Eravikulam Wildlife

Eravikulam Wildlife : Sprawling across an area of 97 sq km, Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park was established to protect the endangered species of Nilgiri Tahrs, the only wild goat to be found south of the Himalayas. Founded in 1978, this park is rich in forests and grasses and lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It is an extension of the Annamalai National Park in Tamil Nadu. During the British period, the North Travancore Land Planting Society owned Rajamalai and Eravikulam, which later passed on to the Kannan Deven Hill Produce Corporation. Unsuitable for the tea plantations, the region was turned into a private hunting area. However, in 1936, the Rajamalai region was declared a wildlife sanctuary but it was not until 1975, that this sanctuary was established. In 1978, it gained the status of a national park.

Lying close to the picturesque Munnar Hills, Eravikulam is situated in the higher altitudes of the Western Ghats. The monsoon season extends from June, July, and August while April and May are the hottest months. The best period to visit the sanctuary is from November to March. Covered with tropical evergreen forests, grasslands, shrubs and sholas, Eravikulam is the only place where rare Nilgiri Tahrs can be found. However, after the establishment of this park, the number of the wild goats have risen to five to six hundred. Other fauna species that can be seen here are Gaurs, Sambars, Lions, Tailed Macaques, Elephants, Tigers, Leopards and Giant Squirrels along with three species of lizards, four of snakes and five species of amphibians. The highest peak of Anamudi, 2,695 m above the sea level, within the park offers some of the most interesting treks.