New Amarambalam Reserve Forests and Karimpuzha National Park

New Amarambalam reserved forests and other nearby areas were proposed as a new wildlife sanctuary called Karimpuzha National Park.  Karimpuzha National Park is spread over  the Malappuram and Palakkad Districts of Kerala and Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu. It is contiguous to  Silent Valley National Park to the south and extends up to Nadugani pass.

This new proposed wildlife sanctuary is part of  the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (the first International Biosphere reserve in India). It is part of Western Ghats, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Karimpuza was listed as a proposed Wildlife Sanctuary by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, India, in 2006.

Lion-tailed macaque is found in New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Lion-tailed macaque

Karimpuzha National Park is also called as New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary. It has an area of around 265 square kilometers.   The proposed Wildlife sanctuary is at an altitude of 40 meters (131 feet) to 2,554 meters (8,379 feet).  It is the largest wildlife sanctuary in the state of Kerala.

New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. Mammal species numbering around 25 (almost all Mammal species of Western Ghats), including endemic & threatened Lion-tailed macaque and Nilgiri Tahr are found here.

Bird species numbering around 212 are found here in this wildlife park and its surrounding areas. Restricted range of bird species numbering around 16 are seen here.  One critically endangered bird species and two vulnerable bird species are also found in the wild life sanctuary here.  At least, three among 52 near threatened bird species of India are found here.

How Do I Go to Proposed New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary or Karimpuzha National Park?

Proposed Karimpuzha National Park or New Amarambalam Wildlife Sanctuary route map is given above.

How About Exploring Nature by Going in for a Three day Trekking inside Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary?

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is the northernmost wildlife sanctuary situated in Kannur District, Kerala. It is at the  northwestern slopes of Western Ghats.

Malabar giant squirrel
Malabar Giant Squirrel  ( Photo courtesy – Biju P. John, Ettumanoor )

Brief History of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Aralam Wild Life Sanctuary was established in 1984. It is spread over an area of 55 square kilometers. Aralam Range of protested forests under Aralam wildlife division (an independent wildlife division since 1st July 1998), makes this wildlife statuary. This wildlife park was formed by carving out 32.64 square kilometers of a private forest, which were taken over by the Kerala State Goverment. Aralam sanctuary is spread over Aralam, Kelakam and Kottiyoor revenue villages.

Beauty of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Cheenkanni Puzha (Cheenkanni  river) flows through the southern side of the sanctuary. This river has got crystal clear waters.

Brhahmagiri hills are on the eastern side of the sanctuary. Aralam Farm borders the wildlife sanctuary on the western side of Aralam wild life sanctuary.

Crossing the suspension bridge near the forest range office across Cheenkanni Puzha is one of the most thrilling experience for any tourist.

There are hundreds of waterfalls inside this sanctuary; both big and small ones. Meenmutty falls  is one such magnificent falls (details given below). Deep inside the forest, which is accessible by Jeeps (off road ride), you can see the Cheenkanni Puzha falling from the Koorg forests will make you spellbound for a few minutes.

Flora and Fauna inside Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

The wild life sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. More than 1000 species of vegetation is found in this wildlife sanctuary.

16 amphibian species are reported to be found here.  188 bird species are found in the sanctuary. 22 reptile species, along with 39 fish species, are also found in this wildlife sanctuary.

The wild life sanctuary is habitat to 23 mammal species. Wild animals of the sanctuary includes Tiger, Leopard,  Lion tailed macaque, Bonnet macaque, The Indian wild boar, The Indian porcupine, Nilgiri langur, Hanuman langur, Indian pangolin, Common palm civet, Otter, Slender loris, The Gaur, Malabar giant squirrel, Otter, Rat, Indian elephant, Three striped palm squirrel, Large brown flying squirrel, The Sambar deer, Common mongoose, Mouse deer, Barking deer and Black napped hare. Predators to the wild animals of the sanctuary are Tigers and Leopards.

Aralam Wild Life Sanctuary is famous among those who research on birds and butterflies. There are around 249 butterfly species here. At any time, there are hundreds of people doing such research, including many foreigners. This sanctuary is also having one of the largest population of King Cobras in the world.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary Trekking

Trekking to Ambalappara, which is at around 25 kilometers away from Valayamchal, at an altitude of about 1500 meters, is a major adventure sports activity here.  Trekking takes a whole day and tourists need to stay there inside the deep forests, for two nights at Aambalapara Watch Tower. Its a group trekking for 3 tourists, accompanied by a guide and security personals.

Trekking to Meenmutty falls is another activity for tourists, which is situated at a distance of 16 kilometers  from Valayamchal. You can also go to the Meenmutty falls by four wheel drive vehicles. Private Jeep services costs around 1500- 2000 Rupees. Road to the this falls is not motor-able for two wheelers.

How Do I Go to Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary?

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary Entrance near Iritty Town

Entrance to the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is from the entry gate at a distance of around 20 kilometers from Iritty, where Wildlife Warden’s office  is situated.  Iritty town is  a municipality and a small town in Kannur district. Iritty is also called as the Coorg Valley, as the area is  contiguous to Coorg.

Thalassery railway station is the nearest station at around 70 kilometers from Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary.  Thalassery, Kannur, Wayanad and Virajpet are some of the major nearby cities.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary Timings

Day visit of the sanctuary is allowed form 8 am to 4 pm.  Entry permits can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden’s office at Iritty or Assistant Wildlife Warden’s office at Valayamchal (south west corner of the sanctuary).

Accommodation at Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Goverment Rest House is there at Iritty.  There is an Inspection bungalow at Valayamchal , which charges INR 400 per day.  Dormitory  charges at Valayamchal  are Rs 50 per head.

There are hotels at Iritty town. Peravoor is another nearby town with hotels.

Related Article on Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Other Tourist Places near Kannur

Vayalapra Kayal Park or V-pra Kayal Floating Park or Vayalapra Floating Park

Vayalapra Kayal Park or V-pra Kayal Floating Park is situated at Vayalapra Parappu, Chembolikkundu, Payangadi, Kannur District.  It is on the Vayalapra Kaayal (Vayalapara lake).  There are many activities like Zorbing, swimming (inside the swimming pool), water sports,  game zone, etc, for the whole family to spent a day here. It is at around 26 kilometers from Kannur town. 

Vayalapra floating park was opened in 2016. Vayalapra Kayal Park is managed by Kannur District Tourism Promotion Council.