The tourism industry of Kerala in South India has greatly flourished in the recent years. Beaches, backwaters, parks, hill stations, lakes, waterfalls, palaces, architectural wonders, etc. lend a gorgeous look to the state. Travelers from the country and abroad find their favorite holiday destinations in Kerala. Couples come here for their honeymoon, others for a family trip and the tranquility of the place even satisfies the aesthetic taste of the old. Neyyar wildlife sanctuary, also known as Neyyar Dam and wildlife sanctuary is one of the most significant sanctuaries visited by thousands of travelers each year.
Being a part of the Western Ghats, the sanctuary has a varied topography. It also houses a number of wild animals, many of them being rare and endemic species. As such the sanctuary occupies an important place in the wildlife conservation of the state. Here follows a brief detail about this premier tourist destination:
The sanctuary derives its name from Neyyar Dam or Reservoir.
The sanctuary was set up in the year 1958 in order to preserve the wildlife of the forest zone. Although it was established a long time back, nothing significant was done for the coming 2 decades. It was in the year 1985 that a separate wildlife wing was created that would manage the whole system. Such successful steps and conservation efforts have enriched the wildlife here.
Area and Location:
The sanctuary occupies an area 128 sq km. that is 49.4 sq m. The sanctuary is blessed with a picturesque location that adds to its popularity. It is situated between 77° 8' to 77° 17' East Longitude and 8° 29' to 8° 37' North Latitude.
The Neyyar wildlife sanctuary is the drainage basin for the Neyyar River and its tributaries like Mullayar and Kullar. The sanctuary is often termed as 'gene pool reserve' for the diversity of its floral species.
You will find 39 species of mammals. These include Leopard, Sloth Bear, Tiger, Elephant, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Sambar, Nilgiri Tahr, etc. The park is also home to 176 species of birds, 17 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles and 40 species of fishes.
One of the major attractions in the sanctuary is the crocodile farm. This crocodile farm was established in the year 1977 and today it houses 45 mugger crocodiles. The Steve Irwin Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Center, a renowned research center was inaugurated at the sanctuary in May, 2007.
The forest area experiences a hot and humid climate. The temperature ranges from 35 °C in summer and 16 °C in winter. It receives South West Monsoon between May and July and North West Monsoon between October and November. November to March remains the best period for the tourists. This period is best for wildlife viewing.
Where to stay?
You can stay in any budget or luxury hotel in Thiruvanthapuram, the capital city. It is only 50 km from the sanctuary, so you can travel in a short time.
How to travel?
Neyyattinkara Railway Station is the nearest railway station. It is only 20 km away from the sanctuary.
Trivandrum International Airport, is 40 km away. It is the nearest railway station.
You can drive down via Kattakada from the capital city.
Other places to visit:
You should explore the Crocodile Farm, Lion Safari Park and Deer Farm. There are a number of tourist attractions in the capital city. Plan a tour to the sanctuary while visiting the nearby attractions.
Go for boating on the picturesque Neyyar Lake while exploring the wildlife of Neyyar wildlife sanctuary. Gather some moments of joy and happiness with your family.