6 Must-Visit National Parks In Kerala
Kerala is a land blessed by mother nature. Long sandy beaches, mist kissed hills, serene backwaters, and vast paddy fields are some of the bounties that nature has provided to the land. Apart from these, there are dense forest regions with some enthralling sights and rich biodiversity. To protect these areas from human interference, the government has declared them as protected regions or national parks.
There are restrictions for people entering the area for the fear of disturbing the peaceful life of flora and fauna in the region. Nevertheless, tourism activities are allowed in the buffer zones outside the protected regions. If you want to be away from all the noise and rest in the bosom of mother nature, you should head to a forest region in Kerala. It will surely rejuvenate you and fill you with peace.
There are six national parks and fourteen wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. Together the national parks cover an area of 558.16 square kilometers.
Silent Valley National Park
Located in the Nilgiri Hills, Silent Valley is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. The beautiful rain forest was declared a National park in 1985. The charm of the forest is as scintillating as its biodiversity is awe-inspiring. Rare and endangered species like Malabar Pied Hornbill, Red-winged crested cuckoo, Lion-tailed macaques, Tigers and Leopards are found here. Apart from these, the forest is home to sixteen bird species, 34 types of mammals, 730 varieties of insects and more than a thousand species of plants and trees.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam is the highest national park in Kerala. With green hills, rich biodiversity and opportunity for adventure activities, the tourist destination is impressive, even stupefying. As the place is located close to the hill station of Munnar, it receives a large number of tourists every year. The highest peak in Kerala — the Anamudi hills, the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, and the captivating charm of the forest are the major attractions here. The rare blooms of Neelakurinji, which occur once in twelve years, cover the hills and valleys in a blue blanket. Most tourists prefer to visit the region during this time of the year.
Periyar National Park
Periyar National park can be safely termed the best of its kind in Kerala, if not India. Encompassing an elephant and tiger reserve, the 305 square kilometer forest was declared a national park in 1982. The exquisite Periyar Lake, misty mountain ranges and enthralling biodiversity make the place a unique tourist attraction. If you love adventure activities, you can involve in trekking. A walk through the green paradise glowing in the golden rays of the sun is quite enchanting. You may get a chance to see tigers roaming majestically around if you are lucky enough.
Pampadum Shola National Park
The smallest national park in Kerala, Pampadum Shola National Park, is located in the Idukki district. Though the destination covers a small area of 1.32 square kilometers, it receives many tourists because of its enchanting beauty. The misty mountains and emerald green valleys with meandering silver streams and rich biodiversity distinguish it from other forest reserves. So, when you are in Kerala, pay a visit to the Pampadum Shola National park. At worst, the destination will be a relaxing picnic spot; at best, it will be the most cherishable destination on your Kerala tour.
Anamudi Shola National Park
Anamudi Shola National Park is one of the most charming destinations that you can visit in Kerala. At an average elevation of 2225 meters above sea level, the destination is a treasury of exquisite sights. A trek through the 7.5 square kilometer forest is an opportunity to see some intriguing varieties of animal and plant species. Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, Hanuman Langur, Sloth bear, Flying Squirrels and so on find their home in this nature’s paradise. The park, however small it is, is the best retreat for those tired of the noise and stress of city life.
Mathikettan Shola National Park
Extending over a small area of 12.82 square kilometers, Mathikettan Shola is a protected area in the Idukki district in Kerala. The government of Kerala declared it as a national park in 2008, considering its importance as an elephant strip. One interesting folklore has it that once a person enters the forest, he loses the sense of direction. Hence the area is named ‘Mathikettan’ — meaning mind-boggling. The herds of wild elephants roaming around are the attraction of the place. You will also love the view from Njandaar Mettu and Uchilukuth Mettu. The view of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu from these points is captivating.