Kerala is blessed with deep evergreen forests rich in flora and fauna. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia and attracts visitors from all over the world. Chief attractions of the state include its backwaters, lovely beaches, tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries / national parks and numerous trekking trails. Each national park in the state is worth visiting.
Here are the best national parks in Kerala.
1. Eravikulam National Park
The best time to visit Eravikulam National Park is from November to April. It was declared as a national park in 1978 with the objective of protecting plant and wildlife indigenous to the region. Located in the Idukki district, the Eravikulam National Park is the largest national park in Kerala. The major attraction of the Eravikulam National Park is its population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Kerala’s highest peak, the Anamudi peak, is part of the Eravikulam National Park.
2. Silent Valley National Park
Silent Valley is an evergreen forest lying 155 kilometers away from Coimbatore. It was declared a protected national park in 1984. Silent Valley is home to a number of endangered animals such as the Lion Tailed Macaque. The park also has a sizable population of tigers, elephants and panthers.
Silent Valley is literally a silent haven because for some reason you wouldn’t hear the chirping of crickets here. The highest peak here stands at a height of 1376 meters above the sea level. The 7 kilometer trek to the peak offers breathtaking views of the hills. Keep in mind that you need special permission to undertake this trek. Another peculiar thing about Silent Valley is that it has never had any human inhabitants.
3. Anamudi Shola National Park
Spread over an area of 750 hectares, the Anamudi Shola National Park is famous for its rich biodiversity. The best time to visit this national park is from October to March. Anamudi Shola National Park is only about 45 kilometers from Munnar. From here you will also get lovely views of tea plantations. This park is home to some of the rarest plants and animals. Another major attraction here is the Thoovanan waterfall. This area has a sizable population of Nilgiri Tahr and Indian bison.
4. Matthiketan Shola National Park
The Matthiketan Shola National Park in the Pooppara village of Idukki district is famous for its unique flora and fauna. It is part of the Cardamom hill reserve. Major attractions here include deer parks, crocodile park, waterfalls and lion safaris. The Matthiketan Shola National Park is about 135 kilometres from Kochi.
5. Pampadum Shola National Park
Located in the Marayoor village of Idukki district, the Pampadum Shola National Park is the smallest national park in Kerala. It is located near the Anamudy Shola National Park. The best time to visit is from January to March. Popular activities here include night camping and trekking.