Aralam wildlife sanctuary
Located on the western slopes of the Western Ghats, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is the northern most wildlife sanctuary of Kerala.
Spread across 55 sq.km., it is covered with four different forest types that include West Coast tropical evergreen, West Coast semi-evergreen, South Indian moist deciduous and Southern hilltop evergreen forest and plantations.
The headquarters is near Iritty, a small town about 45 km from Kannur. The Cheenkannipuzha River forms the main drainage system on the southern side. The Narikkadavuthodu, Kurukkathodu and Meenumuttithodu from the northern upper reaches flow southwards to join Cheenkannipuzha.
The sanctuary is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna endemic to the Western Ghats. Sambar deer, elephant, peacock, boar, lion tailed macaque, common langur, wild dog, common otter, Malabar giant squirrel, bonnet macaque, tiger and bison are common sights. Among reptiles, the king cobra is prominently found in the sanctuary.
It is also home to 172 different types of butterflies. A bird survey is conducted every year and 215 types of birds are reported to have been sighted, including the Nilgiris wood pigeon, the blue winged parakeet and the Malabar grey hornbill.
Eco-tourism activities are promoted in a big way.
There's a 20-km trek route from the starting point of the sanctuary to Ambalapaara (1400mts above sea level) situated on the border area of Wayanad. For adventure lovers, camping equipment including tents and sleeping bags are made available.
Location: 35 km from Thalasserry and 60 km from Kannur town in Kerala
Best time to visit: October to March. To see the butterflies, the best months are November and December.
How to get there
By road - Thalassery - 45 km
Kannur - 45 km
Nearest railway station: Thalassery
Nearest airport: Kozhikode (113 km)
Accommodation: Inspection Bungalow (two rooms, 4 beds). Dormitory facilities are available. Guesthouse and private lodges are available in Iritty. For adventure treks, accommodation is made at the watchtowers in Ambalapaara and Meenmutty.
Contact: The Wildlife Warden, Aralam Wildlife Division, Iritty P.O Kannur- 670 673, ph: 0490-2493160.
Send this article to Friends by