Nature at its Best at Nilambur & the Teak Museum

Nilambur is a sleepy town in Malapuram district in Kerala, known for the abundant beauty of nature.

Hanging Bridge across Chaliyar at NilamburHanging Bridge across Chaliyar at Nilambur

Nilambur Teak Museum

Teak Museum at Nilambur is another tourist place in Malapuram district. It is closed on Mondays.

Nilambur museum gives insights into Teak tree’s  habitat, management, socioeconomic aspects, cultivation, history and it’s uses. Nilambur teak is world famous for its quality. This museum was established in 1995, with the assistance of  the Kerala Forest Department.

Teak Museum in Nilambur offers Nature Trail at its Bio-resource Nature Park, spread over 40 hectors of land. Propagules of more than 1200 plant species  have been introduced in the nature park trail route.

Nature park was established by the sub-center of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), situated at Nilambur.  (Main Campus of KFRI is situated at Peechi in Thrissur district, Kerala.)

Other Attractions inside Kerala Forest Research Institute sub-center at Nilambur

There is also a Wildlife Museum inside the Kerala Forest Research Institute. There is also a Xylarium inside the institute, which has specimens of 600 tree species. The research institute has also established an Arboretum and a Botanic Garden. Bambusetum is another attraction inside the institute campus, with 70 species of bamboos.

Conolly’s Plot – a Must See Place in Nilambur

Conolly’s Plot or Canoli Plot and Canoly’s Plot is situated at Vadapuram, at around 2 kilometers from Nilambur. It is considered as one of the world’s oldest teak plantations. the oldest teak here is known as Kannimari.

Canoly’s Plot Teak plantation was planted in 1846 by Mr. Chathu Menon, under the order and supervision of Mr. H.V Conolly,  then Collector of Malabar.

Chaliyar and Kurinjipuzh rivers flows through two sides of the Canoli Plot. Dense forests surround the other two sides.

A hanging bride connects Conolly’s Plot with the town.

How Do I Go to Nilambur?

Nilambur is connected by roads to other parts of Kerala.

Nilambur Road Railway Station, on the Shoranur – Nilambur section of southern railway, is the nearest railway station to Nilambur. This railway route is one of the best scenic railway routes in south India.

Nilambur Teak museum is at around 4 kilometers from Nilambur Road Railway Station.

Conclusion

Are you interested going to Nilambur? Please leave your comments below.

Mathikettan Shola National Park

Mathikettan Shola National Park or Mathikettan  National Park is one of the smallest national parks, with an area of just 12.82 square kilometers. This national park is at Poopara village in  Udumbanchola taluk, Idukki district, Kerala state.
An Elephant inside Mathikettan Shola National ParkAn Elephant inside Mathikettan Shola National Park

The area under the national park is a reserved forest. It is rich in flora and fauna. It became a  national park in 2003.

The word Mathikettan means ‘mind confuser’ in Tamil Language, an Indian language spoken in the area. One forgets the path once he or she enters the park. Hence, the name Mathikettan National park. For this reason, seek the help of a guide when going inside the park.

There are different trekking packages available, accompanied by  Forest department approved guides. There is a bird watching trekking route in the evening around 4’o clock. There is a morning trekking tour available, which starts at 6.30 am.

Pampadum Shola national park is another national park situated close to Mathikettan Shola park.

How Do I Go to Mathikettan Shola National Park?

Mathikettan Shola National Park is accessible form Poopara. Poopara is on the Munnar – Kumily road. Munnar is at around 34 kilometers distance. Similarly, Kothamangalam town is at around 90 kilometers distance from this national park.

Cochin International Airport  and Madurai International Airport are the nearest airports to the National park at around 123 and 141 kilometers distance, respectively.

Kottayam railway station is the nearest railway station to the National park, at around 155 kilometers distance.

Toll free number of  Kerala forest and wildlife department is  1 800 425 4733.

Conclusion

To sum up, Even though Mathikettan Shola National Park is one of the smallest national parks, it is rich in flora and fauna.

Are you going to the park? Please leave your comments below.

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Thiruvanthapuram district, Kerala state, India. The office of the wildlife sanctuary is at around one kilometer distance from Neyyar Dam. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1958.

Mugger crocodiles in the crocodile farm in Neyyar Wildlife SanctuaryMugger crocodiles in the crocodile farm in Neyyar Wild life Sanctuary

Neyyar River and its tributaries, Mullayar and Kallar, flows through Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Agasthyarkoodam,  the highest peak in Agasthyamalai with a height of 1,868 meters  or 6,129 feet, is situated within Neyyar wild life sanctuary.  A portion of the  Neyyar sanctuary is included in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve,  which was declared as a World Network of Biosphere Reserves and also a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Agasthyamala is a famous pilgrimage destination for devotees of the Hindu sage, Agastya. Selected number of passes are issued each year, during the first week of January. Full size statue of Agathiyar is there at the top of Agasthyamala.

Neyyar Wild life Sanctuary is rich in flora with thick vegetation cover. Fauna includes  barking deer, bonnet macaque, elephant, tiger, leopard, sambar, sloth bear, Nilgiri langur and Nilgiri tahr. 39 species of mammals are there in this wildlife park.  176 bird species, 30 reptile species, 17 amphibian species and 40 fish species are reportedly seen in this wildlife sanctuary.

What is there to See inside Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary?

Neyyar Elephant Rehabilitation Center inside the wildlife sanctuary is home to many an elephants; from calves to aged ones. Neyyar Wild life Sanctuary also offers Elephant ride.

Boating facilities are available inside the sanctuary.

There is a deer rehabilitation center inside the wildlife sanctuary at Neyyar.

There is a crocodile farm or crocodile park in the sanctuary.  20 mugger crocodiles are there in this farm.

There is a lion park, with 2 lions, if my memory is correct.  Entry fee to Lion safari is  rupees 395 per person.

There is an aquarium and the entry fee is rupees 25.

Entry Fee to Neyyar Dam is rupees 10 and car parking costs rupees 25.

There is a guided single day trekking package to Meenmuty falls. Two day trekking is also available here, with overnight stay inside the wildlife sanctuary.

You will get good food with fish fry, at the nearby canteen, on one side of the dam.

How Do I Go to  Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary?

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary entry is from the administrative complex of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, near Neyyar Dam.

Neyyattinkara Railway Station is the nearest railway station at around 20 kilometers distance from the wildlife park entry gate. The nearest airport is at Thiruvvananthapuram, at around 40 kilometers away.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at  Thenmala in Kollam district, Kerala state, India.  Eco-tourism and Butterfly park are situated in and around Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary. Eco-tourism and Butterfly park are part of Thenmala Eco-tourism Project, the first Eco-tourism project in India. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is part of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.

Hump Nosed Viper (Hypnale hypnale) at Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Hump Nosed Viper (Hypnale hypnale) at Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a wildlife sanctuary on 25th August 1984. This sanctuary is spread over an area of s 172.403 square kilometers (i.e. 66.565 square miles). The name of the park Shendurney is derived from Chengurinji (Gluta travancorica), a tree endemic to the region.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna.Flora includes Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Flowering plants numbering around 1257 species, belonging to more than 150 families, are found here. 267 bird species are also found here.

25 types of butterflies  are found in Asia’s first butterfly safari park here.They are not put into butterfly greenhouses or butterfly house. These butterflies live in their natural habitats on the butterfly garden plants in this butterfly safari park.

Highly elusive nocturnal bird, the Great Eared Nightjar, was spotted at Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary. Lion-tailed macaque, a highly endangered animal specie, is also found here. Wildlife conservation efforts are yielding good results here.

There is an artificial lake with an area of 18.69 Square kilometers in size.

There is also a Mesolithic site. A cave dating back to Mesolithic age, has been found inside the wildlife sanctuary.

How Do I Go to Eco-tourism and Butterfly Park Site?

Shendurney Wildlife park entry gate is at Thenmala, a small town on the Kollam-Punalur-Shenkottai- Tirumangalam National Highway (NH 744) side.  Thenmala is situated  at around 75 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram. Kollam town is at around 66 kilometers from Thenmala.

Punalur, the nearest major town is at around 20 kilometers from Thenmala. Shenkottai, another major nearby city, is at around 30 kilometers from Thenmala.

There are frequent bus services to Thenmala from Punalur government bus stand. (Punalur- Shenkottai buses)

Thenmala railway station on the Punalur- Shengottai route (now converted into broad gauge line from meter gauge) is the nearest railway station to Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary.

Anchal town is at around 29 kilometers distance from Thenmala. Kadakkal Temple, a unique temple with no  idol or a pujari (priest) is situated at Anchal.

Details on Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Entry Permits and Night Stay

You need to get permit from Forest department office at Thenmala or from The Chief Wildlife Warden’s office at Thiruvananthapuram. Night stay facilities are available inside the sanctuary, subject to availability. Dormitory  is also available.

Camping facilities are also available, which is arranged by Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society.

Off Road Riding and Trekking to KeralamKundu Waterfalls

Keralamkundu waterfalls is situated in Karuvarakundu, a small town in Malappuram district, Kerala state, India. It is one of the scenic falls in the state of Kerala. It is situated at a distance of around 6 kilometers from the main road and is on the periphery of  Silent Valley National Park. The last 6 kilometers to the falls is like off road riding.

keralamkundu waterfalls
Image Courtesy – Malappuram district panchayath website.

Keralamkundu falls is well maintained by the tourism department.  They have conctructed staircase to go to the top of the falls. Those who know swimming, can jump from the rock on top, to the pond down. Alternatively, you can go straight to the  pond and have a bath there.

How Do I Go to Keralamkundu Waterfalls?

Karuvarakundu  is a small town, where the falls is situated. Nilambur town is at around 34 kilometers  northwest of Karuvarakundu. Perinthalmanna town is at around 35 kilometers away from the falls. Manjeri is another nearby town, at around 39 kilometers distance.

From Perinthalmanna town, take the Kariyavattom, Vengoor, Melattur route. If you are going to the falls by bike,  Jeep,4 wheel drive vehicle,etc,  you can take your vehicle up to the falls entry gate.

Melattur or Tuvvur railway station on the Shornur – Nilambur Road railway line is the nearest railway station to the falls. From these stations, you will get bus up to Karuvarakundu. From there, you can take an auto-rickshaw  or jeep to go to the falls. Jeep charge for a single person from Karuvarakundu to the falls is around Rs. 300 or so. Please speak with the driver and fix the amount before boarding the Jeep.

You may also go the falls by trekking the 6 kilometer distance from Karuvarakundu.

Karipur International Airport (also known as Calicut International Airport) near Kozhikode is the nearest airport, at around  60 kilometers distance from  KeralamKundu Waterfalls.

Keralamkundu Waterfalls Entry Fee

There is an small entry fee (Rs 10 or so) to be paid at the building, on the entrance to the falls.

Temporary Entry Ban to Keralamkundu Waterfalls

Due to landslide, entry to this falls is banned temporarily in August 2018. The state of Kerala has witnessed unprecedented floods during August 2018. Such a flood was not seen in the last 100 years or so.