Kerala is very much rich in diverse forests and so as its wildlife wealth. The Western Ghats contribute a lot for habitats to the wildlife wealth.
Periyar Wildlife Reserve
One of the most known and famous sanctuaries in Kerala is the Periyar wildlife sanctuary which is situated in the Idukki district bordering Tamil Nadu. The attraction of the sanctuary is the vast expanse of a reservoir which evolved by the construction of the Mulla Periyar dam in the 19th century. Periyar is often referred as an Elephant country. The sanctuary is home to Elephants, Tigers, Sambar and around 65 different species of mammals, mostly endangered or rare. A core area of the sanctuary is declared as a tiger reserve. It was declared a project tiger reserve in 1978. This tiger reserve and national park is one of the best sanctuaries in India for birdwatching and wildlife photography. Since boating in the reservoir is a common attraction to a lot of people who visit Kerala and Periyar becomes a must visit place for many. Periyar is a hub for nature lovers and who are interested in adventure. Tiger trails, bamboo rafting, trekking and hiking adventures are offered by the forest department of Kerala.
Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary
A tiger reserve Situated in the district of Palakkad, Central Kerala. The sanctuary is tucked in between the Anaimalai hills and the Nelliyampathy hills of the Western Ghats. Different tribes of indigenous people still survive in the forest, settled in colonies. The region has 3 major rivers and manmade reservoir, where boating is possible. The flora and fauna are rich and the sanctuary is home to Lion-tailed Macaques, Nilgiri Tahr, elephants, Bengal tigers, panthers, Wild boar and Sambar. Diverse species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and butterflies exist in the forest. Entering the forest is possible with prior permissions from the forest department. The oldest teak tree “Kannimaram” in Asia is located in this park. There are Tree houses located within the reserve forest for people who visit the sanctuary.
Chinnar wildlife sanctuary
60 Kilometers from Munnar towards Marayoor is the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, home to the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel which is less than 200 in number. The sanctuary falls in the rain shadow area and gets only very little rainfall annually compared to other sanctuaries in Kerala. Trekking and hiking into the deciduous forest is a common activity here and there are guides who will take you to the forest. The Sandalwood forest of Marayoor close to Chinnar is an added attraction. When travelling from cheinnar to Tamil Nadu border you can find elephants, sambar, hanuman langur and even peacocks on either side of the road. There is an interpretation center at Chinnar where you can find a lot of information about the forests close to Chinnar.
Muthanga Wildlife sanctuary
Muthanga, close to the borders of Karnataka is an Elephant sanctuary located in the northern district of Wayanad, Kerala. The sanctuary has moist deciduous and semi evergreen forest. One could go into the forest in hired jeeps with an entry ticket and take a round trip where one could spot herds of Elephants, spotted deer, monkeys and peacocks. Muthanga is the extension of Bandipur wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. There are tigers, leopards and cheetahs in forest, which very rare to spot. During summer all species of animals cross to the Muthanga, as water is mostly available in Muthanga during summer. This is the time when most animals are spotted here apart from elephants and deer.