Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary – the Nature’s Trove
The song from the famous Malayalam Movie Flick ‘Maheshinte Prathikaram’ rightly describes the beauty of Idukki. The land of Idukki was metaphoric with a girl of utmost charm in the song. The lyricist did no boasting as Idukki is, in fact, Midukki – a smart-young girl!
Yes, young! Idukki was only created in the 26th January of 1972. At that time, the district headquarters was at Kottayam. Later, in June 1976 it was moved to Painavu – the present headquarters. Idukki is world famous for the tea plantation hub of Munnar.
Munnar, in fact, was the summer resort of the British Colonial Government of the Madras Presidency. The town of Munnar is situated at the convergence of three mountain streams namely Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala – hence the name Munnar.
Munnar has some of the highest-largest and most beautiful tea plantations in the world. This hill station, which is more than 5000 feet above sea level, is a tourist attraction noted for its scenic landscapes as well.
But Idukki is not just the beauty of Munnar. It is more of a wilderness – the wild beauty!
A vast region of Idukki is covered with forest reserve area; more than half of the district is covered by forests. Idukki is among the most naturally endowed districts in Kerala.
These areas of Idukki are declared as Reserve Forests and Wildlife Sanctuaries of under names. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is one amongst them. The Idukki wildlife sanctuary is filled with steep mountains, majestic hills and valleys. It covers the forest land between the Cheruthoni River and Mighty Periyar River. The world famous Idukki arch dam is located in the forests. The forest here is similar to that of Periyar Reserve Forest. Most forests are evergreen and semi-evergreen. One may also come across patches of Shola forests and grasslands.
There is a plethora of flora and fauna found in this wildlife-rich sanctuary. Elephants, Porcupine, Sambar Deer, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Wild boar etc. can be seen here. One of the best ways to sight animals is boating in the reservoir. Herds of elephants and other animals are seen at the banks as it is the major water source within the sanctuary. Venomous Snakes such as the Cobra, Viper, Krait and a large number of non- poisonous snakes are also found in Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located near the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is contiguous with Eravikulam National Park. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is to the northwest and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary is to the east.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is one of twelve wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. The Western Ghats, under the Anamalai sub-cluster, including all of all mentioned Wildlife Sanctuaries, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
Best time to visit Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is from December to April. In Idukki, the temperature is in between 13 degrees C to 29 degrees C. March and April is the hottest period of the year. Except in the month of January to April the climate is usually cool and humid with the heavy rainfall. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year for the visitors. Wildlife lovers may avail Trekking Packages to watch the animals and birds in the sanctuary. Entry timings are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Although, Kerala – the Gods Own Country has a different and fascinating flavour for tourists during all seasons and every season offers a new experience like no other.
No accommodation facilities are provided at the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary. The best and nearest option for accommodation will be in Munnar. Most visitors to the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary hire a cab and take day trips from Munnar or other nearby towns.
The nearest Airport to Idukki International Airport is Madurai in Tamil Nadu which is about 140 k.m from the place. The Cochin International Airport is around 190 k.m drive from Idukki. The nearest railway station is located around 140 k.m. in Kottayam.
Tourists can contact TreeMonks for trips to the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary from Munnar and for a stay in Munnar Town at best rates. Call us at +91 9447960022.