Home to India's largest tiger reserve, the national parks of Kerala are rich with the exotic biodiversity of the Western Ghats. The Periyar National Park stands out the most, an integral part of Project Tiger. Wayanad, part of the Nilgiris Biosphere, is a plethora of scenic beauty and varied wildlife. The Idukki region is a great tribute to the natural diversity of India.
Here is the list of 16 National Parks in Kerala
Kerala's breathtaking beauty has wooed travellers from all over the globe. Gorgeous beaches, meandering rivers, beautiful waterfalls, and exotic flora and fauna, Kerala has it all. This national park in Kerala is located in the Idukki district along the western ghats and is a remarkable national reserve spread over 7.5 km square. Anamudi Shola National Park is famous for its tranquil environment and biodiversity, preferred by thousands of travellers that flock in here to get away from the city life.
Known For : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary | Backwaters | Vellavali
Kumarakom is an exotic and enchanting national park in Kerala. It is located on the banks of Lake Vembanad, in the backwaters of the beautiful city of Kochi. It is abode of the maximum number of migratory birds in the country. These beautiful creatures on wings which are sure to charm you include spot larks, cuckoos, herons, owls, flycatcher and Siberian crane. Some of these birds migrate from Siberia and others form the gigantic Himalayas. It has an apt tropical climate, which is suitable for tourists as well as birds. It would indeed be the perfect start for exploration and is a paradise for an ornithologist.
Best Time : September to March
Known For : Periyar National Park | Periyar Tiger Trail | Bamboo Rafting
Periyar National Park in Kerala, famous for its tiger reserve. It is also known for the elephant reserve. This park is located in the Western Ghats, immersed in luxuriant greenery. It is composed of Savannah grasslands and is reachable all the year round. The place is also known as Thekkady. Here you would be enthralled to spot herds of elephant, which are indeed a sight to witness. You will be ushered to the park by varieties of bird, spotted deer, and macaque and of course a number of reptiles. The high point of the tour is the boat ride, which will take your spirits high amidst the natural beauty of this national park in Kerala. The flora involves the forest of teak, tamarind, rosewoods, fig, Kino tree and mangoes. T
Best Time : Throughout the year
The Silent Valley National Park in Kerala is located approximately 200 kilometres far from the district of Idukki. It is known for its reservoirs of tigers. It is the abode to the largest number of lion tailed macaque, which is an endangered species of primates. It is a rainforest area and is a home to many other species of flora and fauna. It is located in the Nilgiri Hills. And is a must see environment.
The Eravikulam National Park in Kerala, approximately 15 kilometres from the city of Munnar. It is located in the Idukki district and is charming grassland environ. It is known for the endangered species of goat, Nilgiri Tahr. You can see it amidst grassland or strolling near a stream. It is indeed a beautiful sight to witness the species in its natural habitat. January to April is the calving period for the Nilgiri Tahr hence the park is closed. There are about 26 species of mammals found here. The birds which enchant the park include Nilgiri Pipit, White Bellied Shortwing, Flycatcher, Laughing thrush etc. An endangered species of mountain goats called the Nilgiri Thar can also be seen here. The next bloom of Neelakurinji Flowers that bloom ever 12 years will be in 2018.
Located in the Idukki district, Mathikettan Shola National Park is between other national reserve forests - Eravikulam National Park and Pampadam Shola National Park. Established initially to encourage cardamom plantation, it was declared as a national park in Kerala in 2003 to protect the environment, and it's ecology, flora and wildlife. It now stands as a conservatory for wildlife and flora alike.
Located in Kerala, Pampadum Shola National Park is the smallest national park of Kerala with an area of 11.75 km square. The park is managed and maintained by Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife. Owing to the spectacular biodiversity of flora and fauna, this park, along with the Westerns Ghats, and few other parks are being observed by UNESCO World Heritage Committee to consider them as a World Heritage Site nominee. Cloudy weather prevails throughout the year in the park, perfect for trekking and picnics.
Also known as Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, this area is home to a large variety of wild animals such as Indian Bison, tigers, elephants, and deer, Panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkey, wild dogs and bears.
Best Time : October to May
Another wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located close to Munnar. At here, there are availability of good hotels, resorts and accommodations. This place has a rainy season which extends to at least two months because it is located in the rain shadow region of the enchanting Western Ghats. Those of you who enjoy trekking would love this deciduous forest. And you will also be able to witness the endangered species of squirrel called Giant Grizzled Squirrel along with other flora and fauna.
Kerala's Palakkad district gives you a chance to venture right into the laps of the wild with its Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. Best known for its constant efforts to preserve the dwindling tiger population, this destination is a popular tourist spot as well. This wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is also home to four different indigenous tribes- Kadar, Malasar, Muduvar and Mala Malasar. The surrounding beauty of the gently rolling hills and lazily flowing rivers make it the perfect place for the flourishing of its priceless flora and fauna population. Jungle treks and safari here are quite unique and eye-opening experiences.
Famous for its Lion and Deer Safari, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a treat for nature enthusiasts. The wildlife sanctuary in Kerala houses a crocodile farm and elephant rehabilitation centre. Ask for a guided tour of the sanctuary which is quite informative.
Open all year round, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala is located along the catchment area of the Peppara Dam on the Karamana River. The sanctuary rich in flora and fauna offers a natural habitat to around 43 species of mammals, 233 species of birds, 46 species of reptiles, 13 species of amphibians and 27 species of fishes.
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, also popularly known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, is a breathtaking and beautiful bird sanctuary that is located at Kumarakom in the Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala. Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in the Kerala Backwaters, this bird sanctuary in Kerala is a favourite destination for many native as well as migratory birds, which makes the place a dreamland full of ecstasy and delight for bird watchers and nature lovers. The houseboats and motor boats that are available on rent to watch birds further enhance this enrichening experience. A trip to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is thus a must while in Kerala, to explore and unravel the hidden treasures and gifts of the Earth.
Being the northernmost wildlife reserve in the whole of Kerala and the only wildlife sanctuary in Kannur, the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is quite a big deal. Amidst these sky-touching trees and mesmerising greenery, many exotic wildlife species have marked their territory. Taking a safari through the thick verdure and venturing deeper into the forests, you will encounter many striking and remarkably extraordinary species of animals as well as birds that will leave you stumped and in awe of nature's wondrous creations.
The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary sprawling over 2.74 hectares is situated in the heart of the lively city of Kochi. Comprising of 18-acres of Mangroves which are filled with a densely populated species of trees and plants, the sanctuary remains at a cool temperature. One of the major attractions is the beautiful watch tower which overlooks the sanctuary thereby giving a superb view to the tourists. The Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department also conducts a free nature camp at the sanctuary which is attended by tourists from different parts of the world.
Known For : Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary | Bhoothathankettu Dam
Located near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam on the northern bank of the Periyar River, this bird sanctuary in Kerala is also called Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and is famous for its rich and varied birdlife.
Best Time : Throughout the year
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Kerala is home to the stunning Western Ghats which give rise to multiple national parks in Kerala. So which national park in Kerala are you going to visit next? Let us know in the comments below!