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The various National Parks and Sanctuaries in Kerala have been attracting a large number of nature lovers and wildlife researches over the years. The National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Biosphere Reserves in Kerala are not just providing a good habitat to various wild animals rather they act as a special place to various kinds of medicinal plants, timbers, and wood.

As most of these National Parks or Sanctuaries falls under the Nilgiri Biosphere, hence it is an optimum place in terms of various spice cultivations. Tigers, Asian Elephants, Nilgiri  Tahr and thousands of species of birds are the just few names to describe the abundance of wildlife that Kerala posses within its limit.

There are about 16 National Parks and sanctuaries in Kerala and each of them has its own significance. Here, we will check out some facts associated with the 6 National Parks of Kerala which are described below:

1. Periyar National Park:

Well known for its scenic beauty and often regarded as the home for the Asian elephants, Periyar National Park is located in the Cardamom Hill range that encompasses the Periyar and the Pamba rivers which flows through the park. Covering over 925 sq. kilometers of area, the Periyar National Park has a good number of wild animals including few endangered and endemic species.

The Periyar National Park was established in 1982 and it has been a great place to easily locate tigers and herds of the Asian elephant since then.

Periyar National Park Thekkady

Asian Elephants at Periyar National Park | by Shafeequepgl (CC BY- SA 4.0)

Attractions of Periyar National Park: Elephants, Tiger, Sambars, Gaur, Leopard, Wild dog, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Monitor lizards, and a variety of birds and reptile species
Best Time to Visit Periyar National Park: October to March
Entry fees: For Indians: INR 25, For Foreigners: INR 300
Entry timing: Everyday 8 am- 5pm


2. Eravikulam National Park

Known as the primary home to a large number of Nilgiri Tahr which is an endangered species, The Eravikulam National  Park is the heart of Kerala’s wildlife. Established in 1978, it is the first National Park in Kerala that has gained the status of UNESCO World Heritage site.

Apart from being a hub of Nilgiri Tahr and many rare butterflies, the Eravikulam National Park is also known for the Neelakurunji flower that blooms every 12 years turning the entire Park in blue colored flower carpet.

Nilgiri Tahr Eravikulam National Park Munnar

Nilgiri Tahr at Eravikulam National  Park | by Asheen Anoop (CC BY- SA 4.0)

Attractions of Eravikulam National Park: Nilgiri Tahr, lion-tailed macaques, gaur, Indian muntjac and sambar deer. Golden jackal, jungle cat, wild dog, dhole, leopard and tiger, elephant, squirrel, 132 species of bird, butterfly etc
Best Time to Visit Eravikulam National Park: September to December (1st week) Or April to June end.
Entry fees: For Indians: INR 65, For Foreigners: INR 245
Entry timing: Everyday 7:30 am- 4 pm


3. Silent Valley National Park:

With a core zone of 237.52 square kilometers that falls under Nilgiri Biosphere, the Silent Valley National Park is the second largest National Park in the state. This topical evergreen moist forest which has gained the status of UNESCO World Heritage site since 2012 and was established in 1980 after Eravikulam National Park.

The Silent Valley National Park presents a great habitat to many wild animals and plants which includes some rare species as well.


Kundhi River at Silent Valley National Park | by Jaseem Hamza (CC BY- SA 3.0)

Attractions of Silent Valley National Park: Elephants, Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Tiger, Leopard, Sloth bear, Gaur, Lion Tailed Macaque, etc. About 211 Species of birds, 25 species of snakes, Mollusca, Fishes, Amphibia etc.
Best Time to Visit Silent Valley, National Park: October to April
Entry fees: For Indians: INR 50, For Foreigners: INR 250
Entry timing: Everyday 7 am- 4 pm


4. Pambadum Shola National Park:

Established in 2003, the Pampadum Shola National Park is the smallest national park in Kerala with an area covering just 1.32 sq. kilometers. This National Park is a part of Palani hills that stretched up to Vandaravu peak.

There are about 14 species of birds, 9 species of mammals, 100 species of butterflies and 93 species of moths recorded from in the Pampadum Shola National Park. Though it has scattered vegetation it is famous for trekking and outdoor activities.

Giant Squirrel at Pampadum Shola National Park

Giant Squirrel at Pampadum Shola National Park  | by Varkeyparakkal (CC BY- SA 4.0)

Attractions of Pambadum Shola National Park :  Elephants, Gaur, Nilgiri marten, Lion Tailed Macaque, Leopards, and Indian wild dogs. Famous bird species are  the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, white-bellied shortwing, vernal hanging parrot, blue rock-thrush, blue-capped rock-thrush
Best Time to Visit Pambadum Shola National Park: April to September
Entry fees: For Indians: INR 25, For Foreigners: INR 315
Entry timing: Everyday 8 am- 5 pm


5. Mathikettan Shola National Park:

Covering a total area of 12.82 sq. kilometres, the Mathikettan Shola National lies between other reserve forests like Eravikulam National Park and Pampadam Shola National Park. This beautiful National Park has several hillocks of varying heights, that acts as a natural fence in the protection of the animals and protects their natural habitat.

Mathikettan Shola National Park was established in 2003 is famous for its elephants and Panthers along with various species of reptiles. The Mathikettan Shola National is also well known for Various types of Orchids, Ferns, Lichen, and mosses.


Sunset at Mathikettan Shola National Park | by Vinay Robin Antony (CC BY- SA 4.0)

Attractions of Mathikettan Shola National Park: Tiger, Panthers, Elephants, Spotted deer, Nilgiri tahrs, Giant grizzled squirrels, Jungle Cat, Wild Dog, Gaur, Sambar, Flying Squirrels, King cobra, Rat snakes, Crocodiles, Vipers, Cobras, Turtles, Lizards, Pythons etc.
Best Time to Visit Mathikettan Shola National Park: April to September
Entry fees: For Indians: INR 40, For Foreigners: INR 500
Entry timing: Everyday 8 am- 5pm


6. Anamudi Shola National Park:

Established in 2003, the Anamudi Shola National Park is spread over 7.5 sq. kilometers along the Western Ghats in Idukki District. The National Park consists of three shola reserve forests which are Idivara Shola Reserve, Pullardi Shola Reserve, and Mannavan Shola Reserve.

The pleasant atmosphere of Anamudi Shola National Park enables much wildlife to take shelter and grow that also include few rare and endangered species of both plant and animal. More than 100 species of butterflies, around 232 species of moth, about 76 species of birds and variety of reptiles add special stars to this incredible National Park.


Tree Viper at Anamudi Shola National Park | by Vinayaraj (CC BY- SA 4.0)

Attractions of Anamudi Shola National Park : Elephant, Tiger, Panther, Indian Bison, Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Giant Grizzled Squirrel, Hanuman Langur, Sloth Bear, Flying Squirrels and various species of snake
Best Time to Visit Anamudi Shola National Park: October to March.
Entry fees: For Indians: 40 Rs, For Foreigners: 500 Rs.
Entry timing: Everyday 8 am- 5pm


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