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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

3.9 / 5 42 votes

State rank: 35 out of 39 Places To Visit In Kerala


Ideal duration: 1 day

Best time: Throughout the year (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Kochi (Check Flights)


Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Tourism

Located near Kothamangalam in Ernakulam on the northern bank of the Periyar River, this bird sanctuary is also called Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and is famous for its rich and varied birdlife.

This Sanctuary came to light in the year 1983 on basis of recommendations made by famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Spread over 25 sq. km, 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. The Bhoothnathkettu Dam is also located nearby and is just 10 km from the Thattekad in the Ernakulam District. This dam is used as a picnic spot by the locals.

Hotels in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Top Hotels in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

  • Soma Birds Lagoon

    INR 2,500 /night onwards

  • Hornbill Camp

    INR 3,356 /night onwards

  • Hotel Kavery

    INR 1,200 /night onwards

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More on Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Reviews

9 months ago by Rohit Shroff

- 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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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

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's not so Great?

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.

For Whom

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.


How 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... (Read More)

Latest questions by travellers on Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Answer: 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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