Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary on Nelliyampathi Hills

Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and national park on the Western slopes of the Nelliyampathi Hills, in  Thrissur District,  Kerala state, India. It has an area of 85.067 square kilometers.

Chimmony Dam-10.JPG
By Sirajvk at English Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0,                             Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary

Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1984. It lies west of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary.  Kurumali River and Mupliam rivers are the main rivers flowing through this national park cum wildlife sanctuary.  Chimmony Dam, across Chimmony river is also situated in this wildlife sanctuary.

About half of the large mammals in the state of Kerala are found in this Wildlife Sanctuary. It includes y some of the globally threatened species such as tigers, Asian elephants and wild dog.  Some of the other engendered species are  lion-tailed macaque, Indian giant squirrel, Nilgiri langur and slender loris.

Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary has 160 species of birds. This Wildlife Sanctuary also has 14 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles and 31 species of fishes.

Malaya tribe, the sole tribal community living close to the wildlife sanctuary, is taking part in the Eco-tourism projects inside the sanctuary. 52 tribal families are there.

How Do I Go to Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary?

Office of The Wildlife Warden of Peechi Wildlife Division is situated at Peechi. Pin code is  680653. Entry permits are issued from this office.

Thrissur town is at around 39 kilometers from the wildlife sanctuary.

Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary is headquartered at Echippara. Accommodation is available at the Goverment Inspection Bungalow, situated near Chimmony Dam.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Peppara dam

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. This sanctuary is named after the Peppara dam, which lies within the sanctuary.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary as seen from the Peppara dam
By Shadow auror at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary as seen from the Peppara dam

In 1983, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary came into existence. It is spread over an area of 75 square kilometers. It consists of myristica swamps and tropical moist evergreen forests. Karamana River and its tributaries are the main source of water inside the sanctuary.

Tiger, leopard, elephant, sambar (deer), sloth bear, bonnet macaque, Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, etc, are some of the wild animals found in this wildlife sanctuary.  233 species of birds are also found here. 27 species of fishes are also found here.

Peppara dam is meant to supply drinking water to Thiruvananthapuram city and its suburbs. Peppara dam’s reservoir is spread over 5.82 square kilometers.

How Do I Go to Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Peppara Dam?

Thiruvananthapuram  Central Railway station is the nearest railway station at around 44 kilometers from Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary. There are regular buses to Peppara from KSRTC Central Bus Station alias Thampanoor bus station, opposite to Thiruvananthapuram  Central Railway station. Peppara town is on the Thiruvananthapuram – Ponmudi Road.

Are you Interested in Going for the Two Day Agasthyarkoodam Trekking or Agasthyamalai Trekking

Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai Trekking routeAgasthyarkoodam  alias Agasthyakoodam or Agasthyamalai Trekking route

Agasthyarkoodam alias Agasthyamalai is considered as a sacred hill. In spite of the remoteness of these hills, determined devotees comes here. Trekking to Agasthyamalai and back takes two or three days (depending on your health condition) and the entry permits are issued every year in January.

AGASTHYAR
Statue of Saint Agastya alias Agasthya Muni on top of Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai. Photo courtesy – Laser Shine.

Entry passes to Agasthyarkoodam Trekking or Agasthyamalai

Entry permits  are  normally issued during the first week of January for a few days. 100 passes are issued in advance, for each day.

Another option to trek Agastyamala is to form a group of 10 people and apply for the entry passes at the Thiruvanathapuram district forest department office. This group permits are issued except during Monsoon season. During Monsoon season, it is is highly risky to trek to Agasthyamalai as the rivers gets flooded (at times Flash floods too).

2019 Update on Agasthyarkoodam Trekking and Ladies Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam

From 2019, ladies are also allowed trekking to Agastyamala. Dhanya Sanal became the first lady to trek to Agasthyamalai, officially. Dhanya trekked to Agasthyamalai in the middle of January 2019. There were reports of female devotees and tribal ladies, who used to go to Agastyamala earlier.

Charges for Agasthyamalai or Agasthyakoodam Trekking 2019

Entry pass charges are rupees 1000 per person. Food is charged separately. It costs around 40 for the breakfast if its idly and 90 for puttu and Kadala as breakfast. Lunch costs rupees  70  and rupees 90 for dinner (Kanji in local language or porridge in English). Tea is charged at rupees 10. Camera is charged at INR 100. These rates or charges are as of January 2019  and is  subject change. Please verify the rates by yourself.

You are not allowed to carry plastic items, except for water bottles and  lunch  boxes. Such items are checked at the Bonacaud picket station (entry point to the trekking area) and rupees 100 or so  is collected, as caution deposit. When you return to the Bonacaud picket station, you will get this money refunded, provided you bring back those items which were taken with you. You are not allowed to carry biscuits or other similarly packed food items. You need to open such packs and wrap it in a paper or put it inside your bag, to take them inside.

How Do I Go to Agasthyamalai alias Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyakoodam Trekking Base Camp?

There are buses from KSRTC bus station at Thampanoor, Thiruvanthapuaram. First bus to the trekking entry gate at Bonakad, starts at 5 am. It reaches Bonakad picket station, where the forest office is situated in around two and a half hours time. The distance is around 55 kilometers. Next bus from Thampanoor is at 5.30 am.

Those coming by bus has to get down at the old tea factory bus top at Bonacaud. Then walk for around three kilometers or so, to reach the Bonacaud Picket Station.

You may also take your vehicle (two or  four wheeler). Private vehicles can go to  forest department office, i.e. Bonacaud Picket Station. Parking charges of rupees 40 and 100 are applicable for two wheeler and four wheeler, respectively.

Bonacaud Picket Station (Bonakad forest office) is the starting point for trekking to Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthya malai.

Day One – The base camp is at Athirumala, at a distance of around 15 kilometers from  Bonacaud Picket Station.  It is relatively easy to trek this distance. Around 10 kilometers out of the 15 kilometers or so,  is plain country roads through forests. There are five camps (small sheds with one or two guides to give local information) in between Bonacaud Picket Station and Athirumala base camp, at around two kilometers apart.

You need to stay at the base camp here, on the day one. There are two halls where you can put your mattress and sleep overnight. There is a  separate area for ladies.

On the second day, you need to start early in the morning. Trekking route passes through  steep mountains and streams covering a distance of around six kilometers (one way). You must return to the base camp on the same day. i.e. on second day.

If you start early and return early, and is in good spirits to trek back to the Bonacaud Picket Station, you can do so. In that case, trekking is completed on day two.

Otherwise, you can stay at the base camp on the second day night. You can trek back to the Bonacaud Picket Station on the third day.

Last bus from Bonakad towards the city is at 5.45 pm. This bus goes to Vithura. Vithura is at a distance of around 22 kilometers from Bonakad picket station. From Vithura, you need to change the bus to go to Thiruvanthapuaram, which is at around 34 kilometers distance from Vithura.

Anamudi Shola National Park near Munnar Hill Station

Anamudi Shola National Park is situated near to Munnar Hill station, in Idukki District, Kerala state. Anamudi park is one of the smallest national parks in India.

Anamudi Shola National Park Entrance
Anamudi Shola National Park Entrance

Anamudi Shola National Park is at an altitude of 2,152 meters (7,060 feet) to 2,305 meters (7,562 feet). It is located along the Western Ghats. Anamudi Wildlife Park is a protected area, spread over 7.5 square kilometers. It covers Idivara shola, Mannavan shola and Pullardi shola.

This national park is rich in flora and fauna. Tigers are seen in the protected area.

Mathikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary are the surrounding national parks to Anamudi Shola National Park.

Anamudi National Park is at around 130 kilometers from Periyar National Park. Periyar National park  is the  most famous national park and wildlife sanctuary in the state of Kerala.

How Do I Go to Anamudi Shola National Park?

Anamudi Shola National Park can be accessed from Kanthalloor-Perumala Road. Kanthalloor is the nearest village at around 4.5 kilometers away from the entry gate of the Anamudi Shola park.

It is situated at around 36 kilometers from Munnar Town.

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. This museum was established in 1995, with the assistance of  the Kerala Forest Department.

Nilambur museum gives insights into Teak tree’s  habitat, management, socioeconomic aspects, cultivation, history and it’s uses. Nilambur teak is famous for its quality.

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 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 alias Canoly’s Plot is situated at Vadapuram. It is at around 2 kilometers from Nilambur town. Canoli Plot alias Canoly’s Plot 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.  Mr. H.V Conolly,  then Collector of Malabar, ordered this work and he himself supervised the work.

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

A hanging bride (suspension bridge) 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 is the nearest railway station to Nilambur. This railway route is one of the best scenic railway routes in south India. It is on the Shoranur – Nilambur section of southern railway.

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.