About 40 km from Thodupuzha, Idukki district, central Kerala. A land-locked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary here spreads over an area of 77 sq km in the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of the district. Situated at an altitude of 450-748 m above sea level, this sanctuary occupies the forest land between the Cheruthoni river and the Periyar river.
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There is a scenic lake around the sanctuary, covered by an enchanting canopy of tropical ever-green and deciduous trees, and offers boat rides. Elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar etc are seen here apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones.
Birds include jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc. The wildlife here is similar to that of Thekkady. This sanctuary lies adjacent to the world renowned Idukki Arch Dam.
Flora: Over 1800 flowering plants including 171 grass species. 143 species of orchids. The only south Indian conifer Podocarpus Wallichianus grows here.
Fauna: Mammals: 35 species including wild elephants, gaurs, langur, sambar deer and wild boars that can be sighted from the boats, the Nilgiri tahr in the higher rocky areas, the endangered lion tailed macaque confined to the evergreen interiors, bonnet macque, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tiger, jungle cat, sloth bear etc.
Birds: 265 species including migrants. The hombill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, darter, cormorant, grackle, cluster etc.
Reptiles: Cobra, viper, krait, a number of non poisonous snakes, bicoloured frogs and crocodiles.
Pisces: The Periyar lake and streams have several species of fish including the masher, the famous endangered game fish of India. The otter, the only mammal of the lake, can be frequently spotted form the boat.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary (40 km from Thodupuzha):
animals: Elephants, gaur, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tigers, wild boars etc.
Birds: Jungle fowls, mynas, laughing thrushes, black bulbuls, peafowls, woodpeckers, kingfishers etc. Snakes: Cobras, vipers, Kraits and a number of non poisonous snakes.
Eravikulam National Park (15 kms north of Munnar):
Main attractions: Anamudi (2694 m), the highest peak south of the Humalayas, is on the southern side of the park. This is one of the wettest areas of the world.
Fauna: Tigers, panthers, wild dogs, civet cats, jungle cats, sloth bears, Nilgiri Langurs and wild boar.
The atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is seen in the park. Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr live here (1317 of them according to the '91 census).
Visiting time: 0700-1800 hrs. visitors are not allowed during the monsoon.
Nearby trekking trails: Palkulamedu, Parakulam, Kulamavu, Anaward, Painavu, Anamudi.