The Thattekad Sanctuary, also known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar river. Close to Munnar along the lower reaches of the Western Ghats, the sanctuary attracts nature lovers especially bird watchers in droves. Thattekad was developed by the untiring efforts of India’s birdman Dr Salim Ali.
The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali many years previously. Ali described Thattekad in the 1930’s as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. Since then much of the forest has been diverted to cultivation and teak and mahogany plantation but what survives gives a glimpse of the phenomenal bird diversity of the once widespread lowland forests of Kerala.
Around 210 species of birds have been identified here so far. Birds like – Indian Roller, Cuckoo, Common snipe, Crow pheasant, Jungle Nightjar, Kite, Grey Drongo, Malabar Trogon, Woodpecker, Large pied wagtail, Baya sparrow, Grey jungle fowl, Indian hill myna, Robin, Jungle babbler and darter are found here.
Crimson-throated Barbet, Bee-eater, Sun bird, Shrike, Fairy blue bird, Grey-headed fishing eagle, Blackwinged kite, Night heron, Grey heron, Common Grey Hornbill and Malabar Hornbill are some of the rarer birds found.
Apart from this the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary also houses Mammals like – Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Porcupine
Major Wildlife Attractions:
Leopard, Bear, Porcupine Etc. The Elephant Is An Occasional Visitor.
Indian Roller, Cukoo, Common Snipe, Crow Pheasant, Jungle Nightjar, Kite, Grey Drongo, Malabar Trogon, Woodpecker, Large Pied Wagtail, Baya Sparrow, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Hill Myna, Robin, Jungle Babbler And Darter.
Python, Cobra etc.
Nearest attractions are – Alleppey, Cradomom Hills, Backwater Boat Cruises. You can also go to – Periyar Tiger Reserve, Madurai, Cochin or Kochi (71 km), Kottayam, Ernakulam, Munnar. All these place are unique and bewitching. Something you should not miss in Kerala are Backwaters and Beaches. Also taste the exclusive South India cuisine here.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to sight The Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary from September to March.
How to Get there:
Air: Nearest airport is at Kochi, 71 kms. The new airport at Nedumbassery is probably closer.
Rail: Aluva is the nearest railway station, 48 kms
Road: The sanctuary is 13 km north-east of Kothamangalam along the Pooyamkutti road. Regular buses available.
General Info / Tips:
The sanctuary has a composed climate. It enjoys a tropical climate varies between 10 degree centigrade – 26 degree centigrade. Rainfall 2500 mm annually.
Kothamangalam (13 Kms.)
Leopard, Bear, Indian Roller, Python, Cobra