Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Tourism

Located near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam on the northern bank of Periyar River, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is famous for its rich and varied birdlife. It is the first Bird Sanctuary in Kerala that was surveyed by Dr Salim Ali (the birdman of India), who also called it the richest habitat he has ever seen. This sanctuary came to light in the year 1983 on basis of recommendations made by this famous ornithologist.

Spread over 25, it shelters over 500 species of birds and rare birds such as Wayanad laughingthrush, rufous babbler, and white-bellied blue flycatcher. While you traverse the dense forests containing tropical semi-evergreen, deciduous and tropical evergreen plants, do not miss out on the boat cruise along the backwaters. It's habitat diversity and topographical position of the area makes it one of the most popular bird-rich sanctuary in India.

Things to do in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

1. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Bird watching and spotting can become an addictive joy with the help of trained guides. The Thattekkad Sanctuary is home to some of the rare species of birds such as Crimson-Throated Barbet, Bee-eater (Read More), Sunbird, Shrike, Black winged Kite, and the Night Heron.

2. Bhoothathankettu Dam

Bhoothathankettu Dam
This place, located just 10 km from Thattekad in Ernakulam district, is a dam and attracts lots of tourists from nearby areas. This dam was built by using large blocks of unshaped stones placed on bot (Read More)h sides of the Periyar River.

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Salim Ali and the History of Thattekad

The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is named after India's foremost ornithologist - Dr Salim Ali who described this region as one of the richest in India regarding species diversity. Dr Salim Ali undertook a large part of his research in this area and had described many of this birds, their breeding and feeding habits as well as their role in the food chain in his books.

Thattekad means flat forest, and the region is an evergreen low-land forest located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala. It is located in the Njiyapilli Hill and was established in the year 1983 by the Kerala Government, on the recommendation of Dr Salim Ali in the early 1930s.

Wildlife in Thattekad

The wildlife in Thattekad is one of the richest in India since the area contained within the sanctuary is a mix of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests, water bodies and hilly areas which provide habitats for different kinds of birds and animals.

There are over 500 species of birds in this sanctuary including rare species like Ashy Wood Swallow, Black Headed Oriole, Ash Tail, Ashy Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Blue Kingfisher, Bronze Winged Jacana, Ceylon Frogmouth, Created Woodpecker, Crested Goshawk, Changeable Hawk Eagle and Chestnut Headed Bee Eater. There are also a few mammal species like elephants, leopards, sloth bears and porcupines but you have to be extremely lucky to spot one of these since their population in this small area is relatively low.

Suggested Itinerary for Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Day 1: Arrive in Thattekad by road and settle into your hotel. Since the whole area surrounding the sanctuary is also heavily forested, there is good chance you will be able to see many birds from the hotel itself. There is home stays available in Kothamangalam, a forest department dormitory very close to the forest or campsites around the forest where you can hire tents. In the evening, leave for a safari inside the forests, don't forget your binoculars and camera. Since the sanctuary closes at sunset, return to your hotel and engage in some camping fun - singing songs, chatting with the locals and highly knowledgeable tour guides and enjoying the delicious food.

Day 2: Go for an early morning Safari in the forest since the kind of birds spotted during the morning and afternoon is entirely different. In the evening, take a different route and proceed to the Thattekad backwaters on a boat to look out for water birds. Alternatively, you can also book a kayaking trip and add to the adventure.

Best Time to Visit Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

How to Reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

How to Reach Overview

Thattekad is located 60 km towards the north-east of Kochi in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar River. The nearest city is Kochi, and nearest railway station is Aluva which is a few kilometres away. It is well connected to other cities in the state and the rest of South India by road and rail.

How to reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary by flight

Thattekad does not have an airport, and the nearest airport is Kochi International Airport which is about 60 kilometres away. There are regular flights to Kochi from all over India and taxis, buses and trains from the airport to Aluva and Thattekad.

How to reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary by road

Thattekad is connected to the rest of the country by roads, and there are regular buses and taxis available from all nearby cities like Kochi, Madurai, Alappuzha and Thrissur. Since there is no train station in Thattekad, road travel is the only way to reach the destination directly.

How to reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary by train

Thattekad does not have a railway station, and the nearest one is located at Aluva which is 47 kilometres away. It is the second largest station in Ernakulam and all trains going to South Kerala stop here.

Local transport in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Jeeps and boat safaris are available on booking. Avoid going out at night and on foot by yourself.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Photos

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

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FAQs on Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

What is famous about Thattekad bird sanctuary?

Very close to major towns in Kerala. Perfect for a weekend outing watching birds in one of the most beautiful forests in the region.

What is not so good about Thattekad bird sanctuary?

Road travel is the only practical way to reach here. The size of the forest is small, limiting the number of large animals you can see here.

Who should visit Thattekad bird sanctuary?

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, this sanctuary is the place for you. If you are not, you are sure to become one after you visit. As a weekend trip, the backwaters and forests are perfect for a family outing.

What is the best time to visit Thattekad bird sanctuary?

The temperature in Thattekad is pleasant most of the year but can get hot and humid in the summer. However, due to plenty of vegetation and water bodies nearby, it is always cooler than the mainland. Except for monsoon, when it rains heavily, the sanctuary is accessible all year round.

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What is the local food in Thattekad bird sanctuary?

Though Thattekad might not offer you a distinct cuisine or significant food culture attributed to the area, it makes up for the same, in the numerous eating joints available around the area fostering quite a variety along with popular and traditional Keralan food.
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What is the best way to reach Thattekad bird sanctuary?

Thattekad is located 60 km towards the north-east of Kochi in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar River. The nearest city is Kochi, and nearest railway station is Aluva which is a few kilometres away. It is well connected to other cities in the state and the rest of South India by road and rail.

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What are the places near Thattekad bird sanctuary?

The top places near to Thattekad bird sanctuary are Munnar which is 39 km from Thattekad bird sanctuary, Alleppey which is located 78 km from Thattekad bird sanctuary, Ooty which is located 145 km from Thattekad bird sanctuary, Anaimalai hills which is located 39 km from Thattekad bird sanctuary, Kochi which is located 48 km from Thattekad bird sanctuary

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Popular Questions And Answers on Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Q. 2hat to see

Pallavi Siddhanta

6 years ago
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and the Bhoothathankettu Dam are nice places here. For more info, check out the Things To Do section!
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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Reviews

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Rohit Shroff

6 years ago
- Make sure you carry your backpack, fluids, medicines, torches, batteries and mosquito repellants. Also carry loose comfortable clothes and good shoes to move around.
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