Here's Your Wildlife Weekend Getaway Guide From Cochin

Here's Your Wildlife Weekend Getaway Guide From Cochin
Thuvanam Waterfalls located in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Deeply enriched with flora and fauna, these places in and around Kerala are best to enjoy a wildlife retreat

Simrran Gill
October 19 , 2019
20 Min Read

The Southern state’s rich forest cover and dense vegetation are adding up to the green cover making it a personal favourite for any wildlife enthusiast. Not only in the state but also outside, the green cover is an abode to a variety of flora and fauna including the tiger, elephants, sloth bears, small clawed otter, migratory birds and herons amongst the others. 

Located in close proximity of Cochin are various wildlife treats that you shouldn’t miss whether you are an enthusiast or not. We bring you 8 places where you can head to and enjoy these the peace (read piece) of it all. 

PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 143 kms

Situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake, this wildlife sanctuary and national park also borders with Tamil Nadu and possesses the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats. Apart from being famous for its tiger reserve, the sanctuary is also known for its elephant reserve. The tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forest here lets you get lost in the tranquility. And if you enter deep into the forest, you can have a chance to see 35 species of mammals Nilgiri Tahar and the Bengal Tiger. The place offers jungle patrolling, bamboo rafting as well as camping and hiking. 

ERAVIKULAM NATIONAL PARK

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 140kms

The Eravikulam National Park in Munnar is an absolute treat for ones looking to spot birds and butterflies. The park is home to 48 species of mammals, 133 species of birds, 101 species of butterflies and 21 species of amphibians. This park, containing high altitude grasslands is of an undulating terrain with Anamudi as the highest peak. The park is home to little known fauna such as Nilgiri Marten (endemic), Ruddy Mongoose, Small Clawed Otter, Dusky Striped Squirrel amongst the others. Apart from the wildlife, here, the cultural values of the park are also significant to the local and indigenous communities. Also did you know that etymologically, Eravikulam denotes streams and pools? 

KUMARAKOM BIRD SANCTUARY

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 47kms

As the name suggest, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the most sought after bird watching spots in the country. Spread over 14 hectares and on the banks of Vembanad Lake, the sanctuary witnesses a variety of migratory birds hailing from places like the Himalayas and Siberia. During the breeding season of the wetland birds one can catch a glimpse of the Indian Darter, Little Cormorant, different species of egrets and herons, white Ibis and several species of kingfishers, teal, larks, flycatchers and wood beetles. We advise you to take a boat ride around the sanctuary to make the most of your time there. 

PARAMBIKULAM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 206kms
One of the most prominent bio diversity hotspots in the Palakkad district, Parambikulam WLS has abundant wildlife and scenic beauty. It was also declared a tiger reserve in the year 2009. Due to minimal human interference, this place is securely protected and has great reserves of flora and fauna. It is also the home ground for different races of indigenous people who are as well an integral part of the prevailing harmonious ecosystem. The sanctuary is also a protected ecological piece of Anamalai sub unit of Western Ghats, surrounded on all sides by protected areas and sanctuaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, thus deeply enriched with biodiversity. The sanctuary also gives you an option to explore the place through safaries, treks, natural camps and more.

SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 199kms 

One of the last remaining rain forest of Kerala, Silent Valley National Park was historically a paradigm of people’s movement to protect the forest. A layer of tranquility engulfs the forest and it harbours some of the most pristine, unique and highly productive forests in the world. The forest is home to 41 mammals, 211 birds, 49 reptiles, 47 amphibians, 12 fishes, 164 butterflies and 400 species of moths apart from its flagship species, the lion tailed macaque. The park is also home to indigenous tribal groups such as Irulas, Kurumbas, Mudugas and Kattunaikkars, the ethnic heritage of whom is well protected.

CHINNAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 177kms

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also a protected area housed in the pristine Western Ghats in the rain shadow region. The sanctuary has a very well known repository of medicinal plants apart from housing grizzled giant squirrel, star tortoise, tufted grey langur, gaur, spotted deer, slender loris, wild elephant, crocodile, tiger, leopard amongst the others. Additionally, the sanctuary, due to the significant variation in altitude and rainfall, has a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorny forest, riparian forest, sholas and grasslands and provide micro habitats for varied forms of life. Apart from conservation units, archaeologically significant megalithic burial sites consisting of dolmens and cysts are also found within the sanctuary. 

NEYYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

 
 
 
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Distance from Cochin : 224 kms

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the drainage basin for the Neyyar river and its tributaries and ideal reserve for most flora and fauna. Apart from 39 species of mammals, 176 species of birds, 30 species of reptiles, 17 species of amphibians and 40 species of fishes, the sanctuary also has a crocodile farm and has 20 mugger crocodiles. Since the sanctuary is spread over the Southeast corner of the Western ghats, it doesn’t miss out the breath taking landscapes either. 

 MANGALVANAM BIRD SANCTUARY 

 
 
 
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The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is an ecologically sensitive area situated at the centre of Cochin behind the Kerala High Court building, fittingly dubbed as the 'green lung of Kochi’. Apart from being a bird watching paradise, the sanctuary is bordered by the Arabian Sea adding to its landscape. Apart from migratory birds,194 birds belonging to 32 species can be found in Mangalavanam. The sanctuary is also home to a lake within, which is connected to the Cochin backwaters by a canal. The depth of the water houses seven species of fishes Anabas testudineus, Striped panchax, Orange chromide, Etroplus suratensis, Malabar swamp eel, Blackline rasbora and Sarotherodon. 


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