Eravikulam National Park, Kerala
Established in 1978 and spanning 97 km, the Park is home to the largest congregation
of the imperilled Nilgiri Tahr or Ibex. Here you can see the ibex either close at
hand in pairs or in big herds upto 40 animals scampering down the craggy face of
lower 'Anaimudi' in vertical bursts. Elephants, gaurs, sambhar and lion-tailed macaques
are the other commonly sighted animals. Birds like rock thrush and swifts are easy
to spot too.
The landscape is riverine valleys studded with evergreen sholas or climax forests.The
tree tops often open up with Giant squirrels taking to flight in chorus of high
pitched staccato calls with young Nilgiri langurs in pursuit. The Rajamalai tea
estate borders the park.
How to go there:
Accessible by road from Kochi - is located 143 km east of Kochi. Take Kochi-Madrai
NH-49 upto Munnar and then the Munnar-Udumalpet Road. The Park is 15 km from Munnar
Town.Permission for trekking can be obtained from:
Wildlife Warrant association
Accommodation is available at Munnar suiting every budget. Overnight camping adjacent
to the forest office at the park gate, can also be arranged with prior permission
from the authorities.
Best time to visit:
Though open all the year round, Eravikulam is best visited between November and
Associations working to protect the Tahr: BNHS, High
Range Game Association and Nilgiri Wildlife Association
Cruising Through Nature Vaikom Village
Bird watching from a row boat through the backwaters is a unique experience. Watch
birds like king fisher, wood pecker, bee-eater, egret , crow pheasant, little cormorant
.all in their natural habitat.
The village lies 27 kms south east of Cochin. The main occupation of the villagers
is, making ropes with coconut fibre, straw mat weaving using wild pineapple leaves,
collecting sand from the riverbed, fishing and farming.The produce of the village
includes pepper, cloves, coffee and nutmeg.
Its at 45 min. journey from Ernakulam by car/coach. 3 hours backwater cruise in
a country boat through the narrow canals of different villages. The cruise is a
round trip and starts from the main river which is 10 to 12 feet deep and enters
into the small natural canals of 6 feet depth. Since the river originates in the
high ranges, it is a fresh water river. The boat passes through the coconut palm
groves covering the canals like a canopy.