A Tourist’s Guide to the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is a very popular wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala and it is a must visit on your Kerala holiday. It is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. The name of this sanctuary is derived from its location; it is located in the Idukki district of Kerala. The Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over an area of 105.364 sq km in the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola talukas of Idukki district. It is situated at an altitude of 450-748 meters above sea level.

This wildlife sanctuary of Kerala is marked with steep mountains, undulating hills and valleys. It covers the forest land between the Cheruthoni river and Periyar rivers. The world famous Idukki arch dam is located in the forests. The forest here is similar to that of Periyar Reserve. Most forests are evergreen and semi evergreen. You may also come across patches of Shola forests and grass lands.

How To Reach?

The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is well connected by roads. It is at a distance of 50 km from Munnar, 120km from Kochi (Cochin), 220 km from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and 270 km away from Coimbatore City in Tamil Nadu.

The Nearest railway station is Kottayam, about 87 km. It would take about a 2.5km drive by road. The Nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, about 112 km. From the airport it would take approximately a three hour drive to get here.

One can hire a cab or a taxi in Kerala and get here from other towns.

Best time to Visit

December to March is the best time to visit this beautiful wildlife sanctuary of Kerala, although Kerala has a flavour during all seasons and every season offers an experience like no other. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year for the visitors. Wildlife lovers may avail trekking packages to watch the animals and birds in the sanctuary. Entry timings are from 6am to 6pm.

Flora and Fauna

There are a plethora of different plants and animals found in this rich sanctuary. Elephants, Porcupine, Sambar Deer, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Wild boar etc. can be seen here. One of best ways to sight animals is boating in the reservoir. Herds of elephants and other animals are seen at the banks as it is the major water source within the sanctuary. Snakes such as cobra, Viper, Krait and a large number of non- poisonous snakes are also found here. This wildlife sanctuary of Kerala is also home to birds such as Jungle fowl, Myna, Laughing thrush, Black bulbul, Peafowl, Wood pecker, King fisher etc.

Kerala Elephant

Accommodation

No accommodation facilities are provided at the sanctuary. One of the best towns in the region is Thodupuzha (40 Kms) where there are a few hotels. You could also stay at Munnar and have a day tour (50 kms). Another option is Kattappana at 34 kms. Being a small town, stay choices are very limited at Kattappana. Most visitors to the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary hire a cab and take day trips from other nearby towns.