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Eravikulam National Park, Kerala

The national park is home to the largest population of Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius/ 700 in number), an endemic endangered animal species. Spreading over an area of around 97 sq km, the Eravikulam National Park occupies a position on the crest of the Western Ghats in the southern Indian peninsula. Not only animal species, but the national park also happens to be bird watcher’s real delight. Eravikulam National Park shelters around 120 different species of colourful birds. The national park lies in the Idukki district of Kerala and features many wonderful landscapes. Whether you are a nature lover or a wildlife enthusiast, Eravikulam promises you some quality moments and an opportunity to have a rendezvous with some of the most endangered and rarely seen bird and animal species. The national park experiences a tropical montane climate.

Best Time to Visit
It is ideal to make a tour to Eravikulam Park between the months of September and February.

Wildlife Attractions
As mentioned above, the Niligir Tahr is the biggest wildlife attraction at Eravikulam National Park. However, the national park shelters over 26 mammalian species. Belonging to the same family as the Himalayan Tahr, the Nilgiri Tahr is an endemic species having its distribution only in the southern Western Ghats. Other major animal species spotted inside the national park are wild dog, leopard and tiger among others. The park is also home to a variety of smaller animals which mainly include ruddy mongoose, Nilgiri marten, small clawed otter and dusky striped squirrel.

Bird watchers too can have a great time exploring the bird population of the Eravikulam National Park. These bird species include both domestic as well as endemic. Commonly sighted bird species in the park are Nilgiri wood pigeon, Nilgiri pipit, Kerala laughing thrush, Nilgiri verditer flycatcher etc. Eravikulam National Park also features around 100 species of butterflies.

Things to Do
Set out on a wildlife safari across the terrain of the Eravikulam National Park. Watch from close quarters the Nilgiri Tahr and do remember to capture these animal species in your camera. Take a local guide along so that you can have the knowledge about the local flora and fauna of the park.

As you enjoy a tour of the national park, get to know from your local guide about the blossoms of shrub neelakurunji (Phlebophyllum kunthianum). The flowery mass is visible only at the interval of 12 years. The last time when neelakurunji blossomed was in the year 2006.

Make a visit to the Anamudi Peak (2,690 m). The peak has the distinction of being the highest in the southern Western Ghats region. Also see the shoal forests that grow in the valleys.

Reaching the National Park
Visitors can first take a flight to either Kochi Airport (148 km) in Kerala or Coimbatore (175 km) Airport in Tamil Nadu. The national park is located at a distance of just 13 from Munnar, a much popular hill station in Kerala. The park is also accessible via rail routes. From Munnar, one can use the local means of transport (buses and taxis) to reach Eravikulam National Park.