ERAVIKULAM NATIONAL PARK-WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES
The Eravikulam National Park (15 kms from Munnar) is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District. It lures the travellers with its irresistible grace and beauty. The 97 sq km park lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It is situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the north where it extends as the Annamalai National Park. The mountains covered with the rolling grasslands and high level sholas is breath-takingly beautiful.
The Eravikulam National Park and its fresh surroundings with enriched animal life make an ideal family holiday destination. Being in the most southern state of India, Kerala, the national park experiences a typical climate of the state. The sanctuary dominates by Southwestern monsoon. So it is not advisable to visit the park during the monsoon time as the area takes a dangerous shape in the monsoon. So from the month of January to early days of March are ideal for visiting the forest. This park established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr also known as the Nilgiri Ibex.
About Eravikulam National Park
The Rajamala or Eravikulam National Park is also the natural habitat of this rare mountain goat. Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres) lives here. (Around 1317, according to the 1991 census). Besides the Nilgiri tahr other important fauna are elephant, leopard, tiger, malabar civet, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, langur, phyhon etc. The birds found are imperial pigeon, grey jungle fowl etc. It declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo- morphological and zoological significance, it also declared as a National park in 1978. The park divided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area.
Three major types of plant communities also found in the Eravikulam National Park - grasslands, shrublands . Eravikulam National Park harbours the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius).Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to the southern Western Ghats.Its relatives are the Himalayan tahr(Hemitragus jemlahicus) and Arabian Tahr(hemitragus jayakiri).The estimated population of Nilgiri tahr inside the park is about 750. Wild dog, leopard 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 also found in Eravikulam National Park . Elephants make seasonal visits. Wild dog, leopard 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 also found. Elephants make seasonal visits.