|Kerala at a glance|
|Kerala Tour Map|
|Backwater Holidays in Kerala|
|Kerala Wildlife Packages|
|Kerala Art & Culture|
Thenmala or the hills that flow with honey is situated about 72 km from Thiruvananthapuram, on the Shencottai Road. Once much sought-after for its honey believed to have medicinal properties, Thenmala is today home to India's first planned eco-tourism project. The nerve-centre of a chain of ten satellite eco-tourism destinations scattered across the hill ranges of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts, Thenmala is spread over acres of evergreen forest.
Synonymous with elephants, misty hills and plantations, Thekkady in Idukki District captures the essence of all that is wild and wonderful. The most prestigious region on the high ranges of the Western Ghats, the Periyar Tiger Reserve is located on the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady. Sprawled majestically across 777 sq km, Periyar Sanctuary, declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 under the Project Tiger Scheme, attracts travellers from all over.
Tucked away in the valley between the Anamalai ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy ranges of Kerala on the majestic Western Ghats is the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across 277 sq km, the Sanctuary, a haven of tranquil greenery boasts of the first ever scientifically managed teak plantation and the world's tallest and oldest teak tree. The famous Kannimara teak tree, believed to be over 350 years old is about 5 km from Thunacadavu, and is one of Parambikulam's prime attractions.
The Eravikulam National Park perched 7,000 ft above sea level, is breathtaking in its size and diversity of flora and fauna. Situated in Devikulam Taluk of Idukki District, the Park originally established to protect the endangered Nilgiri tahr was elevated to a National Park considering its ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance. This land of the Neelakurinji, the flower that blooms once in twelve years painting the hillsides blue, lies 16 km northeast to Munnar and is just 7 km from the Rajamalai hills.
The northernmost Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala, Aralam, 45 km east of Kannur, lies on the western slopes of the Western Ghats. With an area of just 55 sq km, this is one of the smallest sanctuaries in Kerala. Established in 1984, it adjoins the State Farm in Aralam at Kannur district and is headquartered at Iritty, a small town that lies 10 km to the east. About 490 hectares of teak and eucalyptus plantations populate this bio-rich forest range that houses diverse plant and animal life. The tallest peak here is Katti Betta, scaling to a height of 1,145 m. The hilly terrains provide ample opportunities for trekking while the predominantly evergreen forest teeming with various species of flora and fauna sets the stage for some delightful outdoor activities.
Covered with 12,000 hectares of rich vegetation, the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary set up in 1958 is a colourful canvas of exotic flora and thriving fauna. Tropical evergreens, mixed deciduous and southern hill forests to sub-tropical savannahs and reed breaks make this Sanctuary an ideal gene pool preserve. Spread over 128 sq km of forest area in the Western Ghats, it forms the drainage basin for the Neyyar River and its tributaries - Mullayar and Kallar. The Agasthyamalai, 1,890 metres high, lies within the premises of the Sanctuary and is home to a wide variety of plant species including rare medicinal plants and brilliantly coloured orchids.
40 kilometre drive from Kumily, the road leading to the picturesque Gavi is blanketed by tea plantations. The two-hour jeep ride will take you past hills and valleys, tropical forests, sprawling grasslands, cascading waterfalls and cardamom plantations. With more than 260 species of birds, Gavi is a haven for birdwatchers. En route are the Pamba Reservoir and a large tract of reserve forests, so chances of wildlife encounters with endangered species like the Nilgiri tahr and lion tailed macaque are big. Developed into an exclusive ecotourism project, Gavi is listed as one of the must-see places in India.