Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, popularly known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, is situated at the foot of Western Ghats. The sanctuary expands over a staggering 25 km on the North side of Periyar River. The forest was raised to its current status of a sanctuary in the year 1983, as this was done in line on the recommendation of Dr. Salim Ali. Hence, the sanctuary was named after Dr. Salim Ali, as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Dr. Ali used to be a scientist and ornithologist at this place. In his report on the avifauna life in the region, he described this place as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India. Later after that report in 1930, most parts of the forest diverted to be used for the planned cultivation and Teak and Mahogany Plantation. Whatever is left in the forest is now a preserved bird sanctuary, which is phenomenally the biggest bio diverse habitat in Kerala. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is now home to a large number of resident and migratory birds.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is an interesting place to visit, as it offers a plethora of activities to its visitors. The activities are connected mostly to the sanctuary itself. The most common thing to do here is bird watching. Guided tours of the sanctuary are organized by the forest authorities, which are conducted at individual as well as group levels. Trekking through the preserved forest is restricted to a particular area. The area which is allotted especially for the purpose of trekking is mesmerizing itself. While trekking through, the forests one comes across a large variety of exotic and rare birds.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located 60 km north-east of Kochi district of Kerala. The literal meaning of Thattekad is flat-forest. This low land forest is located between Periyar River and a number of its branches. The topography of the area mostly contains long running plains, which are adorned with continuous tropical forests. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary enjoys a moderate climate all round the year, with the temperature ranging from 10 degrees C - 26 degrees C. The sanctuary has comfortable tropical weather throughout the year. There isn't too much rain. Many over wintering birds from the Himalayas are present here during the winters.
The area where Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located is thickly covered with forests. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary contains tropical evergreen forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical deciduous forests. Along with this, small patches of grasslands are also found in the area. One can find a wide variety of trees, such as Vellapine, Karanjili, Palley, Kunthirikam, Bhadraksham, Kanala, Kurangatti, etc. in the tropical evergreen forests of the area. On the other hand, the Tropical semi evergreen forests are home to trees such as Angili, Kambacom etc. Trees of commercial value like Teak, Rose wood, Venteak, Venga, Maruthi are also found in plenty here.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary was meant primarily for the conservation of avifauna, it serves as an abode for a number of rare and common species of birds. The sanctuary is home for mare than 500 different species of exotic birds and hence the sanctuary is counted among the most famous zoological reserves in Kerala. As the forest is covered with a large variety of tropical deciduous and evergreen variety of trees, it provides a safe haven to all feathered creatures. Apart from numerous species of birds, the sanctuary also provides shelter to as many as 28 species of animals. The most common dwellers of this sanctuary include the Leopard, Sloth Bear and Porcupine. Animals like elephants can also be found occasionally.
Location:Njayappilli at Kothamangalam in Ernakulam District of Kerala.
Nearest Airport/Railway Station: Kochi International Airport / Aluva Railway Station
Best Time to Visit: October to March
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