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9 February 2021 | 4 min read

5 Must Visit National Parks in Kerala

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Exquisite coral reeds, beautiful rivers, greenest valley, and splendid backwaters make Kerala a colourful and vibrant place. This exotic land is blessed with remarkable wildlife too that’s worth exploring. Many of the sanctuaries in Kerala are packed with exotic birds, old moss-laden trees, deep-rooted mangroves and animals like elephants, sloth bear, leopards, lion-tailed macaques, Malabar giant squirrel, sambhars, etc. Here are the top 5 national parks you must visit if you are heading to the tropical paradise – Kerala. These sanctuaries are so grand that you will need at least 5 to 6 days to enjoy the jungles to the core. Visiting these wildlife heavens will make your journey to God’s Own Country, an unforgettable one. What are you waiting for – plan your trip now? Get ready to enjoy a worry-free holiday and soak in the spirit of Kerala.

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1. Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park – Live More Zone

Situated in the Western Ghats or Thekkady, Periyar National Park is adorned with a picturesque lake at the sanctuary heart, which is almost 100 years old. The region of Thekkady is known for its wild elephants and Western Ghats forests. Maybe that’s the reason you can easily spot tiger, elephants, deer, lazy reptiles, and several birds like kingfishers and the Malabar Hornbill when you visit this national park. Did you know Periyar National Park is considered as the safest place for the elephants and the tigers?

Best time to visit:

November to April

How to reach?

By Air: Madurai in Tamil Nadu at 140 km is the nearest airport from Periyar. You can also fly down to Kochi which is 200 km from Periyar.
By Train: Kottayam at 114 km is the nearest train station.

Things to do:

  • Boating
  • Trekking
  • Elephant ride
  • Wildlife safari

2. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Chinnar National Park – Live More Zone

Spread over 90 sq. km in the Idukki district, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is different from other sanctuaries due to its thorny scrub forest. As this sanctuary falls in the rain shadow area, receives rain for only 48 days in the year. Apart from its prosperous wildlife, Chinnar Sanctuary is famous for sandalwood forests and waterfalls. It is under consideration for being declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Best time to visit:

December to April

How to reach?

By Air: Nedumbassery is the nearest airport
By Train: Aluva is the nearest railhead

Things to do:

  • Observe animals from watchtowers
  • Nature walks
  • Trekking
  • Camping

3. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

Peppara National Park – Live More Zone

Known for thick forests, eucalyptus plantations, clear streams and rugged terrain, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to varied species such as tigers, panthers, wild dogs, mouse deer, etc. Around 13 native tribal groups reside in this sanctuary that is still untouched by civilisation. It is beautifully spread over 53 sq. km and is located at about 50 km from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.

Best time to visit:

October to March

How to reach?

The nearest airport and train station are in Thiruvananthapuram.

Things to do:

  • Trekking
  • Nature walks
  • Wildlife photography

4. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Mangalavanam National Park – Live More Zone

The central part of Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is embedded with thick mangroves and lush greenery. That’s why it is titled as ‘the green lung of Kochi’. Boasting of about 194 birds of 32 varied species, this sanctuary is blessed with scenic backwaters landscapes too.

Best time to visit:

If you wish to see migratory and exotic birds’ arrival, you must plan your trip during the winter season, especially between January and March.

How to reach?

By Air: The nearest airport is Nedumbassery International Airport (34 km away) in Kochi.
By Train: Ernakulam South Railway Station (only 4 km away) is the nearest one.

Things to do:

  • Bird watching
  • Wildlife photography
  • Trip into mangrove forests
  • Nature camping

5. Silent Valley National Park

Silent Valley National Park – Live More Zone

In 1984, Silent Valley declared a National Park. Before that, it was a reserve of tropical rainforests, away from human encroachment. This national park is located in the Nilgiri Hills, Palakkad District of Kerala. It is home to more than thousands of flowering plants, 110 orchids species, 400 moth species and 200 butterfly species. From tigers, leopards, elephants, snakes, macaques, giant squirrels to moths, bugs and toads, here you will find everything. Biologists and professional scientists often come to Silent Valley National Park to do their research due to its rich variety of flora and fauna.

Best time to visit:

December to April

How to reach?

By Air: Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest airport
By Train: Palakkad is the nearest railhead

Things to do:

  • Camping
  • Trekking
  • Bird watching
  • Take long walks
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