Eravikulam National Park

Fast Facts

Area

97 sq km

Maximum Temperature

23°C

Minimum Temperature 8°C
Altitude 1400 metre to 2695 metre above sea level
Language Malayalam, English
Best time to visit November to April

The Eravikulam National Park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered specie of the wild goat and the only one to be found south of the Himalayas. Rich in forest and grasses, this park is relatively new as it was in 1978 that the area was notified as a park. The park lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It is situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the north where it is extends as the Annamalai National Park.

History

During the British Raj, the North Travancore Land Planting Society owned the region of Rajamalai and Eravikulam, but they later handed over the area to the Kannan Deven Hill Produce Corporation. The Corporation turned the region into a private hunting area, as it was found unsuitable of tea plantation. The region of Rajamalai was declared a wildlife sanctuary way back in 1936, but the present sanctuary was established only in 1975. In 1978, the status of the sanctuary was upgraded to the level of a national park.

Location

Eravikulam is situated in the south Indian state of Kerala in the higher altitudes of the Western Ghats. The park extends from the latitude 9°40' in the North to the longitude 77°20" in the East. A part of the Idukki district, Eravikulam is very near to the scenic hill station of Munnar. 

Best Time To Visit

The climate of this region is greatly influenced by the southwestern monsoon. June, July, and August are the monsoon months and this is the period when the region receives maximum rainfall while April and May are the hottest months. January and February receive little rain and the weather is generally clear during this time of the year. From September to December, the northeast monsoon brings a little rain and this period along with the months of January and February are the best time to visit this park.

Tourists Attractions

The vegetation type of this region is mainly tropical evergreen forest. Grasslands, shrubs, and forests are what one finds throughout. Grasslands with patches of forests known as sholas in between cover almost the entire region.

The Nilgiri Tahr is one of the most endangered species in India and Eravikulam is the only place where one can find it. The primary motive of establishing this park was to give shelter to this animal. Due to the concerted efforts of the park authorities, now at least five to six hundred Tahrs can be seen here.

Other fauna species found in the park are gaur, sambar, lion tailed macaque, elephant, tiger, leopard, and giant squirrel. The park is also home to three species of lizards, four of snakes, and five of amphibians.

Anamudi (2,695 m) is the highest peak in south India and located within the park area. This is a good place for trekking.

Places Around Eravikulam

Eravikulam comes under the Munnar Forest Division and travellers can have a panoramic view of the verdant surroundings and forested hills from here. Walks and hiking around this small town are an exhilarating experience. Travellers can also enjoy walking through the numerous tea estates of Munnar and view the entire process of tea making, right from plucking the tealeaves to their processing at the Kundale tea plantation.

Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is located around 60 km away from Munnar and is the only protected area in Kerala having semi arid and dry deciduous scrub forests. The wildlife in this park includes elephant, sambar, leopard, gaur, and most importantly the starred turtle.

Marayoor is 42 km from Munnar to east of the Eravikulam National Park. Here, one can experience the peaceful ambience and beauty of a sandalwood forest.

Ten kilometres from Munnar, en route to Top Station, one can visit the Mudapetty Dam. This is a popular picnic spot and travellers can indulge in activities like boating and horse riding here.

How To Reach

By Air - Airport - Cochin International Airport (143 km) Cochin is the nearest airport from Eravikulam and connected to many places in India by regular flights. The airport is also connected to places in the Middle East by regular flights.

By Rail - Railway Station - Ernakulam Railway Station (143 km) The nearest railway station is Ernakulam (Cochin), from where there are regular trains to all the metros in the country.

By Road - A motorable road is there up to Rajamalai, the park headquarter. From Rajamalai, one needs to travel on foot for around 18 km. Rajamalai is at a distance of around 17 km from the Munnar town connected to many places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu by regular bus services.

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