Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park

 Well, you have feasted your eyes on the scenic Munnar.Now why not ecplre the grassland high up the hills, where mist cuddles and sometimes congeals on the ground?

Established in 1975 to protect the Nilgiri Tahr,the Eravikulam Sanctuary was decaled a National Park in 1978 considering its  rich biodiversity of high altitude shoal grassland ecosystem,ecological,faunal,floral,geomorpholigical and zoological significance. This 97 sq km park of verdant grassland and wooded valleys is wedged between the picturesque Kannan Devan Hills and Anamudi, South India’s highest peak. It is also home to nearly a third of the world’s population of the endangered Nilgiri tahr, and the spectacular neelakurinji flower that blooms once every 12 years.It is estimated that there are around 2,000 Nilgiri Tahrs in the Western Ghats.The land of the Neelakurinji is 7 km from the Rajamalai hills. The park is breathtakingly beautiful and comparable to the Alpine ranges.The park becomes a hotspot when the hill slopes get covered in a carpet of blue with the blossoming of Neelakurinji – a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats.

Located 13 km from Munnar, the park effectively protects local biodiversity. Stretching over 97 sq km in the tea growing region of the Western Ghats, it is located on a high rolling plateau next to the Anamudi Peak that soars up to a height of 2,695 m.

Eravikulam’s treasure is undoubtedly the endangered Nilgiri tahr that thrives here. The small – clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, the dusky striped squirrel, and the small Indian civet are the other animals found. There are also elephants, sambar, gaur, macaque and the occasional tiger or leopard. The sanctuary is home to about 120 species of birds, including species such as the black and orange flycatcher, Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Nilgiri Verditer flycatcher and the Kerala laughing thrush.

Rajamala is the tourism zone of the park. It order to maintain the balance of sensitive eco systems, visitors are allowed into the forest only in forest department vehicles. The park is usually closed during the time of calving of Nilgiri Tahr, usually during the early months of every year. Visitors are allowed entry only to the tourism zone where they can observe the Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters. The park has restaurants, eco shops and an amenity centre.

Don’t let those serpentine queues you see outside Rajamala, the tourism zone of Eravikulam National Park, put you off. The experience inside is worth the wait. Hop into a safari bus and grab a side seat. The long climb up is not meant to tire you out. Just watch out on the margins of the road. Spotting the endangered Nilgiri Tahr is the highlight of the journey.Sometines you’d see them in dozens, many dozens, perching on rocks, at dangerous inclines.

The park nearly bursts to its seams with visitors once in every 12 years as Nellakurinji blooms and carpets entire valleys into purple.But remember,the tourism zone will be closed in calving season during February – March every year.

The park is open to visitors from 07 30 am to 4 00 pm at an entry fee of Rs.90 for domestic tourists and Rs.65 for students.

Trekking Trails : Palkulamedu,Parakulam,Anaward,Painavu,This is also a destination for adventure tourism.

Contact

The Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife),Thiruvananthapuram – 695014.Phone : 0471 232217.

The Wildlife Warden/Assistance Wildlife Warden, Eravikulam National Park, Rajamalai, Near Nemakad Estate, Munnar.Phone: 04865 231587.

You can buy entry tickets to Eravikulam National Park online from State Bank of Travancore.

Information cum Ticket Booking Centre

Office of Wildlife Waren,Eravikulam National Park,Wild life Division, Munnar,Munnar P.O.,Pin: 685612
Ph: 04865-231587, 04865-208255
e-mail: enpmunnar@gmail.com

Online ticket Reservation link : http://eravikulam.org/online-entry-tickets-terms/

Getting There

By Air : The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport,145 km.

By rail : The nearest railhead is at Pollachi,72 km.Aluva is 120 km.

By Road : It is 13 km from Munnar.

Location: 10° 10’ - 10° 20’ North and 77° 0’ - 77° 10’ East.Devikulam taluk of Idukki district, 13 km north of Munnar.

Where to stay

Private lodges in Munnar.Govemment guest houses at Munnar and Devikulam.PWD rest houses. For details of hotels and resorts in Munnar, see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/munnar/

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Published on 19/12/2014

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