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 ( 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?
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
— Touristinindia (@touristinindia) February 4, 2018
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.