Eravikulam National Park, Idukki, Kerala

The Eravikulam National Park is found in Kerala. Home to the endangered species, the Nilgiri Tahr, this wildlife sanctuary was given the status of a national park in the year 1978. Plenty of flora and fauna can be found in this park which stands at 7000 feet above sea level. The Eravikulam National Park used to be the hunting reserve of the British Raj. The national park is now managed by Kerala Department of Forest and Wildlife, Munnar.

The park is divided into core, buffer, and tourism region and is spread across a ninety seven square kilometre radius. The tourism region is called Rajamalai. Here, the tourists may travel deep within the forests and explore the breathtaking beauty of this park. Occasional sighting of certain animals are found in this region.

The vegetation in the park comprise of grasslands, shrublands, and forests. There are twenty six different species of mammals found in the park. In addition to the Nilgiri Tahr, elephants, langur, martens, jackal, tigers, wild dogs, leopard, stripe-necked mongoose and sambar deer are found in this park. For a bird watcher enthusiast, the national park plays home to almost one hundred and twenty different varieties of birds. Nilgiri pigeon, flycatcher, Nilgiri pipit and laughing thrush can be found in Eravikulam National Park. One hundred and one endemic butterfly species and nineteen amphibians are also found in this park. The largest moth in the world which is known as the Atlas moth can be spotted in this park. Recently, a new species of frog named the Raorchestes Resplendence was sighted in the Eravikulam National Park. The distinct feature of this frog is its short legs and red iris color.

The Anamudi hills which is the highest peak to the south of Himalayas stands tall at 2695 meters, and can be found in the core area. Many streams intersperse through these hills and merge to form the tributaries at Periyar River, Chalakudiya River, and Cauvery River.

The park is closed during the early months of the year for calving of the Tahr. Trekking is available in the tourist region of the national park. Trekkers may opt to trek from the Lakhom falls to Pakkumarathery from where the Anamudi peak may be seen. The trekkers may also opt to stay at the log house here.

No private vehicles are allowed inside the national park. This is to ensure control of pollution. However, six mini buses are operated within the national park for a fee of rupees seventy five. On peak days, there are as many as two thousand visitors to the park. It is imperative to reach the park as early as eight thirty in the morning to avoid standing in the queue. The mini bus takes you around the park and a one kilometre trek is organized. Once back from the trek, the mini buses takes you back to the exit. Littering is strictly prohibited inside the park.

The entry tickets for children and students with bonafied certificates stand at rupees five. The ticket is priced at rupees fifteen for adults and rupees two hundred for foreigners.

The nearest railway station to Munnar is in Aluva or Angamaly which are one hundred and eight and one hundred and nine kilometeres respectively. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport.  The KSRTC and private bus services are also available in Munnar.

The Eravikulam National Park is open on all days of the week from eight in the morning until four thirty in the evening. The best time to visit Eravikulam National Park is from April to June and from September to November. The park is closed for visit during the monsoon season.

The Eravikulam Natioanl Park is a must see for all the tourists that visit Munnar. It’s a paradise for animal lovers.  The blue Neelakurinji flowers, which bloom only every twelve years is found here too. These flowers are next set to bloom in the year 2018.