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Eravikulam National Park is the first national park in Kerela. The National park is very famous for its reserve of Tahr. Nilgiri Tahr(Nilgiritragus hylocrius) and are the endangered goat-like species. This park is also famous for different endangered species of Butterflies. The national park is also quite popular for Tea plantation and blue colored Kurunjiflower. The famous Kurunjiflower blossom once in 12 years. The National park is also famous for the Anamudi peak, which is the highest peak in the South of India.
The Eravikulam National Park has 48 species of Mammals, 133 species of Bird, and 21 species of Butterflies. The Park covers 97 sq. km area and some parts of famous Western ghats. The National park is considered a heritage site. The Eravikulam national park’s terrain includes hill plateau, grasslands, sholas, mountain peak, perennial streams that merge with Periyar River, waterfalls, and others.
Eravikulam National Park was managed by Kannan Devan as a Game Reserve till 1971. The park had very unique and versatile features that gained the attraction of many scientists and naturalists. Famous European Col. Douglas Hamilton described the beauty and magnificence of this place in 1854.
The land was distributed between various sections of the society and plantation crops like tea, coffee, and cinchona were tried. Tea was the most suitable for this area. The first tea plantation was done in 1890. Later, the wide cultivation of tea and eucalyptus was done by clearing natural vegetation. Besides cultivation, the English game hunters among the old planters had taken interest in hunting activities. It included Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar Deer, Barking Deer, Gaur, Wild Boar, Leopard, and Tiger.
The Range Game Preservation Association used to manage such activities with the help of Muthuvan tribals who were employed by them as game watchers. The managers of the nearby estates were appointed as Wardens for managing the various game areas.
In the year 1996, a separate Division named Eravikulam National Park Division was formed with headquarters at Munnar. Today Eravikulam National Park is one of the six protected areas under the Division, now known as Wildlife Division, Munnar. Over the years, awareness has increased and management has changed. The game association has a new objective to become the High Range Wildlife and Environmental Preservation Association (HRWEPA) with the Forest Department in managing the park.
The introduction of participatory management and the explosion of visitors have brought about pattern shift in park management. Now all the organization activities including the visitor organization and protection including fire protection are carried out with the help of seven EDC’s in the park. This has helped a lot in the management as evident from the reduction in the illegal activities in and around the Park over the last 5 years.
The Eravikulam National Park is very famous for its diverse population of species. The park has endangered goat Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) and is also very famous for being the habitat of Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianam), which blooms once in 12 years.
The park is very popular for its fauna such as Nilgiri Marten (endemic), Ruddy Mongoose, Small Clawed Otter, Dusky Striped Squirrel, etc.
Flora of Eravikulam National Park
The land inside the park can be easily categorized as grasslands, forests, and shrublands. The Grassland is the land above 2000 m. The park is filled with landforms, Deep valleys that have thick forests here. Shrublands are found at the base of the mountain cliffs. Grasslands, many species of orchids, and balsams can be found in Grassland. The Brachycorythiswightiiis which is almost extinct also found in this area. Park has Many other top species like Neelakurunji, cyanotic species, and others.
Fauna of Eravikulam National Park
There are just 26 varied species of mammals inside the park including the Nilgiri tahr, which has the largest population here. There are 750 tahrs here and maybe even more. Other very popular mammals to spot are sambar deer, jungle cat, wild dog, leopard, tiger, golden jackal, and others. Top small animals to spot are Nilgiri langur, Indian porcupine, ruddy mongoose, dusky palm squirrel, small-clawed otter, and others. Elephants can also be spotted in this park during different seasons.
Safari of Eravikulam National Park
Safari is only allowed during certain seasons. This happens due to extreme weather conditions, epidemics, natural calamities, and others. Some Vehicles can travel up to a few meters inside the park and beyond there is a checkpoint that stops the vehicle. Tickets for safari can be booked online. Only a small quantity of tickets are sold every day to maintain the decorum and peace inside the national park. Trekking trails stretch for 2 km and it would take around three hours to complete the train. The Kurunji trail is the best of all and pre-booking is very important.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.