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    Lions at one of the national parks in Kerala

    There are more than 500 wildlife sanctuaries in India, each housing wide variety of flora and fauna. And for those who wish to gel with raw nature, wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala are among the best places in India to witness the rare wild animals and birds in action in their own natural habitat.

    These wildlife sanctuaries include endangered species like mountain goats (Nilgiri Tahr), lion-tailed macaque, Indian elephant, Bengal Tiger and various other types of birds, animals, and plants. The uniqueness of each wildlife sanctuary in Kerala lies in the unbelievable combination of beautiful intact forests and raw nature.

    So, be ready with your camera phones and DSLRs for you never know, you might get to witness something which is as surprising and photogenic as you would like it to be.

    1. Begur Wildlife Sanctuary

    Elephants at Begur Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala

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    Located in the plateau region of Western Ghats, Begur Wildlife Sanctuary has an exotic variety of fauna. The tourist-friendly climate and picturesque surroundings make it one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in the state. The variety of trees and wildlife thriving indicate a fine balance of nature.

    Best time to visit: December to May

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thalassery Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Kozhikode Airport
    • Nearest town: Mananthavady

    Entry charges: A nominal entry fee of INR 10 is applicable. For detailed information, please visit the official website and/or call the toll free number given on the website.

    Timings: 06:00 am to 08:00 am and 03:00 pm to 05:30 pm (all days)

    Things to do in Begur Wildlife Sanctuary: Jeep safari, trekking and jungle walks

    Birds and animals to watch out for: Black bulbul, Peafowl, bears, Laughing Thrush, Panthers, Wild boars

    Places to visit near Begur Wildlife Sanctuary: Kabini River, Kanthanpara Waterfall, Wayanad Jain Temple, Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Lakkidi, Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary and Banasura Dam are some of the best places to visit near Begur Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Suggested places to stay: There are no government guest houses or lodges available. However, you can find hotels and accommodation facilities in Kalpetta and other nearby towns and cities. Treehouse resort near Vythiri is popular amongst tourists for its comfortable lodging facility.

    Tips: Carry a cap/hat, a sunscreen lotion, mosquito/insect repellents and an extra pair of comfortable shoes. Also, do not forget to carry an adequate quantity of food and water for there are no restaurants within the sanctuary.

    Must Read: 11 Amazing Tree Houses In India: A Treat For Your Younger Self!


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    2. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

    Witness the king of food chain at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

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    Endowed with picturesque landscape, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is a protected region in south Western Ghats in Palakkad District. It was declared a Tiger Reserve in the year 2009. Going by a census in 2010, the reserve has lived up to its name by showing a substantial increase in the number of tigers in the sanctuary. It is also home to more than 250 species of birds which means bird watching is a delight for tourists here.

    Best time to visit: October to April

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Palakkad
    • Nearest airport: Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)
    • Nearest town: Pollachi

    Entry charges: INR 50 for light vehicles and INR 150 for heavy vehicles

    Timings: 07:00 am to 04:00 pm

    Things to do in Parambikulam Tiger Reserve: Trekking, camping, jungle safari and shopping in Parambikulam town

    Birds and animals to watch out for: Tigers, leopards, lion-tailed Macaque, Asian Elephant, Pit Vipers, King Cobras, Great Pied Hornbill and various others. It also has over 1400 species of plants.

    Places to visit near Parambikulam Tiger Reserve: Kumily town, Mangala Devi Temple, Shri Ayappa Temple

    Suggested places to stay nearby: Tree houses and located in forest reserve itself and maintained by forest department are ideal places for stays. You can also book a hotel in the nearby town of Pollachi.

    Tips: Do not try any activity after 6 in the evening. Do not bring alcohol or tobacco products inside the tiger reserve. Bring raincoats and prefer wearing shoes while touring Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.

    3. Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary

    A leopard at Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala

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    Established in 1958, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is the second oldest wildlife sanctuary in the state of Kerala. Located in Thrissur district, it is surrounded by reservoirs formed by two dams- Peechi and Vazhani which is the reason which further makes it stand out among all other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala.

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thrissur
    • Nearest airport: Kochi
    • Nearest town: Thrissur (Thannichuvadu Bus Stand)

    Entry charges: INR 10 for adults and INR 5 for children. Parking charges extra.

    Timings: 08:00 am to 06:00 pm (everyday)

    Things to do in Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary: Jungle safari and nature walks are preferred by many tourists. Boat safari, bird watching, trekking, and camping are also popular.

    Animals to watch out for: Tigers, leopards, Asian elephants, Indian bison and spotted deer.

    Places to visit near Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary: Thrissur town, Guruvayur temple, Palayoor Church, nearby beaches, Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls.

    Suggested places to stay: State Forest Department accommodation facilities, camp within the forest or book hotels in Thrissur.

    Tips: Carry mosquito repellents and an extra pair of shoes.

    4. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

    Enjoy spotting migratory birds at Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

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    Popular as Green Lung of Kochi, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is located right behind the Kerala High Court housing over 32 species of exotic birds and about 17 species of butterflies. This place is famous among the nature & bird lovers who come here from local as well as far off areas.

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Ernakulam South
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Kaloor Bus Stop

    Timings: 06:00 am to 06:30 pm

    Things to do in Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary: Jungle safari and bird watching

    Animals and birds to watch out for: Waterhen, marsh sandpiper, different species of butterflies and the surrounding mangrove vegetation.

    Places to visit near Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary: Boating and shopping in Kochi. Also, visit popular beaches of Kochi and Ernakulam.

    Suggested places to stay: It’s recommended that you stay at Forest Department facilities or at PWD rest houses. However, in the case of unavailability, you can choose to stay at any of the hotels in Ernakulam.

    Tips: Carry mosquito repellents and sunscreen lotions.

    5. Mathikettan Shola National Park

    A view of picturesque landscape of Mathikettan Shola National Park

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    Located in Idukki district, this national park is the place where the mother nature can literally absorb you once you enter the park. So, don’t get shocked if you forget the path leading out which is why it’s also called as a maze by the locals.

    Best time to visit: November to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Kottayam
    • Nearest airport: Madurai & Kochi Airports
    • Nearest town: Well connected by roads to major cities

    Entry charges: INR 40 per person for Indian tourists and INR 500 for international tourists.

    Things to do in Mathikettan Shola National Park: Forest trekking, Jungle safari, and bird watching

    Animals to watch out for: Mathikettan Shola National Park is home to rare wild animals like tigers, panthers, giant grizzled squirrels, flying squirrels and Nilgiri Tahr.

    Places to visit near Mathikettan Shola National Park: Munnar, Kumarakom, Thekkady.

    Suggested places to stay: There are no accommodation facilities within the national park. However, lodging facilities are available nearby in Poopara and in Madurai.

    Tips: Pack your own eatables and water as there are no eateries within the national park.

    6. Periyar Tiger Reserve

    A tiger stares back in Periyar Tiger Reserve

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    Periyar Tiger Reserve is a protected region, which boasts of unbelievable scenic beauty and rich biodiversity. It is one of the famous 27 tiger reserves in India. Get set for some close encounters with big cats as you take a jeep safari while watching these striped beasts rambling in sheer royalness through the dense jungles of Periyar.

    Best time to visit: October to April

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Kottayam
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Kumily is the nearest town. However, it is connected to nearby major towns and cities like Thiruvanthapuram, Munnar, Madurai.

    Entry charges

    • For Indian tourists: INR 5 for children | INR 25 for adults
    • For foreign tourists: INR 105 for children | INR 300 for adults
    • For vehicles INR 50 for Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) | INR 200 for Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) | INR 25 for two-wheelers

    Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm

    Things to do in Periyar Tiger Reserve: Enjoy spotting a variety of wild animals as you take a boat cruise within the reserve. Apart from this add thrill to your tour by opting for jungle patrolling in the night.

    Animals to watch out for: Tigers, wild dogs, and sloth bears. If you are lucky enough, you might even spot palm civet, jackal, stripe-necked mongoose or black-naped hare.

    Places to visit near Periyar Tiger Reserve: Periyar Lake, Spice gardens, and Ayurvedic garden.

    Suggested places to stay: There are accommodation facilities provided by Kerala Forest Department and Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. You can also choose to stay in at hotels in nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: Don’t forget to pack binoculars, adequate warm and waterproof clothing, bottled water and of course, your cameras with good power backup.

    Suggested Read: Ranthambore National Park- The Biggest Habitat Of Nature’s Most Ferocious Predator

    7. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

    A group of Bonnet Macaques sitting on a branch of a tree in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Neighboring with Eravikulam National Park, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Idukki district of Kerala. Due to its scenic natural beauty and a wide variety of flora and fauna, this wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is in a fray to get listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also houses endangered giant grizzled squirrel.

    Best time to visit: December to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Ernakulam
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Marayoor. Also, Munnar is just 60 km from Chinnar

    Entry charges

    • For Indians: INR 5 for children | INR 10 for adults
    • For foreign tourists: INR 100 per person
    • For vehicles: INR 150 for HMVs | INR 50 for LMVs
    • For photography: INR 150 for camcorder | INR 25 for still camera

    Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm

    Things to do in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Hunter Jeep ride, elephant ride, boat ride and nature walks are some of the great things to do in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Apart from this, tourists can indulge in trekking and witness the famous Thoovanam Falls.

    Animals to watch out for: You can find Kraits, vipers, turtles, gaur, cormorants, spectacled cobras, mugger crocodiles, and many more exotic species. Tourists can also enjoy unique phenomenon of beautiful butterfly migration in monsoons.

    Places to visit near Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Marayoor Sandalwood Forest, children’s park, and picturesque Lakkam Waterfall.

    Suggested places to stay: You can put up at accommodation facilities provided by authorities of the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in the forest guesthouses, treetop cabins, tribal huts, log houses at Vasyappara and Churlipatti. You can also choose to stay at hotels in Munnar.

    Tips: Binoculars, adequate warm and waterproof clothing and sufficient bottled water are some of the must-pack things while visiting Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.

    8. Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

    Deers at the famous Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

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    With around 40 species of mammals, 176 species of birds, 40 species of fish, 30 species of reptiles and 17 species of amphibians, Neyyar National Park makes an ideal preserve for a wide variety of wildlife. Also, there is a Crocodile Breeding Centre dedicated to the late Australian legend and crocodile expert Steve Irwin. So, if you still don’t visit this, you might be missing out on one of the most popular and best wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala.

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central
    • Nearest airport: Trivandrum Airport
    • Nearest town: Neyyattinkara

    Entry charges: INR 5 under 5-year-olds | INR 125 for 5-12-year-olds| INR 250 for adults

    Timings: 09:00 am to 04:00 pm (Tuesday to Sunday)

    Things to do in Neyyar National Park: Visit Lion Safari Park, Deer Park, capture the best of wild in action, enjoy boating on Neyyar Lake and trekking at Agasthyamalai Hill.

    Animals to watch out for: Slender Loris, King Cobra, Travancore Tortoise, lion-tailed macaques and fierce crocodiles at Crocodile Production Centre.

    Places to visit near Neyyar National Park: Museum Complex Thiruvananthapuram, Sivagiri Mutt and Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Priyadarshini Museum and Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum.

    Suggested places to stay: Prefer staying at Kerala Government or Department of Tourism accredited accommodations. You can also stay at hotels in nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: Adhere to strict dress code with colors such as khaki, green, brown and others which camouflage you when you go out in the jungle.

    9. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

    Wild animal in action at Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Owing to its dense forests, clear streams and extremely rich and diverse flora and fauna, this is an exciting and most vivid of all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, named after the Peppara Dam. A combination of tropical evergreen forests, deciduous forests, and swamp forests makes Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary an ideal place for various species to thrive and survive easily.

    Best time to visit: December to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central
    • Nearest airport: Trivandrum Airport
    • Nearest town: Thiruvananthapuram

    Entry charges

    • For Indian citizens: INR 35 per adult | INR 50 per child (below 12 years)
    • For foreign tourists: INR 150 per person
    • For photography: INR 20 for still camera | INR 150 for video camera
    • For vehicles: INR 50 for LMVs | INR 150 for HMVs

    Timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm (All days)

    Things to do in Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary: Bird watching, trekking, and visiting Bona Falls, Vazhvanthol waterfalls, & Kalarkad waterfalls

    Animals to watch out for: Tigers, leopards, sloth bears, bonnet macaques, Nilgiri langur and Nilgiri Tahr.

    Places to visit near Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary: Kottoor Kappukadu Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, Vazhvanthol Waterfalls and Meenmutty Waterfalls and Palode Botanical Gardens.

    Suggested places to stay: Prefer staying at Kerala Government or Department of Tourism Unluckily, government accredited accommodation facilities are not available in Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary. Hotels and accommodation facilities can be found in Vithura and other nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: If you are traveling by road, it’s recommended that you hire a good driver as hilly terrain demands very skillful driving.

    10. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

    The entrance to the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is quite near to picturesque tourist destination, Coorg. Housing a wide variety of flora and fauna, this wildlife sanctuary is a perfect place for those who want to witness the nature, up and close. Also, there’s a Central State Farm within the sanctuary which is the production centre for hybrid coconut seeds in India.

    Best time to visit: December to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thalassery
    • Nearest airport: Calicut Airport
    • Nearest town: Iritty

    Entry charges

    • For Indian citizens:INR 7 for students and children below 13 years | INR 7 for students | INR 15 for adults
    • For foreigners:INR 200 per person
    • Others: INR 38 for still camera | INR 225 for video camera | INR 75 for vehicles | INR 300 for guides

    Timings: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm (All days)

    Things to do in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary: Adventure-filled treks, nature camps, jungle walks and wildlife safari

    Animals to watch out for: Sambar Deer, Mouse Deer, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, tigers, and leopards.

    Places to visit near Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary: Kannur town for shopping and trying local delicacies, Snake Park, Arakkal Palace, Thodeekalam Siva Temple, Pazhassi Dam and Payyambalam Beach are some of the major nearby attractions.

    Suggested places to stay: You will find government-operated guest houses and also private lodges, hotels, and restaurants in Iritty- a small town 20 km away from the sanctuary.

    Tips: Alcohol, cigarettes and polyethylene bags are strictly prohibited inside the wildlife sanctuary.

    11. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

    Migratory birds seen playing at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala

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    Also known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, this is a home to over 500 different varieties of exotic birds which make it the richest habitat for birds not only in Kerala but in the Indian Peninsular region. This wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is a paradise for bird watchers and animal lovers. Various species of butterflies are also found here. This means at every time you look up in the sky or on trees, you will spot a new bird. Amazing, isn’t it?

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Aluva Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Kothamangalam

    Entry charges: INR 5 for entry | INR 30 for still photography | INR 75 for video recording

    Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm (all days)

    Things to do in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: Bird watching, trekking, and nature walk.

    Birds to watch out for: Ceylon Frogmouth, Indian Pitta, and Malabar Trogon. Various types of butterflies can also be seen here.

    Places to visit near Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: Nadukani, Wellington Island, Mattancherry Palace, Marine Drive, Kodanad Elephant Training Centre, Athirapally, and Vazhachal falls, Fort Kochi.

    Suggested places to stay: The Forest Department Inspection Bungalow, also known as The Hornbill Camp, is the most comfortable places to stay within this bird sanctuary. For the tourists traveling in groups, there is a dormitory in the sanctuary. You can also choose to stay at PWD rest house near the Bhoothathankettu Dam or at private lodges and hotels in Kothamangalam.

    Tips: Hire a guide as they know the best spots for bird-watching in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.

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    12. Tholpetty Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

    A Panther rambling through the forest floor at Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Famous amongst the tourists for night-camp and trekking activities, Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in the state. Apart from the rich bio-diversity and stunning beauty, there is a lake within the sanctuary where most animals come to quench their thirst which is another place where most tourists rush to. Nearby the lake, there is a watch tower which is also popular among tourists.

    Best time to visit: Late September to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thalassery Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Calicut Airport
    • Nearest town: Mananthavady

    Entry charges

    • For Indian tourists: INR 20 for adults | INR 10 for children below 12 years and bonafide students on a tour
    • For foreign tourists: INR 110 per person
    • For vehicles INR 150 for HMVs | INR 50 for LMVs
    • For others: INR 150 for video camera | INR 25 for still camera | INR 100 for guide | INR 300 for jeep safari

    Timings: 07:00 am to 09:00 am and 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm (all days)

    Things to do in Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary: Wildlife jeep safari and bird watching

    Animals and birds to watch out for: White-rumped vultures, red-headed vultures, panthers, tigers, jungle cats, jungle fowls and various others.

    Places to visit near Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary: Kuruva Dweep, Thirunelly Temple, Chembra Peak, Wayanad Heritage Museum, Edakkal Caves, and Thrissilery Shiva Temple are some of the famous places to visit near Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary in Wayanad.

    Suggested places to stay: Either you can stay at the guest house managed by the Forest Department available on prior booking or you can opt for a stay at a hotel or a lodge in nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: Carry a Cap/Hat, a sunscreen lotion, mosquito/insect repellents and an extra pair of comfortable shoes.

    13. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

    Elephants strolling at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Spread over an area of approximately 777 sq km, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the biggest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Lying in the heart of this sanctuary is the Periyar Lake where you can see birds flying and catching preys, and spot wild joyous elephants drinking water.

    Best time to visit: October to May

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Kottayam
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Kumily

    Entry Charges: Extra charges for an elephant ride, jeep safari, boat ride, and for bringing cameras in.

    Things to do Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Enjoy Elephant ride and Jeep safari. You can also opt for boat safari in Periyar Lake.

    Animals to watch out for: Nilgiri Langurs, wild boars, barking deer, Indian elephants, white tigers and Bengal Tigers.

    Places to visit near Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Kumily town, Mangala Devi Temple, Shri Ayappa Temple

    Suggested places to stay nearby: There are many government-run guest houses and lodges nearby. However, you can also stay at budget hotels in Cochin or other nearby towns.

    Tips: Reach the entry gate about half an hour before the time to complete the formalities and do hire a guide if you opt for nature walks in the jungle. Also, carry light woolens.

    14. Eravikulam National Park

    A Nilgiri Tahr Goat at Eravikulam National Park

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    Located in one of the most sought after destination in Kerala- Munnar- Eravikulam National Park is home to endangered Mountain Goat also known as Nilgiri Tahr. The beauty of the place and uniqueness of this national park can well be understood by the fact that it’s already a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are in Kerala, it’s a must visit.

    Best time to visit: October to January and April to June

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thalassery Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Munnar

    Entry charges

    • For Indian tourists: INR 90 for adults | INR 65 for children
    • For foreign tourists: INR 360 per person
    • Online reservation fee: INR 50

    Timings: 07:30 am to 04:00 pm (All days)

    Things to do in Eravikulam National Park: Trekking, wild safari, nature walks and photography.

    Animals to watch out for: Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, tigers, leopards, Golden Jackal, striped-necked mongoose and various other types of flora and fauna is found here. Also, there are about 132 species of birds and 101 species of butterflies in this national park.

    Places to visit near Eravikulam National Park: Spice gardens, Tea Museum, Anamudi Peak and the Rose Garden in Munnar are some other popular places to visit near Eravikulam National Park.

    Suggested places to stay: There are a lot of comfortable resorts and hotels in Munnar and nearby places. For more information regarding where to stay in Eravikulam National Park, visit the official website

    Tips: Reach the ticket counter early (07:00 am- 07:30 am) in the morning to avoid long queues or opt for online reservation by paying INR 50 extra.

    Suggested Read: 15 Captivating Tourist Places In Munnar All Nature Lovers Must Visit

    15. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

    A Siberian Crane at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

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    Situated on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom, this is one of the unique wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala housing a number of local and migratory birds. It’s such a joy to watch some of the most endangered birds flying freely in the sky. Besides, the beautiful places to visit in Kumarakom add to the excitement of being here.

    Best time to visit: June to August to watch local birds and November to March to spot migratory birds.

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Kottayam Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Kumarakom

    Entry charges: INR 50 for Indian tourists | INR 100 for foreigners | INR 25 for four-wheel parking | INR 300 for guide fee

    Timings: 06:00 am to 06:00 pm (All days)

    Things to do in Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Local and migratory bird watching.

    Birds to watch out for: Egret, cuckoo, heron, waterfowl, water duck and many more residing birds can be spotted. Migratory birds such as Siberian Cranes, larks and skycatchers can be seen during the season.

    Places to visit near Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Driftwood Museum, Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island, boat cruise in backwaters of Kumarakom,

    Suggested places to stay: There is a resort in the bird sanctuary itself which is owned by Kerala Tourism authorities where you can choose to put up. Also, there are many lodges, hotels, and resorts in Kumarakom where you can enjoy a comfortable stay.

    Tips: Dawn and dusk are the best times of a day to enjoy bird watching.

    16. Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

    A Nilgiri Langur at Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Located in the Western Ghats, neighboring with Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary and nestling Chimmony Lake in its heart, this wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is the most favorable picnic spots for tourists. Apart from the wide variety of wildlife present here, the surrounding beauty of nature is just too much to handle!

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Thrissur Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Kochi Airport
    • Nearest town: Thrissur

    Entry charges: INR 50 for Indian tourists | INR 100 for foreigners | INR 25 for four-wheel parking | INR 300 for guide fee

    Timings: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm (All days)

    Things to do in Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary: Trekking, wild safari, bird watching. Adventure seekers can indulge in Bamboo Rafting on full moon nights here.

    Animals and birds to watch out for: Indian elephants, sambars, grey-headed bulbul, white-bellied flycatcher, Malabar Trogon, Fish Eagle, Loten’s Sunbird, wild dog, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur and many other species of plants and animals can be seen here.

    Places to visit near Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary: Visit Thrissur town and enjoy local food and shopping over there. Besides, you can also visit Chimmony Dam, Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Peechi Dam, Guruvayoor, Archaeological Museum and Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary which are some of the famous tourist attractions near Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Suggested places to stay: Dormitories having 40 beds within the sanctuary are suitable for people traveling in large groups. Inspection Bungalow is great for comfortable accommodation within the sanctuary. You can also stay at nearby hotels, dormitories or lodges.

    Tips: Overnight stay is allowed only after taking permission from concerned authorities.

    17. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

    A pair of spotted deers at Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

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    Being a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity. Of all the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, this is the one where you might get to witness tigers, leopards chasing gazelles, unfamiliar species of birds flying in the sky much frequently. So, all those who keenly watch those ‘wildlife shows’ on TV, get ready for some real action.

    Best time to visit: October to February

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Kozhikode Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Kozhikode Airport
    • Nearest town: Sulthan Bathery

    Entry charges

    • For Indian citizens: INR 10 per adult | INR 5 per child (below 12 years)
    • For foreign tourists: INR 100 per person
    • For photography: INR 25 for still camera | INR 150 for video camera
    • For others: INR 300 for jeep safari | INR 100 for guides

    Timings: 07:00 am to 10:00 am and 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm (All days)

    Things to do in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary: Elephant rides, jeep safari, trekking, bird watching and tribal dance performances.

    Animals and birds to watch out for: Elephants, rhinos, jungle cats, tigers, panthers, monkeys, cuckoo birds.

    Places to visit near Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary: Kuruva Island, Banasura Sagar Dam, Chembra Peak, Neelimala Point, St. Mary’s Church, Phantom Rock, Chethalayam waterfalls, Jain Temple and Ganpati Temple are some famous tourist hotspots near Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Suggested places to stay: Accommodation facility for an overnight stay is available within the sanctuary premises, but the bookings have to be made only through forest wardens. You can stay outside at hotels or lodges in nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: While taking a jeep safari, never get off the vehicle. Always wear dull-coloured clothes.

    18. Silent Valley National Park

    A front view of the entry gate of Silent Valley National Park

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    Also known as ‘Garden of Eden’ for nature lovers, biology students, and life-sciences scientists, this is a one of the most well-preserved forms of tropical rain forests. You will actually be dazed by its bio-diversity. This is, perhaps, one of the least disturbed national parks in this region living to its name quite well.

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Palghat Junction (Palakkad)
    • Nearest airport: Coimbatore Airport
    • Nearest town: Mannarkkad

    Entry charges: INR 78 for Indian citizens | INR 355 for foreign nationals | INR 38 for still photography camera | INR 300 for video camera

    Timings: Entry time window is 08:00 am to 01:00 pm. You have to exit the national park by 05:00 pm.

    Things to do in Silent Valley National Park: Wildlife safari, bird watching, trekking, bathe in Bhawani River at Mukkali. You can also shop for natural products at very nominal prices at the forest department store within the national park.

    Animals and birds to watch out for: Ceylon Frogmouth, The Great Indian Hornbill, long-legged buzzard, threatened lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri tahr, and hairy-winged bat.

    Places to visit near Silent Valley National Park: Visit Shanthi Ayurveda Ashram, Virgin Valley Pathrakadavu, XD World 9-D Magic at Mannarkkad and the well-known Anginda Peak.

    Suggested places to stay: The forest guest house at Mukkali having dormitories and 3 rooms is quite suitable for group travelers. Also, the Inspection Bungalow at Sairandhri has 4 comfortable rooms. However, there are no hotels or private lodging facilities nearby. So, it’s better to make prior bookings for a hassle-free stay.

    Tips: The national park is at quite a distance from the nearest town. So, it’s recommended that you carry an adequate quantity of food and water. Do not litter inside the park or on the way. Pack some tobacco powder or salt to avoid leech bite. Do not try to overrule the forest officials’ directions.

    19. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

    An exotic variety of parrot in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

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    This only of its kind in Kollam district was established in 1984 and is not only a major forest reserve in the list of wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala but also famous all over the world for its biodiversity. Keep your cameras handy and eyes wide open as this sanctuary is reported to house nearly 34 species of mammals, 245 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, 22 species of amphibians and 42 species of fish.

    Best time to visit: October to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Kollam
    • Nearest airport: Trivandrum Airport
    • Nearest town: Punalur

    Things to do in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary: Elephant rides, jeep safari, trekking, bird watching and tribal dance performances.

    Animals to watch out for: Hump nose viper, Great Eared Nightjar leopards, bonnet macaque, elephants, gaurs, jungle cats, and deers. It is also a home to some plant species having great medicinal values.

    Places to visit near Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary: There are many tourist attractions near this wildlife sanctuary such as Leisure zone, adventure zone, Deer Park, Butterfly Park , Musical fountain and Children’s’ Park. Also visit the Suspension bridge at Punalur, waterfalls at Palaruvi and Courtallam.

    Suggested places to stay: Lodging facility can be availed at Inspection Bungalow at Ottakkal where the rooms are allotted to tourists only when advance bookings are done through the forest headquarters. Also, there are dormitories at Thenmala and Kattippara.

    You can opt for camping facilities within the forest offered by Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society. Hotel rooms can be availed at nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: It’s suggested that you avoid carrying plastic wrapped food items, poly bags and musical instruments inside the sanctuary. Also, any kind of flammables is not allowed in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary.

    20. New Amarambalam Reserved Forest

    An eye-catching view of New Amarambalam Reserved Forest in Kerala

    Image Source

    This wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is famous for housing some of the rarest species of birds which might have gone extinct, if not for this safe haven. Owing to its geographical location, this wildlife sanctuary receives heavy rainfall and has thick forest cover with a lot of variety in species of plants as well. It has over 32 species of animals, 500 species of butterflies and more than 292 species of birds making it an ideal place for wildlife lovers.

    Best time to visit: November to March

    How to reach

    • Nearest railway station: Palakkad Railway Station
    • Nearest airport: Coimbatore Airport
    • Nearest town: Nilambur town

    Timings: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm (all days)

    Things to do in New Amarambalam Reserved Forest: Bird watching, trekking, jungle safari and nature walks

    Animals and birds to watch out for: Lesser adjutant, white-rumped vulture, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Malabar parakeet, grey-headed bulbul and rufous babbler and crimson-backed sunbird are some of the special species that can be seen in this sanctuary.

    Places to visit near New Amarambalam Reserved Forest: St George’s Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Mukurthi Peak, Central Forest Nursery, Upper Bhavani Lake, the waterfall at T.K Colony and Nilambur Teak Museum are some of the best tourist attractions near New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Suggested places to stay: You can either choose to stay at accommodation facilities managed by the government, Kerala Tourist Department or you can simply book a room at a hotel in nearby towns and cities.

    Tips: Follow the instructions of guide and forest officials. You would be able to spot rare species of birds and animals when there is less noise around you.

    There’s nothing like collecting an experience of a journey into the wild and witnessing the nature, as it is. And venturing into the wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala that we have mentioned above is surely going to make an everlasting impact on you for you will witness a different India there.

    Further Read: 13 Places For Best Wildlife Experiences In India | 10 Thrilling Wildlife Resorts In India


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    Category: Kerala

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