Eravikulam National Park of Kerala is 15 kms. from Munnar in Idukki the district of Kerala. Eravikulam National Park spreads over an area of 97 sqkm. Declared as a sanctuary in 1975, it was originally established with the purpose of protecting the Nilgiri tahr. The wildlife variety includes Tigers, panthers, wild dogs, civet cats, jungle cats, sloth bears, Nilgiri langurs and wild boars. The floral diversity which abounds in evergreen forests and lush grasslands is sure to amaze you. The southern side of the Park features the famous peak of Anamudi(2694 mt.)
Fauna at Eravikulam National Park : Eravikulam National Park the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). This endangered animal is native to the southern Western Ghats. Its nearest relative is the Himalayan tahr. The fully grown male is known as 'saddle back' is much bigger and darker than the female and has a silvery saddle like patch on its back. Mating takes place during monsoons and the birth season is January-February. The estimated population of tahr inside the park is about 700. Wild dog, leoperd and tiger are the main predators. Apart from tahr, other little known animals such as Nilgiri marten, small clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, and dusky striped squirrel are also found. Elephants make seasonal visits. One can find 120 species of birds which include endemics like black and ornage flycatcher, Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri wood pegeon, white bellied shortwing, Nilgiri verditer flycatcher and Kerala laughing thrush.
Flora at Eravikulam National Park : Endemics confined to the shola-grass land ecosystem like the red disk bush brown and Palni fourwing are among the 100 odd butterflies listed inside the park.The shola-grassland ecosystem is a strange admixture of temprature and tropical qualities due to the combined effects of altitude as well as latitude. It is exceptionally rich in orchids and balsams. The spectacular mass flowering of the shrub neelakurunji (Phlebophyllum kunthianum) takes place in the grasslands in cycles of the 12yrs. The next neelakurunji 'outburst' is due in the year 2006.
Climate : The climate is described as tropical montane. The Park experiences very heavy rainfall. It recieves its major precipitation during the south-west monsoons (June-August). The average annual rainfall is about 3000mm. January-March are relatively dry months. In winter, the temprature goes down even below freezing point.
Best Time to See Wildlife : November to March
Most Comfortable time to visit : November to March
Travel Tips :
- The park receives plenty of rainfall and the tourists should be prepared for rainfall any time of the day.
- Entry tickets can be purchased from the Rajamallay checkpost, about 5 km from the main road.
- After purchasing the tickets, the visitors can walk along the road till the core area, where tourist entry is not permitted.
- Some of the park charges include Entry fee : Rs. 15 (Indians) & Rs. 200 (foreigners), Vehicle entry : Rs. 200 (heavy vehicles), Rs. 50 (light vehicles) & Rs. 25 (other vehicles), Camera : Rs. 25 (still) & Rs. 200 (video)
- Avoid littering in the place, especially non biodegradable material like polythene bags, which can even lead to the death of animals.
How to Reach Eravikulam National Park?
By Air: Cochin International Airport (143 km) is the nearest airport from Eravikulam and connected to many places in India by regular flights. The airport is also connected to places in the Middle East by regular flights.
By Rail: Nearest Railway Station is Aluva in Ernakulam district, 115 km from Munnar. Other railway stations are Kottayam about 142 km from Munnar and Ernakulam, about 130 km from Munnar.
By Road: A motorable road is there up to Rajamalai, the park headquarter. From Rajamalai, one needs to travel on foot for around 18 km. Rajamalai is at a distance of around 15 km from the Munnar town connected to many places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.