Charismatic Kerala is simply incredible. Its perennial beauty is indescribable. It is a premier tourist destination in India. Oodles of travelers across the globe come to this haven to explore its hidden treasures. Beaches, forests, seas, waterfalls, palaces and architectural monuments make the place a favorite of the masses. The lush green forests of Kerala, sanctuaries and park house a large number of wild animals. Peppara wildlife sanctuary is a pride of Kerala's biodiversity. The beauty of Peppara Dam, Peppara Reservoir along with the sights and sound of the wild animals in the sanctuary make a trip in this area truly unusual.
The Peppara sanctuary is the catchment area of the Peppara Dam on the mesmerizing Karamana River. The beauty of the surroundings is enough to make you feel satisfied. It will appeal to your senses and beckon to come to the place again.
In 1983 the Peppara Dam was commissioned in order to augment the drinking water supply to Thiruvanthapuram and the nearby areas. It was at that time that the ecological importance of the area was felt and the area was declared as a wildlife sanctuary. Since 1983, the area had preserved many endemic wildlife species.
Area and Location:
The sanctuary is located on the Thiruvanthapuram-Ponmudi Road that is around 50 km north-east of Thiruvanthapuram, the state capital in Nedumangad taluk of Thiruvananthapuram district. The total area of the sanctuary covers some parts of Palode reserve (24 sq. km) and the Kottoor reserve (29 sq. km).
The topography of the area is varied. It is marked by hilly slopes with elevation that varies from 100 m to 1717 m. A number of peaks and undulating plains characterize the landscape. Karamana River and its tributaries are the main rivers.
The area has an enriched biodiversity. Southern hilltop tropical evergreen forests are found above 1000 m elevation. More than 60 % of the tract is covered by southern moist mixed deciduous forests. There is another type of vegetation, the west coast semi-evergreen forests that occur in the hilly slopes from 150 to 1050 m.
Terminalia paniculta, Pterocarpus marsupium, T. bellerica, Mesua ferrea, Palaquium ellipticum, Bombax ceiba, Hopea parviflora, etc. are the predominant trees.
Pepara wildlife sanctuary is also home to a large number of wild animals. It is frequently visited by environmentalists and ornithologists. 233 species of birds, 13 species of amphibians, 43 species of mammals, 27 species of fishes, etc. are recorded in the sanctuary. Wild animals include Wild Dog, Lion Tailed Macaque, Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Sambar, Elephant, Mouse Deer, Nilgiri Langur, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Malabar Squirrel etc.
The winged creatures include Darter, Little Cormorant, Gulls, Wild Ducks, Jacanas, Plovers, Cormorants, Pied King Fisher, Curlews, Sandgrouse, Parrots, Trogons, and Egrets. Snakes like King Cobra and Python are also found here.
The sanctuary experiences a moderately hot and humid climate with a temperature that varies from 16 °C to 35°C. It receives both south west and north east monsoon. January to march is the best time to come here.
How to travel?
Thiruvanthapuram is the nearest airport that is located at a distance of 32 km. You can take buses that ply regularly to the sanctuary.
Thiruvanthapuram is the nearest railway station. It is connected with Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kashmir, etc.
You can travel to the sanctuary from Vithurai on Thiruvananthapuram - Ponmudi road.
Other places to look for:
Bonafalls, Kalarkad waterfalls, Vazahuvanthole waterfalls, etc. are the nearby attractions. But if you want to tour Thiruvanthapuram, then Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Sree Chithra Art Gallery, Varkala, The Napier Museum should top your top itinerary.
Peppara wildlife sanctuary would bless you an unusual and enriched wildlife experience. So enjoy the glories of nature in her lap in 'God's own country'.