Ever wondered what it would be like to explore a wildlife sanctuary with stunning visuals of tea plantations in the backdrop? If not, then Eravikulam National Park must be your next destination on the trip to Kerala for witnessing some of the most breathtaking visuals of nature. Located in the Kannan Devan Hills in the southern Western Ghats in Kerala, the Eravikulam National Park is spread in an area of 97 square kilometers and can be reached via Munnar. Nestled geographically in the Devikulam Taluk of Idukki district in Kerala, this national park is the epitome of beauty, whether itâ€™s the landscape or the diverse variety of flora and fauna.
The national park is a preserved area and is divided into three different sections â€“ the core area, the buffer area, and the tourism area. Visitors and travelers are permitted only in the tourism area that is in Rajamala, the region that is lies beyond the entrance to Eravikulam. Renowned for protecting and inhabiting the famous NilgiriTahr, the endangered mountain goat, one of the main motives of this park is to conserve them along with several other species of flora and fauna. One of the best sights here can be seen every twelve years when the whole landscape is a blanket of blue color with the mass flowering of Neelakurinji flowers.
The park was declared as a national park in the year 1978 and was later credited as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique variety of flora and fauna. There are over 132 distinct bird species, 19 amphibian species, 26 mammal species, 101 species of butterflies, and 20 different orchid species here. The park offers several eco-tourism activities such as KFDC Flower Garden, Tea Museum, Rajamala, Lakkom Water Falls, Lakkom Log House, and Marayoor Sandal Division for tourists to have a deeper insight into the other aspects of Kerala apart from the exotic flora and fauna and to teach them the value of conserving the environment and taking better care of Mother Nature. Visitors can also explore the park through trekking in the Kurinji Trail or behold a spectacular view of the highest peak in South India, the Anamudi Peak. If you are an avid bird watcher, then be ready to treat yourself with some of the exotic varieties of local and migratory birds found here and listen to their soulful chirping and humming that will make you forget the stress of day-to-day life.
The vegetation type in this park is mainly tropical evergreen forest with grasslands (occupying the higher terrains), shrubs (occupying the cliff bases and rocky areas), and Shola forests (covering the rest) that are found throughout.
Mammals: NilgiriTahr, Nilgiri Marten, Ruddy Mongoose, Small Clawed Otter, Gaur, Sambar, Dusky Striped Squirrel, Elephant, Nilgiri Langur, Tiger, Lion-Tailed Macaque, etc.
Birds: Black and Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White Bellied ShortWing, Kerala Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Verditer Flycatcher, Small Green Barbet, Grass Owl, Alpine Swift, Painted Brush Quail, etc.
The park experiences extremes of all seasons with rainy seasons being the most difficult. This place is known as one of the wettest areas of the world, receiving rainfall in June-July and then again in October-November.
The months of September and October and then the months of April and May are the ideal months you should visit the national park to spot the majestic NilgiriTahr and the grasslands in full bloom. Apart from these months, the national park can be visited any time of the year as the weather conditions are always favorable here with exquisite visuals of the landscape and the exotic varieties of flora and fauna. The park remains closed for visitors during the months of February and March.
Nearest Train Station: The nearest railway station from Eravikulam National Park is Ernakulam, at a distance of 130km and other one is in Kottayam, at a distance of 142km. Taxis are available from the station to take you to your destination.
Nearest Airport: The nearest airport is in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, at a distance of 142km and Cochin International Airport which is about 150km away. Taxis are available from the airport directly to Munnar.
Road Accessibility : The national park is nearly 18km from Munnar and can be reached from Kochi (135km) and Kottayam (148) by road and from other nearby places as well. A motorable road is there up to Rajamalai, the park headquarters. From there, you are required to travel on foot for around 18km.