree Celsius during summer in the rain shadow areas. The major mountain ranges that add to the grandeur include Nilgiri, Nilambur and Siruvani hills. The sanctuary has abundant water supply, thanks to the presence of the rivers Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery and their tributaries like Bhima, Thungabhadra, Kabani and Bhavani.The parts of the reserve in Kerala include Wayanad Wildlife division, Silent Valley National Park, Mannarkkad, Palghat, Nilambur south and Nilambur north division. The core area is 239.5 sq.km, the forestry zone is 870 sq.km and the tourist zone is 100 sq.km.


The mammal population includes more than 100 species. There are also 550 species of birds and 30 species of reptiles. The reserve takes pride in the fact that the largest known population of the two endangered species namely the Nilgiri Tahr and Lion Tailed Macaque are found here. Perhaps the largest south Indian population of Elephants, Tiger, Gaur, Sambar and Cheetal are found here. Fresh water fishes of the genera Horabagrus, Bhavania and Travancorica are also seen.

 

 Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve


Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve was notified on 12th November 2001 under UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme. This project is developed under 100% central Government sponsored scheme.   The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve falls solely in Kerala, covering an area of 1701 square kilometers. The forest tracts of Neyyar, Peppara, Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries and Achencoil, Thenmala, Konni, Punalur, Thiruvananthapuram Divisions and Agasthyavanam Special Division are included in Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.

For the co-ordination of the activities of various departments in the Biosphere Reserve area and for ensuring the scientific management of the Biosphere Reserve a local committee and a state level Biosphere Management Committee are also constituted as per Government of Indian guidelines.


 

 

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Kerala Ecotourism

 

Kerala’s Incredible amalgamation of three geographical regions, highlands, lowlands & midlands makes this destination unique than any other destination in the subcontinent.  Western Ghats which towers to an average height of 900 meter, with a number of peaks more than 1,800 meters in height facilitates Kerala to being rich with its forest & wildlife. For centuries, Western Ghats worked as a protective wall for Kerala; it may be because of one of the reason that Kerala enjoyed political & cultural Independency from other part of India till the settlement of Europeans. Western Ghats also support the state for its tropical climate. UNESCO enlisted Western Ghats as one of the top twenty bio diversity hotspot in the world. It can be compared to Alps in Europe. We can find more than twenty types of forest in this mountain region that help to nourish a large variety of flora & fauna. The Western Ghats are pierced only in a few places by passes. The Perambadi Pass gives access to Coorg, the Periya pass to Mysore and the Karrkkur Pass to the Nilgiri District, Palakkad Gap, Bodinaikannur pas connects Bodinaikannur in the Madura District and the High Range and leads to  Devikulam and Munnar, the Tevaram Pass Kambam pass, Kumili Pass and the Arienkavu Pass are examples. Among the less important ones are the Kottachimala Pass, the Thirukkuramgudy Birla Pass and Yedamala Pass.

 

 

The state of Kerala, located under the shadow of great Western Ghats, contains a protected area of 2,324 square kilometres, with two National Parks and 12 Wildlife Sanctuaries. The Western Ghats of Kerala, with its tropical forest ecosystem, provides a natural advantage for development of Ecotourism. The Western Ghats region of Kerala is a true Ecotourism Zone. It is one of the top biodiversity hotspot in the globe.  Recently, Kerala Tourism department & Kerala forest departments join together to promote Eco Tourism in Kerala.

 

Tourism industry is always blamed for the negative impact on nature & indigenous people. Ecotourism is considered as an innovative concept in tourism that focus on the sustainability of nature & indigenous people. It is not just simply travelling to natural areas, as defined by the Ecotourism Society, it is the responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people. Today, ecotourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry. Any tourism program which is: nature – based, ecologically sustainable, where education and interpretation is a major concept and where local people are benefited can be called ecotourism. Clearly, at a time when traditional conservation through enforced protection of natural areas was being questioned for its effectiveness and social impacts, strategies such as ecotourism offered considerable potential for integrating conservation with development.

 

Even up to 18th century Three-fourth of the land area of Kerala was under thick forest. Kerala Forest was damaged in a great amount because of unscientific felling under the British Rule, especially because of the high demands of woods like Teak, in the international market to build ships & railway tracks.  The idea of the conservation of Wildlife is only starts in the late 1940’s only. The Periyar Lake Reserve was declared as Nellikkampetty Game sanctuary by British rule was one of the earliest attempts to protect wildlife in Kerala and India. This was later declared as the Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary. Even know Kerala’s Forest & Wildlife is in danger because of many reasons such as; man and animal conflict, fire, Illegal collection of forest product, mass tourism..etc.

 

 

The Tourism Department of Government of Kerala has taken steps to give focused attention to ecotourism in the State. A separate ecotourism wing has been created to give policy support for the development of the ecotourism destinations in the State. Thenmala ecotourism project was established in and around Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary with the co-operation of departments such as Forest, Irrigation and Tourism. It is considered to be the first planned ecotourism destination in India.  Thekkady is another ecotourism destination, which offers the visitor an unforgettable experience. Except Thekkady, all other sanctuaries in Kerala are practically unexplored by tourists. We promote small group – oriented ecotourism activities, in an ecologically sensitive area. Tourism in these natural areas should be ecologically sustainable. One of the major motives of our promoted ecotourism activities is to educate visitor about the environment. The economic benefit of such an activity should ensue to the local population to ensure sustainability. Ecotourism projects the concept of sustainability in tourism.

 

We Smart Holidays team strongly believes in the protection of natural reserve for the future generation. We also believe development should be sustainable more over Eco Tourism is an alternative weapon to shield the nature from the degradation due to uncontrollable development. Ecotourism can be considered as a solution for tourism related environmental problems. It is aimed at making the visitor aware of the protective, productive and regulatory functions of the nature. Eco tourism is a purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the cultural and natural history of environment, taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem, while producing economic opportunities that make conservation of natural resources beneficial to local people.



 

 

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Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Location- The headquarters of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is near Iritty, a small town about 55 kilometers from Kannur. The sanctuary is adjacent to the Central State Farm at Aralam.

 

This is a relatively small & new wildlife sanctuary located on the western slopes of the Western Ghats. This wildlife sanctuary is nearly 55 sq kilometers in land area and it was established in 1984.

 

 There are around 490 hectares of teak and eucalyptus plantations within the forest area. In the evergreen forest areas the following species of flora are commonly spotted; Calophyllum elatum, Cullenia rosayroona, Magnifera indica, Toona cillata, Myristica Species, Euphorbia Longana, Strobilanthes vellapine (Vateria indica), Mesua ferrea, Mechilus macrantha,. The common trees in the semi evergreen forest areas are Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Hopea parviflora, Largestroemia lanceolata, Xyliaxylocarpa, Mallotus, Philippinensis.

 

 A large variety of animals and birds usually found in the Western Ghats are commonly spotted here. Different kinds of deer, boar, elephant, and bison are very common here. Leopard, jungle cat and various types of squirrels are also sighted. The sanctuary comes under the management of Wayanad Forest Division with headquarters at Sultan Bathery in Wayanad District. The sanctuary is under the direct charge of an Assistant Wildlife whose office is at Chathiroor near Iritti.

 

 The nearest railway station to this wildlife sanctuary is Thalassery and the nearest airport is Calicut, 113 kilometers away from Iritti.

 

 

Chimminy Wild life Sanctuary - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 review

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Chimminy Wild life Sanctuary

 

It is located 35kms from Thrissur in Mukunadapuram Taluk of Thrissur District. This sanctuary is established in 1984. The headquarters of this sanctuary is at Echippara which is 28 kms away from Amballoor village. Amballoor is 12 kilometers away from Thrissur town in south direction. The Chimminy dam was constructed across the Chimmini river at 75m, above the sea level in 1976-1983. Due to this, a large section of forest was cleared during 1976-83 period. This sanctuary, consisting of the watershed areas of Kunumali and Mupliyam rivers, is encircled by hills.  A part of the Chimmini wildlife sanctuary is situating adjacent to the Peechi-Vazhani wildlife sanctuary and the other part to Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary. All kinds of flora found in rain forest are found here. The altitude of Chimmini dam area varies from 40 meters to 1110 meters to the eastern direction. Punda peak which is situated at the eastern side of the sanctuary has an altitude of 1116 meters. Chimmini wildlife sanctuary lies between the longitude 10° 22' to 10° 26' and latitude 76° 31' - 76° 37' at the western valley of Nelliyampathi.Main attractions of this sanctuary are its unique flora and fauna. The main feature of the flora includes evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, and leaf shedding forests. The major fauna includes leopards, elephants, bears, wild pigs, wild bisons; tigers etc. Trekking trails includes many paths up the rocks and into the forests of sanctuary.

 

The nearest airports are Kochi and Coimbatore. Thrissur is the nearest important railway station. However, tourists can easily access the sanctuary since all the important trains stop at Chalakkudy. There is a length of 24 kilometers from Thrissur town to Echippara, the headquarters of the sanctuary. There are many paths in the sanctuary to climb the rocks and study the forests.

 

 

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Chinnar Wildlife Sancutary

 

Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is situated on the Munnar- Udampety road it is 70 kms from Munnar. Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is located close to Eravikulam National Park and Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamilnadu state also adds the attraction of this sanctuary.  This sanctuary is under the jurisdiction of Eravikulam National Park. This sanctuary sharing its borders with Eravikulam National Park in the South, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in the north, and Kodiakanal Wildlife Sanctuary in the east.  The Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub cluster, including all of Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO World Heritage committee.

 

This sanctuary is established in 1984, is home to wide range of wildlife species. Because of the major variation in altitude and rainfall, it has a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorny forest, riparian types, shoals and grasslands that are interspersed with plains, hillocks, rocks and cliffs which provide microhabitats for varied forms of life. It is an abundant habitat of reptilian fauna and the richest in Kerala in terms of the number of species. Albizia lathamii, a critically endangered species has been reported from the dry forests of Chinnar. It is a well known repository of medicinal plants. The riverine forests along Chinnar and Pambar support a healthy population of Grizzled Giant Squirrel.

 

The famous ‘white bison of Manjampatti’ has been recently reported from Chinnar. With 225 species of birds, Chinnar is rich in avian diversity. In association with the neighbouring PAs, Chinnar forms part of a viable conservation unit.It is considers as 34 variety species of Mammals live here, includes Panthers, Indian Elephants, Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer,  Tigers, Gaur, Langur, Bonnet Macque, Hanuman Monkey, Nilgiri Tahr, Wild Cats, Giant Squirrels…Etc. Around 245 species of birds including yellow throated Bulbuls. About 52 species of reptiles including 29 species of snakes, Indian Star Tortoise, and the largest population of Vulnerable Mugger Crocodiles if found in this Sanctuary. There are 156 species of butterflies can find here. The amazing phenomenon of butterfly migration occurs in between the monsoons.

 

 

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Eravikulam National Park - Rajmalai Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Eravikulam National Park is one among the two national parks in Kerala. The eminent sanctuary is located near Munnar. It is easily accessible by road; just 4km from the Munnar- Udumalapet road. It is 135 km from Kochi and is situated at the crest of Anamalai range. It was originally established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975, and considering its ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National Park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq.kms of rolling grasslands and high level shoalas. The park is breath-takingly beautiful and is comparable to the best of mountain ranges in the Alps

 

 It has the largest population of one of the most endagerd species, “Nilgiri Tahr” existing in the world now. Other major fauna include sambar, tiger, pantha, nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, wolf, pigeon, blackbird and jungle crow etc.A rich and varied type of flora can also be seen here. The rare species popularly known as “Neelakurinji” grows here. This amazing flower flourishes only one time in every fourteen years. The major flora includes Actinodaphne bourdilloni, Microtropis ramiflora, pittosporum tetraspermium, Sysygium arnottianum, Chrysopogon zelanieus, Eupatorium adenophorum, Strobilanthes, Kunthi anus (Neelakurinji), Eulalia phaeothrix, Tripogen bromodes, Arundninella fuscata and Cyanotis species.

 

The key fauna includes Tiger, panther and wild dogs are usually sighted in both the open grass land sholas forests. Civet cat and jungle cat also live in the sholas. Sloth bear, Nilgiri langur and wild boar are generally found in sholas and their fringes. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is seen in this park. The population of the world famous Nilgiri Tahr is 1317 according to the 1991 census. There were only 885 in 1989.

 

 

Eravikulam National Park is under the control of Idukki Forest Division with headquarters at Painavu (Vellappara) and under the direct charge of the Assistant Wildlife warden with headquarters at Rajamala.Tourists can visit the Rajmala part of the park with entry passes. The park is nearly 15 kms north of Munnar, which can be reached from Kochi (135 kms) and Kottayam (148 kms). The nearest airport is Kochi and the nearest railway station is Aluva, which is 115 kms from Munnar.

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Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located about 40 kilometers from Thodupuzha around 450 meters to 750 meters from above sea level. This sanctuary spread over the Udumpanchola taluks & Thodupuzha. The total land area of the sanctuary is nearly 77sq kilometers. The beautiful Idukki reservoir that spread more than 33 sq kilometers also adds attraction to this sanctuary. Idukki reservoir is formed by three dams; these are Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is very affluent with its wild population. The sanctuary has a great diversity of flora and fauna. The fauna also includes Langur, Leopard , Wild Boar, Elephants, Bison, Sambhar, Deer, Wild Dogs, Jungle Cats, Tiger, Wild Boar etc reptiles such as Cobra, Viper, Krait and a large number of non- poisonous snakes can also spotted here. Large number of birds like Jungle Fowl, Myna, Laughing Thrush, Black Bulbul, Peafowl, Woodpecker, Kingfisher etc also inhabits this sanctuary.  Idukki arch dam located to close to this sanctuary is the Asia’s first & world’s second arch shape dam. Idukki Arch dam is constructed across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills with an average height of 550 feet and 650 feet wide.  Between these two hills and roaming groups of wild elephants and gaur is the main attraction of this sanctuary. More over the tropical semi-evergreen and deciduous forests surrounded to this sanctuary will rejuvenate your senses.   

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This small but affluent 14 acre ornithologist's paradise is located in the banks of Kanavara River & Vemabanad lake is also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary.  It is located only 14 km away from Kottaym.  Kumarakom bird sanctuary was developed in rubber plantations by Mr. Baker, an English Man in the last century. The sanctuary was formerly known as "Bakers Estate".  

 

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to a variety of migratory birds including the rare Siberian Crane and numerous other local species like cuckoo, waterfowl, owl, egret, cormorant, moorhen, darter, Brahminy kite and the duck,  Bitterns,  Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons. Parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds come from the Himalayas, and a few from far away Siberia.

 

The best time to watch bird is between June and August. To watch Migratory birds, November to February is the best time. Dawn is the ideal time for bird watching when the birds prepare to leave their forest homes and fly over the lake. An early morning trek, well before sunrise, is recommended for avid bird watchers.

 

Houseboats and motorboats are easily available on hire for bird watching cruises on the lake. Neighbouring areas such as Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathirmanal, Narakathara, Thollairam Kayal, and Poothanpandi Kayal are also good spots for spotting birds. Pathiramanal Island is an enchanting pristine ten acre island on the backwaters is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island in the Vembanad lake is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma.From today onwards this Pathirammanal has to be raised up as a bio-park by the Tourism department of Kerala. 

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Nearest Aiport is Cochin International Airport located 105 kms away & the nearest railway station is Kottayam.

 

 

 

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Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is established in 1958.It is located 30 kilometers away from Thiruvanathapuram, the capital city. The Neyyar sanctuary is the drainage basin of the Neyyar river and its tributaries-Mullayar and Kallar. The Neyyar river and its tributaries flow along the entire stretch of the preserve. The irrigation dam at Neyyar receives water from the Neyyar river which originates from Agasthyakoodam hill . Tourists can visit the Lion Safari Park, Crocodile Farm and take a ride in the lake.. The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation arranges conducted tours to the Neyyar sanctuary. The Agasthyakoodam peak region supports a wide variety of plant species including medicinal plants. There are at least 109 rare plants in the area. Trekking to Agasthyakoodam peak particularly during summer is a popular pastime of youngsters. However, unregulated trekking is restricted. 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 of this sanctuary.

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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Parambikulam Wildlife sanctuary is located about 110 kilometers from Palakkad. It is ideally placed between the Anamalai ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy ranges of Kerala on the majestic Western Ghats. This virgin valley that is the pride of Kerala is a magnificent honour to untouched nature. The reservoir harbours several multiplicities of aquatic fauna including mugger crocodiles that are often seen sunning on its banks. It is a part of the neighboring Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamilnadu, is the one of the best in Kerala. The Government of India declared Parambikulam as the second Tiger Reserve of Kerala. Spread over 285sq.km.

Topography is this place really suitable to the growth of teak; the tract encouraged large scale teak plantations through artificial regeneration in the early 1920's. This was, however, abandoned when a full-fledged Wildlife department was formed in 1985. 9,000 ha of teak plantations in the sanctuary are being managed in such a way as to restore the forest's original status. A giant teak tree 40m high and 6.4m in girth is a standing monument of the past aptly named 'Kannimaram'

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich diversity of flora and fauna which are excellently conserved due to total protection and minimal human interferences. The sanctuary being a most important ecological range from Peechhi to Eravikulam through Anamalai aids the large viable populations of wildlife. It is the home ground for different races of indigenous people who are as well an integral part of the prevailing harmonious ecosystem. The thick, affluent habitat of the sanctuary with ample water supplys make it an abode for wildlife and there by for tourist who can have treasured memories of animal sightings and that of being in the lap of mother nature. It has a large population of gaur, sambar and spotted deer, Nilgiri langur, Jungle cat, lion tailed macaque, sloth bear along with some tigers and leopard. “The cannimare Teak tree”, said to be Asia’s largest, stands about 5km from Thunakadu,the headquarters of Parambikulam. Boating can be done at the lake at Parambikulam. Trekking in the sanctuary is possible with the permission of forest officials.

 

 

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is sanctuary is easily accessible by road. Public transport buses are available between Pollachi and Parambikulam. Pollachi is 60kms away and has a railway station. The nearest airport is Coimbatore, 100kms away. Visitors can have boat rides in the Parambikulam Lake and tour the sanctuary with the help of guides.

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Peechi - Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary


This sanctuary is established in 1958. It is located about 20 kiloemeters east of Thrissur town. This sanctuary consisting of Palappilli- Nelliyampathi forests spreads over an area of Chimminy wildlife sanctuary. Normally enjoyable climate is an experience in this captivating place with a synthesis of plains and hills. “Ponmudi hill” with a height of 923 meter is the highest peak in this region which runs to the altitude ranging from 45 metres to 900 meters.

 

 

The evergreen forests are very sparingly seen in this wildlife sanctuary which is blessed with various kinds of flora. In the wet leaves shedding forests, trees like Teak, Rosewood, Irul, Thenmavu and Venteak grow in profusion. In the evergreen forests, trees like kalpine, kambakam, karakil, whiteakil and ambani are seen. More than 50 different orchids and innumerable rare medicinal plants can also be spotted here. Twenty five different species of mammals, more than 60 types of birds and 10 types of snakes live here. Carnivorous animals like leopard, tiger, fox etc and herbivorous animals like elks, deer, barking deer etc are here. Bison and elephants are rarely seen in the interior forests. Herds of spotted deer are commonly seen here. In leaves shedding forests and meadows elks are seen in large numbers. This sanctuary is a abode place of many kinds of birds and various species of birds were found out here in the ornithology assessment conducted recently. Headquarters of this wildlife sanctuary is at Peechi. An information centre functions here for the tourists. The famous Kerala Forest Research Centre situated here adds importance to this sanctuary. Boating facilities are arranged in the lake, here.

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The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated about 50 kilometers north east of Thiruvananthapuram city. Rainfall and other climate factors are similar to that of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. There are 13 tribal settlements in the sanctuary. Eleven are in Athirumala section and two are in Thodayar section. The forests of Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary constitute the catchments of Peppara dam constructed across Karamana River and commissioned during 1983 to increase drinking water supply to Thiruvananthapuram city and its suburban areas. Considering the ecological significance of the area, it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1983. The area was formerly a part of Paruthippally range of Thiruvananthapuram Territorial Division. The major mammals include elephant, gaur,sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, tiger, panther, wild dog, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar squirrel etc. Water birds like darter, little cormorant, pied king fisher and egrets are also common. Many kinds of snakes including the king cobra and python are also present in this sanctuary. The area has a variety of moth and butterflies.

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Periyar wildlife sanctuary is located in the hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady nearly 185 kilometers from Cochin. 5500 hectare Periyar Lake is situated in the center of Periyar National Park is the major attraction of this park. Periyar Lake is formed when the construction of a Mullaperiyar dam on the river Periyar in 1895.This dam submerged low-lying forest whose dead tree trunks still jut out of the waters. This wonderful wildlife reserve declared as a national park in the year 1950. In 1978 it is declared as tiger reserve. This is the one & only wildlife sanctuary in India where you can have the exceptional experience of watching wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake.  On the border of the lake you can find swampy areas with tall grasslands. This is one of the major habitats of large mammals because it provides both excellent wrap and sustenance in the form of luscious shoots and grasses. Here it is possible to see large herds of wild Indian Elephant with relative ease as well as Nilgiri Langur and the Lion tail Macaque in higher areas.

The surrounded forests are tropical, a mixture of dense semi-evergreen and evergreen forest. The forests alternate with extensive patches of grasslands. Periyar’s wealthy bird life includes the Giant Hornbill, Cormorant, Darter, Osprey and Racket-tailed Drongo. The Indian Python and King Cobra are among the major reptilian fauna. Periyar has a few Nilgiri Tahr one of the most endangered species in the world. It is assumed that, In Periyar Tiger Reserve there are 50 species of mammals, 263 species of birds, 35 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians, 30 species of fishes and 160 species of butterflies have been identified so far. Some important mammals are tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, sambar, wild dog, barking deer, lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur and Nilgiri tahr.Periyar Widllife Sanctuary proud about a quite prosperous and various floras. The flora in Periyar National Park chiefly comprises of Tropical Evergreen forests and Semi-evergreen forests around the reservoir. The major flora in the park include the Teak, Rosewood, Terminalia, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, Jacaranda (a hardwood timber tree with purple flowers), Mango, Jamun, Tamarind, Banyan, Pipal, Plumeria, Gulmohar and Bamboo among many others.

 

 

 

 

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Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary

The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the southern part of the Western Ghats in the Pathanapuram taluk of Kollam district. The sanctuary covers a total area of 100.32 square kilometers. Historically, Shenduruny has a rich tradition. As per a  recent study has resulted in the excavation of the remains of Stone Age culture from a large cave situated at the north -western part of the Shenduruny river. It was proved that these remains belong to the Mesolithic period. Etymologically the word “Shenduruny” has been derived from a tree species locally called 'Shenkuruny or Chenkuruny' (Gluta travancorica), an widespread tree mainly confined to this area. The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1984. The construction of the Parappar dam across the confluence of the Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers has resulted in the creation of an artificial lake of about 26 square kilometers. which spreads along the middle of the sanctuary. The construction of the dam has also caused to destruction of about 23 square kilometers of rich forest cover. Prior to the development of Shenduruny as a wildlife sanctuary, the area was under the Thenmala Forest Division. Both clear felling and selection felling were once practiced in this area to a large extent. Large tracts of forests were clear felled and such areas were converted to plantations. Besides, the expansion of the Thiruvananthapuram - Shencottah road (T.S.Road) during the 40's also enhanced the deterioration of the Shenduruny forests. Despite all these disturbances the fauna status of Shenduruny valley was found to be some what well, especially in the eastern mountainous zone. So, according to the recommendations by the Quilon Circle Committee report, the Government declared Shenduruny as wildlife sanctuary on August 25, 1984. Now the sanctuary comes under the Thiruvananthapuram Wildlife Division.

 


 There are four different types of vegetation have been found in Shenduruny, these are the west coast tropical evergreen forest,  west coast tropical semi-evergreen forest,  southern moist mixed deciduous forest and the southern hilltop tropical evergreen forest. Among these four types of vegetations, the tropical evergreen forest comprises one fourth of the total area. The major fauna includes,  Macaca Radiata, the bonnet macaque, the lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, squirrels, the Indian giant squirrel, three striped palm squirrel, the gaur or Indian bison, the sambar deer, the muntjack or barking deer, the Indian chevrotain or mouse deer, wild boar and the Indian elephant are live in this sanctuary

 

 

Silent Valley National Park - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 review

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Silent Valley National Park

 

 

Silent Valley National park is located in the Nilgiri hills, Palakkad district, Kerala, in South India. The area under this national park was historically explored in1847 by the

Botanist Robert Wright, and is associated with Hindu legend.

 

The park is one of the last undisturbed tracts of South Western Ghats montane rain forests and tropical moist evergreen forest in India. Contiguous with the proposed Karimpuzha National Park to the north and Mukurthi National Park to the north east,

it is the core of the Nilgiri International Biosphere Reserve, and is part of the Western Ghats World Heritage Site, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster under consideration by UNESCO.

 

Plans for a hydroelectric project that threatened the parks high diversity of wildlife stimulated an environmentalist Social Movement in the 1970’s called Save Silent Valley which resulted in cancellation of the project and creation of the park is at Sairandhri.

 

The area is locally known as “Sairandhrivanam” literally, in Malayalam: Sairandhari Valley. In local Hindu legend, Sairandhri is Draupadi, the polyandrous wife of the five Pandavas, who disguised herself as Sairandhri, queen Sudeshna’s assistant, while they were in exile. The Pandavas, deprived of their kingdom, set out on a 13yr exile. They wandered south, into what is now Kerala, until one day they came upon a magical valley where rolling grasslands met wooded ravines, a deep green river bubbled its course through impenetrable forest, where at dawn and twilight the tiger and elephant would drink together at the water’s edge, where all was harmonious and man unknown. Beside that river, in a cave on a hill slope, the Pandavas halted.

 

The first English investigation of the watersheds of the Silent Valley area was in 1847 by the botanist Robert Wight. The British named the area Silent Valley because of a perceived absence of noisy Cicads.Another story attributes the name to the Anglicization of Sairandhri.A third story, refers to the presence there of many Lion tailed Macaques-Maccaca Silenus.In 1914 the forest of the Silent Valley area was declared a Reserve Forest, however, from 1927to 1976 portions of the Silent Valley forest area were subjected to forestry operations. In 1928 the location on the Kunthipuzha River at Sairandhri was identified as an ideal site for electricity generation and in 1958 a study and survey of the area was conducted and a hydroelectric project of 120MV costing Rs.17 crore was proposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board.

 

 

Silent Valley is home to the largest population of Lion tailed Macaque. Public controversy over their habitat led to establishment of Silent Valley National Park.In 1973 the valley became the focal point of “Save Silent Valley”, India’s fiercest environmental debate of the decade, when the Kerala State Electricity Board decided to implement the Silent Valley Hydro-Electric Project centered on a dam across the Kunthipuzha River. The resulting reservoir would flood 8.3square meter of virgin rainforest and threaten the endangered Lion –tailed macaque. In 1976 the Kerala State Electricity Board announced plans to begin dam construction and the issue were brought to public attention.

The Kunthipuzha River drains the entire 15km length of the park from north to south into the Bharthapuzha river.Kunthipuzha River divides the park into a narrow eastern sector of width 2kms and a wide western sector of 5 kms.The river is characterized by its crystal clear and perennial nature. The main tributaries of the river, kunthancholapuzha, Karingathodu, Madrimaranthodu, Valliaparathodu and Kummarthanthodu originate on the upper slopes of the eastern side of the valley. The river is uniformly shallow; with no flood plains or meanders.

 

 

Silent Valley gets copious amounts of rainfall during the monsoons, but the actual amount varies within the region due the varied topography. The mean annual rainfall ranges from over 5000mm in the Neelikal area in the west to around 3200mm on the eastern side of the park. The park being completely enclosed withing a ring of hills, has its own micro-climate and probably receives some conventional rainfall, in addition to rain from two monsoons. In general the rainfall is higher at higher alttitude and decreases from the west to east due to the rain shadow effect. Eighty percent of the rainfall occurs during the south-west monsoon. It also receives significant amount of rainfall during the north-east monsoon.

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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary also known as The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is situated about 65 kilometers away from Kochi and the nearest town is Kothamangalam located 13 kilometers away from sanctuary. This sanctuary is beautifully located on the banks of the river Periyar. . The sanctuary was advised in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali, world famous ornithologist, many years previously. Dr. Salim 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. There is a three storied watch tower inside the Sanctuary with two beds, a toilet and a kitchen. No electricity here but there are a few solar powered lamps. A forest department inspection bungalow called Hornbill is located near the sanctuary entrance. There is a dormitory just inside the sanctuary which is ideal for large groups. Accommodation is also available at the PWD rest house near the Bhoothathankett Dam and in lodges in Kothamangalam.

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Wayand wildlife sanctuary is established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to the protected forest area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the north-east and Mudimalai of Tamilnadu on the south-east. This wildlife sanctuary is rich in bio-diversity; the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Which has been established with the specific objective of conservation of the biological heritage of this region. Consisting entirely of notified reserve, the sanctuary is very rich in fauna and flora. Generally Wayanad has an invigorating climate. The average rain fall in this district is 2322 Millie Meter. Lakkidi, Vythiri and Meppadi are the high rainfall areas in Wayanad. Annual rain fall in these high rain fall areas ranges from 3,000 to 4,000m.m. High velocity winds are common during the south west monsoon and dry winds blow in March-April. High altitude regions experience severe cold.

 

 Around 110 sq. kilometers of the sanctuary is under plantations of teak, eucalyptus and grevelia. In the dense evergreen forest, maruthi, karimaruthi, rosewood, venteak, vengal, chadachi, mazhukanjiram, bamboo etc grow. In the semi evergreen forest Lagerstroemia, Lanceolata, Termianalia paniculata etc are common. The animal inhabitants of this sanctuary includes Elephant, tiger, Panther, jungle cat, civet cat, monkeys, wild dog, bison, deer, bear, etc. Reptiles like monitor lizard and a variety of snakes are commonly seen. Peacock, babblers, cuckoos, owl, wood pecker and jungle fowl are only a few among the different types of birds seen in the area. The sanctuary comes under the Wayanand Wildlife Division with head quarters at Sultan Bathery. The management of the Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary gives emphasis on the scientific preservation taking in to account of the general lifestyle of the Tribals and others who live on the fringe of the forest. Elephant, spotted deer. Bison, tiger, cheetah, wild bear etc. can be spotted here. Elephant rides are arranged by the Forest department.