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.

Pampadum Shola National Park Famous for Humus Compost

Pampadum Shola National Park is situated near Munnar in Idukki district, Kerala state, India. Its the smallest national park in the state of Kerala, with an area of just 1.318 square kilometers. “Pampadum Shola” means ‘forests where the snake dances’ .

Vandaravu observation tower and sign at Pampadum Shola National Park
Vandaravu observation tower and sign at Pampadum Shola National Park

Endangered Nilgiri Thar, locally known as Vandaravu, is seen here. There is a watch tower to observe these Endangered animals. Endangered and Highly elusive, endemic small carnivore are found in this National Park. Nilgiri wood-pigeon, a vulnerable bird species, is also found in this National Park, near Vattavada. Nilgiri marten, the only marten in south India, can be seen inside this national park.

The old Kodaikanal – Munnar road, which was in use during the British rule, passes through this national park. This road is closed now.

Eucalyptus trees are there in large numbers in this park. Non-contaminated humus compost is the specialty of this National Park.

Kerala forest department officers accompany tourists to the National Park. You need to  buy the entry permits from the Forest Department Office, at the entrance to the National Park. You need to carry your identity document. Trekking is allowed inside this National park. It a 5 kilometer long trek, which passes through this park and other nearby areas.

Eravikulam National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Kurinjimala Sanctuary & Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary are nearby National park and wildlife sanctuaries. Adjoining this National park is the forests of proposed ‘Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park’.

Accommodation inside Pampadum Shola National Park

There are two wooden cottages (Log houses) inside the forest, which can be booked as part of the package tour to Pampadum Shola National Park, offered by forest department. There is also a mud house. Charges for the log house and mud house are rupees 4000 for two persons for a single day/night. This tour package charges includes entry passes, dinner, breakfast and services of a guide. If you need non-vegetarian food, you need to bring in the raw materials.

There are two  Amenity centers with a capacity to accommodate 4 and 7 persons respectively. Charges per person is Rs 500.  Food is not included in this charge. Park Entrance fee of rupees 25 per person is also to be paid separately.

Please confirm the charges with the booking authorities, as these charges are subject to change.

How Do I Go To Pampadum Shola National Park?

Pampadum Shola National Park is at a distance of 35 kilometers from Munnar, on the road to Vattavada.  Mattupetty Dam, Echo Point and Kundala are en-route to PampadumShola National Park. Just ahead of Top Station junction, take the  sharp left and proceed for about a kilometer to reach the national park. (The road ahead leads to Top Station View Point.)

Pampadum Shola National Park entrance is after crossing Koviloor. Its 7 kilometers ahead of Vattavada. Its near Pampadumpara. Some of the nearby villages to the National park are Urkkad and Kottakamboor, Munnar town is connected by roads to other nearby cities of Kerala and Tamilnadu states. Cochin International airport is the nearest airport to the park.

Ernakulam North, Ernakulam South, Angamaly alias Kalady and Kottayam are some of the nearby railway stations.

There are no fuel stations or ATMs, once you cross Munnar town.

Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park is UNESCO World Heritage site situated at the peak of Nanda Devi Himalayan range in the state of Uttarakhand, India.

Nanda Devi National ParkNanda Devi Peaks in the Nanda Devi National Park

Nanda Devi National Park lies at a height of 25646 feet above sea level (7817 meters). This National Park was declared as a National Park of India in 1982. Nanda Devi National Park was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988 along with the nearby Himalayan Valley of Flowers National Park

Nanda Devi National Park is one among the best national parks in India. This National Park is spread over an area of around 630.33 square kilometers. Nandadevi National Park along with the Valley of Flowers National Park is a protected Biosphere reserve. Its called “Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve“, having a total area of 2237 square kilometers, with a buffer zone of another 5149 square kilometers. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve was declared as part of the “UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves” in 2004, making it as one of the rarest biosphere areas of the world.

Nanda Devi National Park is surrounded by ‘Nanda Devi Sanctuary’, which is a glacial basin with the “Rishi Ganga Gorg”, one of the steepest, impassable defiles of the world.

Nanda Devi National Park is home to a large number flora and fauna. Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Musk Deer, Mainland Serow are some of the large size mammals found in the Nandadevi National Park. Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopards, Langurs, etc, are also found in the National Park at Nanda Devi. 312 floral species are found in the Nandadevi National Park, which includes 17 rare species.

How Do I Go to Nanda Devi National Park?

Nanda Devi National Park near Hemkunt Marag, in Pagrasu village of Uttarakhand state can be accessed from ‘Joshimath’. (Joshimath is at around 250 kilometers distance, on the National Highway 58, from Dehradun, the capital of Uttaralhand.) Nanda Devi National Park is at a distance of around 54 kilometers from Joshimath, last few kilometers of this needs to be trekked.

Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest major airport, which is connected to the nearby major cities. ‘Rishikesh’ is the nearest railway station at around 275 kilometers from Nandadevi National Park , even though Dehradun railway station is the nearest railway station which is well connected to other stations.

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary and Bird Sanctuary

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary and Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary are a protected area in the state of Tamilnadu, India.

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, South-east India. Brahminy Kites and Brown-headed Gulls .

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary is ecologically sensitive wetland along the Palk Straight in Nagapattinam district on Bay of Bengal coast at Point Calimere. 12,407.27 hectares of land has been added, to the existing 21.47-square-kilometer of protected area, in 2013 making it one of the largest bird sanctuaries in south India. There is a proposal to declare a national park in the core area of the sanctuary.

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary & Bird Sanctuary is an island surrounded by bay of Bengal, Palk Straight, backwaters and salt pans. Many sand dunes exists along these areas.

Point Calimere is very rich in biodiversity and is the home to many endangered and protected wild animalsand birds. It is the  second largest congregation for the migratory birds in India. This area was declared as a protected area initially to protect the endangered Black buck antelope.

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary used to be the home for more than 4 lacks of migratory birds, numbering around 236 species. Over years, due to poaching and other human activities in and around the area, the number of migratory birds visiting the area has reduced considerably. This resulted in recent addition of protected areas to the existing protected areas of the Bird Sanctuary.

Greater Flamingos, Painted stork, Black-necked Stork, spot-billed pelican, spoonbill sandpiper, Nordmann’s Greenshank, black-necked stork, white ibis, spoonbill sandpiper, Asian dowitcher, etc, are the some of the migratory birds found in the Bird Sanctuary.

These areas around Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary are rich in fauna like mangroves and grass lands. Please carry a bird watching binoculars, when you go to Point Calimere bird sanctuary.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary near Chennai is another Bird Sanctuary in the same state of Tamil Nadu.

How Do I Go to Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary?

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary entrance is a  distance of 55 kilometers from Nagapattinam at Vedaranyam. Nagapattinam is a major town in Tamilnadu which is well connected by roads and train.

Thiruchirapally alias Trichy has the nearest airport to this Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary. Chennai is at a distance of 380 kilometers from Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary.

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary and Point Calimere Bird Sanctuary are open on all days till 5 pm. October to January is ideal season for bird watching of migratory birds.

Arashinagundi falls

Arashinagundi falls is near to Shimoga in the state of Karnataka in India. It is one of the most beautiful falls in Karnataka hidden deep inside the jungles of Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary near Kodachadri, Kollur.

Arashinagundi falls situated in Kodachadri
Arashinagundi falls is situated in a small valley at the North-eastern side of Kodachadri.

Blessed with greenery and wilderness, this falls is an ultimate pleasure to the mind and the eyes. Trekking to this falls is available from Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary gate.

Best season to visit Arashina Gundi waterfalls is after the onset of Monsoon;  preferably from September to January.

How Do I Go to Arashinagundi falls?

Shimoga is the nearest town to Arashina gundi falls. Kodachadri, Kollur & Mookambika are other nearby towns. to the falls. Mangalore is the nearest major town with Air connectivity to Arashina gundi waterfalls. Mangalore to Shimoga distance is around 201 kilometers. Shimoga to Bangalore distance is around 302 kilometers.