Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri bio-reserve. It was established in 1973 and covers an area of 344 sq. kms. A huge portion of the forest is covered with rosewood, teak, eucalyptus and grevillea trees. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animals including panthers, elephants, tigers, deer, bison, monitor lizards, civets and leopards. The sanctuary is part of the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary and is 15 kms north of Mananthavady. This is the same place where Pazhassi Raja fought the British.
This reserve has been established to preserve the cultural heritage of the region. The elephant population in this sanctuary is 900. The forest department arranges a two hour jeep trip if you wish to go into the forest. The timings when the tourists can explore the sanctuary is from 7 to 9 in the morning and 3 to 5 in the evening. There are guided treks too daily from 8 AM – 1 PM. It’s an excellent trekking spot. The organized jeep trips and treks are allowed on the outer tourist area. This is also a source of income for tribals in the area. The spotted deer and the red deer are seen here. Some rare kind of snakes are also found in the forest.
There is a watch tower above the lake. This lake is the main source of water for the wild animals in the sanctuary. A must-do for an adventure tourist here is the night camping. You can watch the wild animals coming to the lake to drink water from the watch tower which is located above the lake. The forest is abundant in medicinal herbs.
The major tourist attractions around Tholpetty include Pakshipathalam bird sanctuary, Tirunelli temple and Papanashini River which is believed to cleanse one from all sins and Panchatheerta where the waters from the five rivers are supposed to have met in the past.
How to reach:
By Air: Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode
By Rail: Kozhikode Railway Station