Shenduruny  Wildlfe Sanctuary

Shenduruney Wildlife SanctuaryPart of the Agasthyamala biosphere reserve, this sanctuary, located in the southern Western Ghats, derives its name from an endemic  tree species, locally known as chenkurinji.Decalred a wildlife sanctuary in 1984,the region is unique for its bio diversity, remains of a Stone Age culture, and an important ecotourism resource,Thenmala.The name Shenduruny comes from an endemic species of tree call Chenkuruny (Gluta travancoria),mainly confined to this region. The artificial lake formed by the Parappar Dam built across the Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers occupies the central region of the sanctuary. 

Located on the north of Kulathupuzha valley, and bounded by the Western Ghats on the east, the sanctuary, spread over 100 sq km, encompassed large tracts of tropical evergreen forests. The area is generally hilly (100 m to 1550 m above sea level), and at 1,550 m Alvarkurichi is the highest peak. The long list of species found here includes the lion – tailed macaque,Nilgiri langur,sloth bear, bonnet macaque, mouse deer,elephant,wild boar,sambar,gaur,barking deer, black naped hare, Malabar giant squirrel, slender loris,brown palm civet and the pangolin..Big cats are comparatively rare. Trekking and boating are allowed within the tourist zone of the sanctuary.

Recent archaeological studies have revealed that Shenduruny was the cradle of one of the oldest river valley civilization in India – one older than Indus Valley (4000 – 3700 BC).Remains of a stone age culture belonging to the Mesolithic period, dating back 5210 – 4420 BC, have been excavated from a large cave at the northwestern part of the Shenduruny River. The cave which is large enough to hold 20 people at a time had painting similar to the Mesolithic paintings found in the cave of central India.

A view of the Myristica swampDeep inside the forest of Shenthuruni, there lies vast marshy area called Myristica swamps with strange roots of ancient trees projected over the swamp.Thesr are the most endangered forest ecosystem in India, discovered only in Shenthuruni and in Uttara Kannada in Karnataka.Now,the tourists get unique opportunity to visit this variety of evergreen forest  type under the program ‘Wet-N-Wild Trail’. The Forest department has arranged bus trips carrying tourists to the spot deep inside the forest in Thenmala.

The Myristica trees are primitive flowering plants that grow in swamps with the help of dense stilt roots and are found inside the Shenthuruni forest. Over 20 kilometers inside the forest, these swamps are the major attraction of the trip which also promise sights of wild animals and waterfalls.

The bus safari that starts from Thenmala dam junction heads towards Kattilappara rock inside the forest, which was once the settlement of cavemen during the Stone Age. From there a route to Myristica swamps has been cleared. The area is also famous for King Cobras that find habitat in those swamps that never dry up even during harsh summer.

Tourists will have to walk for around 600 meters inside the forest to reach the Myristica swamps. During the trip encounters are possible with wild animals including tigers and wild buffalos. In the final lap, the trip will cover Palaruvi waterfalls to reach back at Thenmala, the starting point.

The tourists will also be provided with tea and snacks during the trip. Two buses having a seating capacity of 24 each will start service at 9 am and 1 30 am each day that would cost Rs.400 for adults and Rs.250 for children

Rosemala , a valley that abounds in the bounty of nature, is located in the Shenduruney forest in Kollam. Located about 15 km deep into the forest from Aryankavu, Rosemala is one of the less explored eco tourism spots in Kerala

Contact

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

The Wildlife Warden,Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary,Thenmala Dam P O,Kollam District Phone : 0475 2344600.

Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society,Krishnavilasom Road,Vazhuthacaud,Thiruvananthapuram – 695014. Phone: 0471 2329770.

Tourist Information Desk ,Themala Phone : 0475 2344800

Getting There

By Air : The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport,85 km.

By rail : The nearest railhead are Themala and Chenkotta,both 30 km away.

By Road : It is 70 km from Kollam on the Kollam– Chenkotta road.Motorable road connected with Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram city.

Location: 8° 44’ – 9° 14' North and 77° 02’ – 77° 15’ East.Pathamapuram talik, 70 km from Kollam on the Kollam – Shencotta Road.

Where to stay

Dormitory and Tented accommodations at Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS).Good resorts and hotels are available at Kollam.For details of hotels and resorts in Kollam,see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/kollam/

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 Published on 10/12/2015

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