Eravikulam National Park a tourist’s melting point located on the hill plateau of Western Ghats in Iduku district of Kerala state. This Park is popular for wide array of Flora and Fauna. It houses many endangered plant and animal species in the region including the most endangered Mountain goat In South India- Nilgri Tahr. During British period this area was utilized for Tea and Cinchona cultivation, in addition to these plantations some area was demarcated for recreational hunting. Many animals including Sambar Deer, Leopard, Barking Deer, and Wild Boar etc. were hunted by British officers. Later in 1975 the core area of erstwhile plantation area was declared as Sanctuary with the view of protecting Nilgri Tahr. Later in 1977 it was declared as National Park. Eravikulam National Park was the first sanctuary in Kerala state to earn the status of National Park. The entry of private vehicles into the National Park was strictly curtailed Inorder to reduce pollution and congestion inside the park. Park authorities will organize the trip and will tour the visitors inside National Park in a Mini- Bus.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is located in the Rajamalai hill ranges and stretches across a vast area of 97 km2. Tis Park is bounded to the North by Kannan Devan Hills and to the south by Chattamunnar Estate. It is located exactly 13km away from famous hill station in Kerala. This park is located at an altitude of 2,000m above sea level. In the midst of this park, Anaimudi (2695m), the highest peak in south India is located. The vegetation of Eravikulam national Park is dominated with Shola forests, Grasslands and Shrub lands. This region experiences extra tropical climate due to its location at a high altitudinal range. It receives an annual rainfall of 300cm, it will under the influence of South West Monsoon during the months of June-July. During this period there will be heavy downpour in the region.
What to see near Eravikulam National Park?
- Attukad Waterfalls – It is a splendid scenery point located near to Munnar Hill station. Even though waterfalls are medium in size the scenic beauty in this region makes our hearts to rejoice.
- Echo Point– This place is one of its own kinds located near Munnar Hill station. It is located at distance of 4.76 km from Eravikulam national Park. It is a popular spot for capturing magnificent pictures.
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary– This is another place to spot rich wildlife. This is contigious with Eravikulam National Park. The principle attraction of this sanctuary is Grizzled Gaint Squirrels and Rusty Spotted Cats.
- Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary– It is a maiden bird sanctuary in Kerala located between the two tributaries of River Periyar. This Sanctuary shelters nearly 200 bird species and was described as “the region for rich bird habitat in peninsular India” by Salim Ali. It is famous as “ Cuckoo Paradise“, since a wide range of Cuckoos (Drongo Cuckoo, Indian Hawk Cuckoo, Large Cuckoo etc.) can be spotted here.
- Mattupetty Dam – It is located at a distance of 7Km from Eravikulam national Park. Peddling boats and Speed boats can be hired for a ride in the waters of Mattupetty dam. It is set in the picturesque beauty where it is emboldened by lush green hills.
- Lakkom Waterfalls– It is situated on Munna-Marayoor roadside. Waters originating from the core zone of Eravikulam National Park runs down the hills forming this Natural Lakkom Waterfalls.
Eravikulam National Park Safari
Rajamalai is the only region in the park allowed for tourists to visit. However tourists must park their vehicles at the bottom of the park and they will be taken on mini-bus to the hill top by park officials. This region promises spotting of Nilgri Tahr in their own natural habitat. Tickets for Safari can booked online or else you can purchase it near private parking zone of Rajamalai.
Safari Timings – 8:00 A.M to 4:30 P.M
Exploring Munnar to Chinnar
It is a tourist package being offered by park officials and costs around 1500 per head. It is a one day trip covering a visit to KDFC garden, Rajamalai, Tea Museum, Lakkom Waterfalls, Watch Tower Chinnar, Interpretation centre Karimutty, Trekking at Chinnar and a visit to Dolmens and Alampetty caves. Bookings for this can be done at Forest Information centre, Wildlife warden office, Munnar town.
Dominant Flora of Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam national Park is bestowed with rich forest cover and these forests are locally popular as Shola forests. Flora in this park include medicinal plants like Drosera Peltata, Elateria C. Common Flora include- Chrysopogon, Zelanieus, Microtropis Ramiflora, Eupatorium Adennophorum, Pitosporum Tetrasperium, Strobilanthus Kunthianus, Eulalia Phaeothrix and Actinodaphne Bourdilloni etc.
Dominant Fauna of Eravikulam National Park
Sloth Bear, Nilgri Tahr, Tiger, Nilgri langur, Sambar Deer, Wild Dogs, Elephants, marten, Golden Jackal, Leopard, Mongoose and Lion-tailed Macaque.
Avi-fauna – Kerala Laughing thrush, Nilgri pipit, Black Flycatcher, White bellied shortwing, Nilgri Wood Pigeon and Nilgri Verditer Flycatcher.
How to reach Eravikulam National Park
By Air– Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 150 km away from the Eravikulam National park.
By Rail– Aluva Railway Station is the nearest Railway station located at a distance of 4 km away Eravikulam National Park. From here you can reach Eravikulam National park by a private cab or government operated Vehicles.
By Road– This Park is well connected to major towns in the region through road network. A good number of government and private travels are operated in the region which will take you to the Eravikulam National Park.
Best Time to Visit
The period between September-December is the best time to visit this place. This park will be closed during the early months of the year.