Idukki district in Kerala
September to November and from April to June
The main predators include the golden jackal, jungle cat, wild dog, dhole, leopard, and tiger. There are also several lesser-known creatures such as the Nilgiri langur, stripe-necked mongoose, Indian porcupine, Nilgiri marten, sloth bear ,little clawed otter, reddish mongoose, and dusky palm squirrel. Seasonal visits are made by elephants.
Eravikulam National Park is located in Idukki district in Kerala . Area of Eravikulam National Park is 97 km² ,best time to visit Eravikulam National Park is between September to November and from April to June.
The Eravikulam National Park is located in Kerala’s Southern Western Ghats, near Idukki. The word Eravikulam means “streams and lakes,” which aptly describes the national park. The park was administered as a Game Preserve until 1978, when the Kerala Government raised its status to that of a National Park.
The Nilgiri Tahr, which is now critically endangered, used to live in this section of the park. It was designated as endangered in its habitat in 1975. Eravikulam National Park is 92 square kilometres in size and is covered in high altitude grasses.
The National Park’s major natural feature is a central undulating plateau at an elevation of 2000 metres above sea level. This park has a lot of undulating terrain, and the tallest mountain in the area is Anamudi, which stands at 2695 metres.
Grasslands, shrublands, and Shola woods are the three principal types of vegetation in the area. The grasslands dominate the high plateaus and hills that surround the park, with shrubland seen around the foot of the cliffs. The Shola woodlands can be found in valleys between hills and plateaus. Turner’s Valley is the park’s deepest valley, and it approximately splits the park into two sections: northwest and southwest.
Eravikulam National Park’s History
The Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company operated the national park as a Game Reserve until 1971. This area’s management and protection had been under the control of the High Range Game Preservation Association, a non-governmental organisation founded in 1928.
Because of its unique land, temperature, and remoteness, the Eravikulam National Park drew many hunters, naturalists, and scientists. Early European explorers such as Colonel Douglas Hamilton and J.D. Munro began establishing in this area in 1879, when they founded the North Travancore Plantation and Agricultural Society.
They purchased 227 square miles of land from Poonjat Raja, the leader of the local kingdom, for a reduced price. Following that, the property was auctioned off among the residents of the society for agricultural purposes, and different plantation crops such as coffee and cinchona were grown.
The first tea was grown in the High Ranges in 1890, and the region was quickly exploited for large cultivation of tea and eucalyptus by wiping off natural vegetation. Aside from farming, British hunters were interested in hunting activities and had distinct locations for recreation. They hunted Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Gaur, Tiger, and Leopard, among other creatures.
According to the Kannan Devan Hills Act of 1971, when the Kerala government obtained land that was not being used for agriculture, it planned to allocate it for agricultural reasons. The participation of planters, naturalists, and scientists in 1975 led in the establishment of the Eravikulam-Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary by the government.
In 1978, the region was elevated to the status of a National Park, which was overseen by the Munnar Division. The company’s management has changed hands and is now handled by the High Range Wildlife Environmental Preservation Association, which has joined forces with the Forest Department to preserve and manage the park with the goal of safeguarding the Nilgiri Tahr.
Eravikulam National Park’s Importance
Culturally, environmentally, and sociologically, various aspects contribute to the national park’s relevance and worth. Some of these causes are as follows:
1. This park is home to the most endangered Nilgiri Tahr population and is also the famed habitat of Neelakurunji, which blooms only once every 12 years. Other creatures found in the park include the Nilgiri Marten, Ruddy Mongoose, Small Clawed Otter, Dusky Striped Squirrel, and others.
2. The park is regionally important for fish and freshwater because it contains tributaries of the River Pambar in the east and tributaries of the River Periyar and Chalakuddy in the west, which helps to maintain the climate, provide drinking water, and irrigation water in parts of the Aanjanad Valley.
3. The national park has the highest mountain on the Indian Peninsula. Anamudi (2695m) is also southern India’s tallest summit. The park’s sheer cliffs create a flat tableland, which is responsible for the area’s peculiar microclimate. Despite being located in the latitudinal tropical area, the park has an extratropical climate due to its altitudinal impact.
4. The park is also known for medical plants in the region such as Drosera peltata and wild varieties of cultivated plants such as Piper schmidtii and Elettaria cardamomum, which adds to Eravikulam National Park’s conversational value.
5. This location is also a popular tourist destination since the park is the main attraction of Munnar, which is currently one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The forest’s visual splendour provides an opportunity to witness the endangered Nilgiri Tahr up close, while the waterfall at Lakkam attracts over 500,000 people each year.
6. The park, along with Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Pampadum Shola National Park, Kurinjimala Sanctuary, Anamudi Shola National Park, and Anamalai Tiger Reserve, constitutes the Western Ghats’ greatest protected environment.
7. In addition, this park offers scholarly opportunity to research the richness of alpine plants and the inner workings of the ecosystem. The location also functions as a field laboratory for various tasks such as conservation education, precipitation management, and research monitoring.
Major Attractions in & Around the Park
Anamudi Peak: Standing tall in Eravikulam National Park at an elevation of 2,695 metres above sea level, Anamudi Peak is Kerala’s pride.
-Atukkad Waterfalls: Known for their long walking trail, the Atukkad Waterfalls are a great visual delight.
-Echo Point: Known for its natural echo phenomenon, Echo Point is surrounded by foggy clouds, hills, green meadows, and woodlands, making a visit to this gorgeous location all the more exciting.
-Lakkon Waterfalls: Set among lush vegetation and rolling hills, Lakkon Waterfalls is one of the top places for nature enthusiasts, providing a unique and authentic experience.
-Forest Rose Garden: Forest Rose Garden is located 3,500 feet above sea level and is filled with a variety of flora, including spices, crops such as cardamom and vanilla, and a range of other fruit trees.