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Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

By Vishnudas
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary The Idukki wildlife sanctuary is located in the Idukki district of the south-western state Kerala, India.
The wildlife sanctuary encompasses of Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of the district and covers an area of about 105 square kilometres. The sanctuary is located at a slight elevation which is 450-748 metres above sea level. 

The sanctuary also has a large water reservoir that is formed by the three dams of Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu. This water reservoir extends up to almost 33 sq. kilometres and serves as a waterin hole for the animals of the sanctuary. 

Flora and fauna

The Idukki wildlife sanctuary being located in the hot tropical region of Kerala has given rise to a dense tropical forest. There are many varieties of trees and shrubs which belong to the evergreen variety. There are a lot of deciduous trees as well in the forest. These forests provide excellent shelter for the animals and birds that call this sanctuary home.

Some o the fauna that you can find here are bison, elephants, deer, sambar, Malabar giant squirrels, jungle cats, porcupine, wild boars, wild dogs and even the elusive tigers and leopards. One can find a large number of reptiles of which most are snakes such as the cobra, viper and kraits. 

One can also find a variety of lizards and monitors. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of avian creatures like the Jungle fowl, myna, bulbuls, black bulbul, peafowl, peacocks, woodpeckers, kingfishers, Malabar hornbill and the laughing thrush etc. The bird is also home to various migratory birds during the winter seasons. These migratory birds can be seen especially at the water reservoirs during their migratory season. 

Activities (In and Around)

Jungle Trekking- the sanctuary is a great place to go for jungle treks. A hike through the dense tropical forest of deciduous trees will definitely make you feel one with nature. The forests echo with sounds of various birds calling out to each other, you can even hear the cry of wild animals as you make your way further into the jungle.

 If you are lucky you may spot wild animals such as wild boars, elephants, jungle dogs, porcupines and may be even the elusive tigers. One should take a guide while opting for this activity and permission from the forest officials is required.

Safari- this is one of the best ways to explore the sanctuary. Experienced tour guides take you to the favorite haunts of the wild animals such as the elephant, sambar, deer, bison and wild boars. To see the tigers you must have a lot of luck as they are very elusive and well camouflaged. Bird watching- the sanctuary is home to a high avian population making it one of the best places to visit for bird watching. 

One can spot a variety of birds that include the Malabar Hornbill, jungle fowls, laughing thrush, kingfishers, Pea fowls and black bulbul etc. Boat cruises- One can also enjoy a laid back boat ride in the huge water reservoir that is within the sanctuary. You could even see animals coming to quench their thirst at the banks of this lake, which is a grand sight to see.

Accommodations and Eateries

There are many hotels located at a short drive away from the sanctuary where you can stay. Some of the hotels are Thira Sangu Haven Hill (3.2kms away), Treetops (3.2 kms away), Welcome Heritage (3.4 kms away) and the Wilder Nest (10.6 kms away) etc. To eat in there are not many places nearby so it is suggested that you take a packed lunch when visiting the sanctuary.

Getting In

The nearest railway station is that of Kottayam which is 135 kms away and the nearest airport is that of Madurai in Tamil Nadu which is 140 kms away. From here onwards you can take a bus or a taxi to reach the sanctuary. 

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