Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park situated along the summit of the Western Ghats in the high ranges of Idduki district of Kerala. This is also the land of "Neelakurinji", a flower that blooms once in twelve years. The Park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best of mountain ranges in the Alps. With the highest peak south of the Himalayas – the Anamudi, located here, nature enthusiasts have ample opportunities for trekking expeditions and wildlife spotting.
The park which is also known as Rajamalai National Park was a hunting preserve for the British planters and was owned by Rajamalai and Eravikulam during the British rule and then was forked over to Kannan Deven Hills for tea plantation. Later the area was declared as sanctuary with an objective of protecting the indigenous population of Nilgiri Tahr (most endangered mountain goat) when founded in the year 1975 and was then upgraded as the national park in 1978.
Wildlife in the Park :
The park holds the maximum viable population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr including other little known fauna Nilgiri marten, ruddy mongoose, small clawed otter, dusky striped squirrel etc. Some of the other animals spotted here are Elephant, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri marten, small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard and Nilgiri wood pigeon.
Mostly the park is busted with rolling grasslands, but several patches of shola forests are also found in the upper part of the valley. Important flora includes Microtropis ramiflora, Actinodaphne bourdilloni, Pittosporum tetraspermium, Chrysopogon Zelanieus, Eupatorium adenophorum, Sysygium aronottianum, Strobilanthus Kunthianus (Neela Kurinji), Tripogen bromodes, Arundinella fuscata, Eulalia phaeothrix, Cyanotis Species, etc.
The shola grasslands are exceptionally rich in balsams and orchids including the long thought extinct variety Brachycorythis wightii.
Places of Interest
Anamudi Peak - located at the interior of the Eravikulam National Park, the Anamudi Peak serves as the crown for the reserve area being accomplished with variant flora and fauna. The peak is also being recognized for possessing the endangered species of animals like Nilgiri languors, leopards, tigers, and macaques. Lying at a peak of 2695 m, the Anamudi peak shelters many animals. This is the location that brings a perfect chance to meet the nature with the fantastic longing for trekking on the hills.
Atukkad Waterfalls - this is a scenic waterfall that lies 2 kms away from the town of Munnar. This is the most visiting site for the tourists to find some lucrative and romantic escapes along with the wildlife longings.
Echo Point - tourists prefer this place for trekking and nature walks and is the worthy place located at the distance of 15 kms from the reserve. This point is being illustrated with lush green hills where the tourists can get a fascinating effect of their voice echo in the valley especially by the youngsters. The sot is also being studded with great panoramic views of the area, clean mountain air, misty hills to make the place worth visiting.
Lakkom Waterfalls - the Lakkam waterfalls is being located around 25 kms from Munnar towards Udumalaipettai and is an essential part of the Eravikulam stream of the national park belonging to one of the main tributaries of Pampar River. The Lakkam waterfalls even if having a lower heights will bring an amazing view to make the area ideal for swimming for the tourists due to the formation of a natural pool puckered in a complete privacy.
Forest Rose Garden - this famous garden located at a distance of around 2 km from Munnar is an impressive rose garden with a variety of flowers. Being treasured with ample ranges of flowers is a must visiting place during Munnar trip or on the way to visit the national park.
Tourist Places near Park/ Nearby Attractions
Munnar : Known for pristine natural beauty, salubrious climate, untouched landscape, vast stretches of tea & cardamom plantations, Munnar is just around 45 minutes drive from the national park. A perfect destination for the adventure freaks, honeymooners, nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary : A biodiversity hotspot, located in the Nilgiri Mountains, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 580 species of fauna that includes 34 species of mammals and 29 species of snakes. About 65 km from Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala, Chinnar is spread over an area of 90.44 sq km and is among the 12 wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala.
Idukki : Idukki, the district of Kerala that boasts Munnar and Eravikulam National Park, is the area blessed with abundance of natural beauty, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, waterfalls, spice groves, impressive climates and scenic beauty.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary : Named after the legendary ornithologist Dr Salim Ali, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Ernakulam district of Kerala is one of the noted bird sanctuaries of India. By spreading across an area of 25 sq km, the park is home to over 280 species of birds including Crimson-throated Barbet, Sunbird and Fairy Blue bird.
Vagamon : A perfect hill station for the honeymooners, Vagamon is located on the border of Kottayam and Idukki districts in Kerala. Lush green vistas, sparkling rivulets, waterfalls and dense pine forests make the place very romantic and beautiful.
While roaming around the Eravikulam Park, the wildlife lovers can find explicit ranges of flora & fauna; and safari being the best mode brings the ultimate opportunity for them to get closer to the wildlife. But remember, vehicles are not allowed inside the sanctuary and the only motor able roads can be found inside the park is towards the southern extremities at the safari zones of Rajamala towards the Rajamallay tea estate and the areas of Lakkom Muduvakudy at the vicinity. Otherwise, the tourists need to give pain to their feet to cross the trails of the reserve making the mightiest glimpses of the wilderness of Eravikulam. The area of the park is being famed for the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, hence while walking around the area the tourists must be attentive to catch them. For much convenience, an interpretation center is being established near the check post where the tourist can find all the relevant safari information.
How to Reach :
By Road : Eravikulam is nearly 15 Km north of Munnar and can be reached from Kochi (135 Km) and Kottayam (148 Km) by Road.
By Rail : The nearest railway station in Kerala is Aluva (120 Km from Munnar) and Coimbatore (165 Km) in Tamil Nadu.
By Air : The Park is accessible from Cochin (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) airports, which are located at about 148 Km and 175 Km respectively.
Hotels in Eravikulam National Park
For the most demanding wildlife tour in the God's own Country, a relaxing stay at Eravikulam is a must. And the presence of different hotels and resorts can make this journey more explicit with the varieties of services offered in the area. Keeping in mind about the natural ambience and by balancing its look and feel, the various residing options are being casted in such a way that the tourists would readily be fascinated with the exemplar services to make their jungle stay longer. Here are the best suitable options for you for a remembering journey towards Eravikulam wildlife world.