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India: Eravikulam National Park

Nilgiri Tahr, Eravikulam

Eravikulam National Park is situated in the High Ranges (Kannan Devan Hills) of the Southern Western Ghats in the Devikulam Taluk of Idukki district in Kerala State. Once a Game Preserve for the British, covering an area of 97 sq. km, the place was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975 and a National Park in 1978. The park consists mostly of high altitude grasslands that are interspersed with 'sholas'. Perennial streams those originate in the 'sholas' interlace the Park.

Nilgiri Tahr, Eravikulam National Park

The Park is of undulating terrain and three major types of plant communities namely grasslands, shrub land and forests are found here. The high plateau and the hills rising above it, are primarily covered by grasslands. Shrub lands are seen along the bases of the cliffs. 'Shola' forests are located in the valleys and folds. Turner's valley, which splits the Park roughly in half from northwest to southeast, is the deepest.

The national park is accounted for 26 species of mammals. One of them is the last surviving endangered Nilgiri Tahr population in the Eravikulam Park. Other mammals include Gaur, Indian Muntjac, Sambar, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Dhole, leopard, tiger, Nilgiri langur, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Indian Porcupine, Nilgiri Marten, small clawed otter, Ruddy Mongoose and Elephants.

132 species of birds have been recorded in the park which include Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Yellow-Throated Marten, White Bellied Shortwing, Nilgiri Flycatcher and Kerala Laughingthrush.

Red Disk, Bushbrown and Palni Fourwing are among the 101 speciesof butterflies found in the park. 19 species of amphibians and 20 species of orchids are also found in the park.

Nilgiri Langur, Eravikulam National Park

A protected area, the sanctuary is divided into three regions namely the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area, Rajamalai, the region lying beyond the road entry into Eravikulam. Here one can observe the Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters. Vehicles are not allowed inside the park. An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to the highest peak,Anamudi, which is 2690M high.

The climate is described as tropical montane. The park experiences very heavy rainfall. It recieves its major precipitation during the south-west monsoons (June-August).The park remains open throughout the year. The best time to visit the park is September through March. Public conveyance facilities like buses and taxi, telephone, fax, postal, internet and e-mail facilities are available at Munnar. Board and lodge facilities of various ranges also exist in Munnar.

Kochi is the nearest airport. Regular flights to Kochi are operated by domestic airlines from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Ernakulam is the nearest railhead. Trains connect Kochi to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. NH49 connects Kochi to Munnar. From Munnar a state road leads to the Eravikulam National Park. Alternately to access the park from Coimbatore, take the NH209 to Udumalpet via Pollachi. From here, follow the state road to Eravikulam via Amaravathy.

For further information please contact:

  • The Wildlife Warden,
    Wildlife Warden's Office,
    Munnar - 685 612,
    State of Kerala,
    I N D I A