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Parambikulam in Western Ghats is aboutWorld's Largest Teak Tree 125 kms. away from Palakkad (via) Pollachi. It is a wild life sanctuary with an area of 272 sq. kms. This sanctuary is a treat for the avid wildlife enthusiast. There is a reservoir in the area and boat cruisesare provided in the Parambikulam Reservoir. The Rest Houses of the State Forest Department at Thoonakkadavu, Thellikkal and Elanthode and a tree house in Thoonakkadavu offer lodging facilities. The place is famous for teak plantations and the oldest and the biggest teak tree, in the world "Kannimaram", stands here.(see picture)

Located in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats, south of the Palghat Gap, Chittur, Taluk, Palghat District. Pollachi, the nearest town, is in Tamil Nadu and about 48km by road from Thunacadavu, the sanctuary Headquarters. Area (28,500 hectres). The sanctuary is adjacent to Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary (95,800ha) in Tamil Nadu, Nelliyampathy Reserve Forest of Nenmara Forest Division to the Northwest, and the Vazhachal and Sholayar ranges to the Southwest and South, respectively). The height ranges between approximately 450m and 1,440m. The highest peak, Karimalagopuram (1,440m) lies on the ridge separating Parambikulam from Sholayar Range. There are no valuable mineral deposits. Soil on the slopes consists of sandy loam, rich in organic matter.

Valley soil is clayey due to poor drainage. There are a few marshes with clayey-loamy soil. Hill tops are characterised by exposed sheet rock, although some possess a thin crust of soil and consequently have some grass covering. There are many boulders and rocky blanks on the slopes. The more eastern parts of the sanctuary have lateritic soils, possibly due to lower rainfall. The area is drained by several rivers, some perennial, and include the Thekkady, Parambikulam and Sholayar, which flow Westwards to converge at Orukombankutty and flow into the main Chalakudy River. The crystalline rocks of the area are poor aquifers and water is mainly confined to the 'joint plains' in the rocks. Water level in the valley generally extends to a depth of 5.8m

Climatic conditions are predominantly influenced by the Southwest monsoons. Weather conditions are more stable in the valleys. However, the higher slopes become fairly cool during the monsoons. The milder Northeast monsoon is received in October-November. Mean annual rainfall is 2590mm, with a range of 1200-5000mm. Western and Southern parts of the sanctuary receive higher precipitation than Eastern parts. The dry season lasts for several months, from December to May. The slopes with evergreen or moist deciduous forest cover have higher relative humidity than the teak plantations in the valleys.

It comprises a variety of natural and man-made habitats. The former includes patches of evergreen and semi-evergreen forest (5,500ha and 2,000ha in total, respectively), occurring mainly in valleys and the wetter western and southern regions; secondary moist deciduous forest (6,500ha),which is more widely distributed; and grasslands and marshes (200ha). The western and southern areas once had extensive evergreen forest cover; similarly, the original moist deciduous vegetation in eastern parts has been almost entirely replaced by teak plantations . The marshes, or 'vayals', with their dense grass cover, are the result of poor drainage and the accumulation of clayey loam over a long period of time.

Bamboo stands (Bambusa sp.) and reeds (Ochlandra sp.) Teak Plantationoccur in the natural forests. The best natural teak Tectona grandis in Kerala was once found in this region but is now rare due to over-exploitation. Man-made habitats comprise 9,300ha and consist mainly of semi-mature teak (8,780ha) and, to a lesser extent, eucalyptus plantations. Notable carnivores include tiger , leopard ), sloth bear and wild dog Cuon alpinus. All four Cercopithecidae species found in Kerala are present, namely: lion-tailed macaque , bonnet macaque , Nilgiri langur , and common langur . There is an isolated troop of a few Nilgiri tahr on Vengoli Peak . The teak plantations constitute an ideal habitat for gaur and the largest population in any protected area in Kerala is found here. Other mammal species include Indian elephant , spotted deer , sambar , Indian muntjac , wild boar , smooth-coated otter , small Indian civet , common palm civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus Indian giant squirrel Ratufa indica Indian porcupine , jungle cat , yellow-throated marten Martes flavigula, Indian pangolin and ruddy mongoose.

There are many bird species, which include the great Indian hornbill , and Ceylon frogmouth , last recorded in Kerala in 1937. There are also many species of common snake and fish. The reservoirs contain modest numbers of mugger Crocodiles, as well as large stocks of carp, mahseer, tilapia and large indigenous species of murrel

Three main tribal communities live in five different settlements within the sanctuary, namely: Kadas in the Parambikulam , Earthen Dam and Kuriyarkutty colonies; Muduvas in the South-eastern corner of the sanctuary; and Malai-malsars in the Sungam colony. The Kadas formerly relied on minor forest produce, but are now mainly forest labourers, as forest produce is no longer available on the same scale. The Muduvas are mainly agriculturalists, growing rice, corn and ragi etc., but they also collect some minor forest produce. The Malai-malsars are employed as forest labourers, mahoots and guides. They are permitted to fish and cultivate mainly tapioca on a small scale . Land near Kachithodu and at Sungam, in areas of relative wildlife abundance, are under cultivation . Villages which sprang up in the vicinity when the dams were constructed have persisted and expanded. Villagers are dependent on the forests within and around the sanctuary for fuelwood.

There are some 10,000 visitors annually. There are forest resthouses at Thunacadavu, Thellikal and Elathode as well as a hotel run by the Parambikulam Aliyar Project of Tamil Nadu Accommodation may also be found in the Topslip area, a 30-minute drive from Thunacadavu. Boat trips and motor transport for viewing wildlife can also be arranged

Contact Wildlife Warden, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Thunacadavu P.O., (via) Pollachi, Palghat District


Situated in the Kundali Hills of the Western Ghats, Silent Valley National Parkat the South-western corner of the Nilgiri Hills in Palghat District. Mannarghat, the nearest town and location of park headquarters, is 40km by road to the South. The park is bounded by Attappadi Reserved Forest to the East, and the vested forests of Palghat Division and Nilambur Division to the South and the West, respectively. The Northern boundary is largely contiguous to the Nilgiri Forests.

The Silent Valley Forests, locally known as 'Sairandhrivanam' and considered by many to be one of the last representative tracts of virgin tropical evergreen forest in India.This forest is spread over an area of 8,951.65 hectares. The Park is contiguous to the proposed Karimpuzha National Park (22,500ha) in the north and to Mukurthi Sanctuary (7,846ha) to the Northeast in Tamil Nadu. Height Rrnges from 658m to 2,383m . Most of the park lies between 880mand 1,200m High peaks such as Anginda (2,383m), Sispara (2,206m) and Kozhipara (1,904m) are to the Northern part of the park.

Silent Valley is a rectangular tableland enclosed by a high contiguous ridge along its northern and eastern borders and by a lower, irregular ridge along its Western and Southern borders. It is flanked by steep escarpments to the South and West, which descend some 1,000m to the plains of Kerala and by sheer cliffs to the North and East which rise a further 1,000m to the Upper Nilgiri Plateau. Kuntipuzha River flows Southwards through the entire 15km length of the park, dividing it into a narrow western sector of less than 2km and a wider eastern sector of 5km. The valley is drained by five main tributaries of the Kuntipuzha, which originate near the Eastern border and flow Westwards. Only a few minor streams drain into the Kuntipuzha from the Western sector. The river is uniformly shallow, with no flood plains or meanders. Its bed falls from 1,861m to 900m over a distance of 12km, the last 8km being particularly level with a fall of only 60m. Kuntipuzha is one of the less torrential rivers of the Western Ghats, with a pesticide-free catchment area. Soils are blackish and slightly acidic in evergreen forests where there is good accumulation of organic matter. The underlying rock in the area is granite with schists and gneiss, which give rise to the loamy laterite soils on slopes

Climatic conditions vary greatly, becoming progressively wetter with increasing altitude and diminishing from West to East due to rainshadow effects. Prevailing winds are from the West and Southwest in April-September and from the East in October-March. Most rain (80%) falls during the south-west monsoon from June to September, and least in December and January. Rainfall is significant during the Northeast monsoon, from October to November. Mean annual rainfall based on data for 1965-1973 is 3180mm, with a range of 2800-3450mm

Mean annual temperature is 20.2 degrees C. Conditions are hottest in April and May, with a monthly mean of up to 23.5 degreesC, and coolest in January and February with a monthly mean of about 18 degrees C. Relative humidity is consistently high from June to December, often about 95 %.

Four main types of vegetation can be recognised: tropical evergreen forest, Silent Valley National Parkwhich forms extensive dense stands along hills and valleys between 900m and 1300mm; sub-tropical hill forest between 1,500m and 2,000m; temperate forest, popularly referred to as 'sholas' and characterised by unrelated evergreen species with a dense closed canopy; and grasslands, which are restricted to the narrow sector west of the Kunthipuzha and to the higher slopes and hill tops in the eastern sector. Associations characterised by predominant tree species are exceptional for tropical rain forests, but they are an unusual feature of the forests of Silent Valley.

Faunal diversity is very high and includes a number of endemic and threatened species. Many new species were recorded by the Zoological Survey of India during its expedition in 1980 These include 15 species of invertebrates, two fishes (Holaloptera pillae and Garra menini) and two amphibians (the primitive caecilian Ichthyophis longicephalus and Malabar tree toad Nectophryne tuberculosa). Some 26 species of mammals, excluding bats, rodents and insectivores, have been recorded. Notable species include Nilgiri leaf monkey , lion-tailed macaque , tiger , leopard , Jerdon's palm civet , wild dog , Nilgiri marten , Asian elephant , gaur , and Nilgiri tahr , some of which are endemic to the western Ghats. Six species of bats have been recorded, of which Peshwa's bat and hairy-winged bat are considered to be rare.

Kerala's avifauna is well represented within the park. Some 120 species of birds have been recorded, and a number of which are endemic to the Western Ghats including the Nilgiri woodpigeon . Amphibians total 19 species, lizards 9 species and snakes 11 species. Lepidoptera comprise about 100 species of butterflies and about 400 of moths, of which 13 are endemic to South India and now have very restricted distributions, mostly within the Western Ghats.

Although the area is believed never to have been settled, even by hunter-gatherers, the Mudakar tribals is indigenous to the area. There is no official record of any settlement in the area. Tribals live in the adjacent valley of Attappady Reserved Forest. The nearest habitation is a 200ha cardamom and coffee plantation in Panthanthodu Valley, 2km to the South-east of the park boundary. Five kilometres to the south-west are some settlements and rubber estates, and there are more settlements to the north, including Kunhali Colony in the vested forests of Nilambur Visitors are relatively few and number about 1,000 per year. Visitors may walk from Mukkali to the park, where there are about 80km of bridlepaths, but cannot stay there overnight. There are no visitor facilities at Mukkali, although an Inspection Bungalow is available for visiting officials. There are plans to establish an interpretation centre and dormitory accommodation at Mukkali

Silent Valley comprises one of the least disturbed extensive patches of tropical rain forest remaining in the Western Ghats. Tree diversity is high and comparable to the rain forests of Barro Colorado Island, Panama but the presence of several distinct tree associations is an unusual feature, reflecting local differences. Together with the adjacent Nilgiri Plateau and Karimpuzha forest block to the North, this constitutes some of the finest forested habitat for wildlife in India. A considerable number of rare, threatened or economically important plants or animals are found in Silent Valley, some of which are endemic to the Western Ghats and others new to science. The Kuntipuzha is one of only two rivers in the Southern Western Ghats having extensive riparian vegetation and, with no record of permanent human settlement or interference in the form of plantations, is an undisturbed, pesticide-free catchment area . Silent Valley is an integral part of the Nilgiri ecosystem

Contact Assistant Wildlife Warden, Silent Valley National Park, Camp Mukkali, via Mannarghat, Palghat District, Kerala, India


The Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary situated about 30 kms. CHOOLANUR PEACOCK SANCTUARYaway from Palakkad town, is the only one of it's kind in Kerala. Spread over approximately 500 hectares of reserve forest in Peringottukurissi Panchayat in Palakkad district and Malesamangalam in Trichur district, this sanctuary has a population of about 200 peacocks. Besides peacocks, about a hundred species of other birds are also seen here. Soon after monsoons butterflies flock to Choolanur in large numbers. And medicinal plants form part of the flora. Peacocks do not like thick forests and the dry rocky terrain of Choolanur with small streams and shrub along with trees provide a natural habitat to these beautiful birds.

Kunchan Smritivanam, a 200-hectare forest area dedicated to the great Malayalam poet Kunchan Nambiar, forms part of this sanctuary. Killikkurissimangalam, the birthplace of Kunchan Nambiar is just a few kms. away from Choolanur.


This is in an extent of 100 acres of reserve forest at Walayar on the border of Kerala and TamilNadu. Deer and other animals move freely in this park. Facilities for elephant ride are provided. The distance from Palakkad is 22 kms.


A forest range, 75km from Palakkad, (Travel time 3hrs) the Nelliampathy Nelliyampathy Hillshills comprises A chain of ridges cut off from one another by valleys of dense evergreen forests and plantations. The height of the Nelliampathy hills ranges from 467 metres to the tallest peak Padagiri looming 1572 metres.

Accessing Nelliampathy from Palakkad is a sensation on it's own, as you negotiate over a dozen hair pin curves in the ghat road passing through the fascinating jungles of the Sahya ranges. On the way 40 kms from Palakkad the shimmering Pothundy Reservoir and it's manicured surroundings make the ideal stop over.

Nelliampathnhy hilltop is also famous for it's Plantations crops- Tea, Coffee and Cardamom Seethakundu, the Northern side of Nelliyampathy offers a fantastic view of the valley below. The 1000-meter high waterfall is one of the major attractions. Seethakundu got its name from the legend that Sita Devi, during the vanavasa period with Sri Rama, took a bath here. During Deepavali, a large number of devotees gather here.

Nelliampathy has immense trekking potential. The community hall at Kaikatty provides a good camping ground for the tourist. The District Tourism Promotion Council Palakkad constructed some tourist apartments on the hilltop of the Nelliampathy. It is the queen of Palakkad hills, clothed with the original beauty of picturesque mountains and enchanting valleys.

The highest peak in the range is Nellikotta, also called Padagiri. It is 1585.08 meters above sea level. The other major peaks are Vellachimudi, Valiyavana, Mayanmudi and Vela Vnchan, each about 1200metres high. The annual average rainfall in the area is 47.244 mm. The temperature varies between 15° C in December and 30° C in April, the mean temperature being 22° C.


It is believed that these caves were once used as stables, covert room and for hunting animals. It is here that the Manalar River divides into Bharathapuzha and Chalakudi River. You can view the river flowing in two different directions from here.


An extensive mountain valley above the crest of the Ghat ranges with numerous rivulets of the Bhavani river, Attapadi is populated mainly by tribes and some settlers from Tamil Nadu. These forests were denuded by human encrachmets and logging. Efforts are on to rejuvenate these mountains to their original state , with financial assistance from the Japanese Government..

Silent valley national Park, Siruvani Drinking water Reservoir are the tourist centre of the valley. The highest peak in the district is situated here. The tribals celebrate the Sivarathri by lightning the top of this peak


Dhoni, a reserve forest area is 15 kms. from Palakkad. The forest has among other captivating sights, a small but splendid waterfall. The site can be reached after a fairly long climb of 3 hours from the base of the Dhoni hills

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