Weather :

Ideal time : 4-5 hours

Entry Fee : Indian: INR 90 (Adult), INR 65 (Children)
Foreign Nationals: INR 360
Reservation fee: INR 50 (Reservation counter 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM at Information centre, Munnar)

Timings : 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Closed February - March

Eravikulam National Park, Munnar Overview

Located a 45 - minute drive away from Munnar, the Eravikulam National Park houses a rich and diverse variety of flora and fauna and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Also known as Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, this place was managed as a game reserve by the Kanan Devan Hills Produce Company before 1971. The control was taken over by the Karnataka Government in 1971, and it was declared a national park in 1978. Elephant, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, Atlas moth (largest in the world), lion-tailed macaque, small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard are some of the main animal species that can be spotted here.

The Eravikulam National park is famous for housing the endangered mountain goat of South India, the Nilgiri Tahr. It stands out for the ravishing beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq km in the Kannan Devan hills. Anamudi, which is the highest peak south of Himalayas at a height of 2695m, stands majestically in the central area of the national park. The slopes of the hills are home to many kinds of rare plants and trees some of which are epiphytic orchids and beautiful wild balsams. The important fauna here is the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, leopard, tiger, Indian bison, etc. The next bloom of Neelakurinji Flowers that bloom ever 12 years will be in 2018.

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Eco - Tourism in Evarikulam Park

The expanse of the Eravikulam Park is the perfect destination for eco-tourism, and a number of activities pertaining to the same are offered here as well. Some of these include:-

1. KFDC Flower Garden: This wonderful flower garden is located on Munnar - Mattupetty road and has a wide assortment of bright blossoms adorning its landscape. In addition to hundreds of rare varieties of flowers, cactus, shrubs, creepers and herbal plants are also present here. It is maintained by the Kerala Forest Development Centre (KFDC) and has a number of amenities for the convenience of tourists such as sales outlet, toilets, shop, snacks and coffee shops. If you are in a hurry, you can easily cover this destination in about 30 minutes. However, if you have some time on your hands, do spend an hour or two in the lap of this beautiful natural retreat. 

2. Tea Museum: The Tea Museum in Evarikulam is a unique look into the history, cultivation and varieties of tea that can be found in the region. You can learn a lot about the finer points of tea production, and how the machinery employed in the process has evolved over time to improve the quality and quantity of tea being produced. 

3. Rajamala: Rajamala is the main tourist centre of Eravikulam National Park where one can spot the famous Nilgiri Tahr in its natural habitat. Tourism here is open throughout the year except for the months of February – March every year. Rajamala is best known for an authentic experience of Kurinji and Shola grassland ecosystem. The facility to this attraction has provisions for visitors to be picked from 5th Mile on safari buses and dropped back as well. The park has restaurants, eco shops and an amenity centre where you can buy basic items of requirements.
Entry time: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Fee: INR 90 (Indian, Adult), INR 65 (Indian, Child), INR 360 (Foreigner)
Reservation fee: INR 50 (Reservation counter 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the Information centre, Munnar)

4. Lakkom Water Falls: The beautiful cascade of the Lakkom Water Falls originates in the Evarikulam Park, from where it flows to river Pambar, one of the east-flowing rivers in Kerala. The crystal waters of Lakkom Waterfalls make up for a pristine view as they descend down the crevices of the hills. It lies on the roadside from Munnar to Marayoor and there lies an eco shop cafeteria and refreshing centre to provide services to visitors.
Fee: INR 20 per person. 

5. Lakkom Log House: Located very close to the waterfall is a log house where you can avail accommodation right in the midst of beautiful greenery of the wilderness. This place is a great asylum away from the hustle and bustle right in the lap of nature. Reporting time to the Log House from Lakkom Water Falls is 3:00 PM.
Tariff:
INR 3000 for two Indians
INR 4000 for foreign tourist
Extra person: INR 1000

5. Marayoor Sandal Division: Marayoor Sandal Forest Division is the only place in Kerala where a large natural population of sandal trees is found. A stroll down this place is certainly a tranquil experience where you can learn a lot more about this fragrant tree and its natural habitat. 

6. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats and is one of the twelve such facilities in Kerala. This region is richly populated with a wide array of indigenous flora and fauna which makes it an extremely popular tourist destination. Chinnar houses a myriad variety of medicinal plants, and its animal population includes species such as grizzled giant squirrel, star tortoise, gaur, spotted deer, tufted grey langur, slender loris, crocodile, wild elephant, tiger, leopard and many birds. 

Read more about Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Activities at Evarikulam Park

In addition to exploring the wild in Evarikulam, you can indulge in a number of other activities as well. Perhaps the first one of these would be the Eco - Tourism here, which takes you on an excursion to various attractions in and near the Evarikulam Park. In addition to this, you can also explore the Kurinji trail which is an expedition into Nilgiri Thar and Kurinji filled grass lands. The duration of the trek is 3 hours starting from 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM. Tariff for the same is INR 200 per person (Indian Tourists),  INR 300 per person (Foreign National, minimum two persons). You can also behold a view of the Anamudi Peak, which is the highest peak in all of South India. Nature Education Camp is also held here for the benefit of youngsters and to teach them the value of conserving the environment and taking better care of Mother Nature.

Best Time To Visit Eravikulam National Park

September to November and from April to June is the best season to visit Eravikulam National Park.

Stay Near Eravikulam National Park

A number of camps, resorts and nature retreats are available for tourists and serve as great accommodation options as well. Some of them include Ecotones Camps, Camp Noel, Ela Ecoland Nature Retreat, Nature Zone Resort, Rock Resort and Deep Woods Resort, all of which have excellent facilities that include an amazing view of Evarikulum, delicious food and amicable hospitality. There are a number of other camps and hotels available as well, in case these do not fit the bill for you.

History of Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park was managed as a Game Reserve by the Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company till 1971. High Range Game Preservation Association, which was an independent non - government organization was the main force responsible for the management and protection of the park. The terrain of the park was the favorite of flourishing flora and fauna and hence attracted many hunters, naturalists, and scientists towards itself. One such explorer was Colonel Douglas Hamilton, and modern facilities were installed here with the establishment of North Travancore Plantation and Agricultural Society in 1879. J.D. Munro recognized the possibilities of raising plantations in these ranges in the year 1877 and acquired about 581.12 square kilometers of land on concession from Poonjat Raja, a local king. This land was later distributed among the society members who then cultivated crops such as coffee and cinchona. However, the land was found most suitable for the plantation of tea and eucalyptus.

Apart from being a center of commercial cultivation, Eravikulam was of special interest to English game hunters as well. The popular game included Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar Deer, Barking Deer, Gaur, Wild Boar, Leopard, and Tiger. The implementation of the Kannan Devan Hills (Resumption of Lands) Act 1971 was carried out as a result of which all lands that were not under cultivation by the company were reverted to the Government of Kerala, which the government intended to distribute for agricultural purposes. The land area of Eravikulam was to be designated for cattle farming, but after an intervention by a group of planters, bureaucrats, naturalists, and scientists, the Government of Kerala declared the area as 'Eravikulam-Rajamalai' Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975.

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