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Visit to Thattekadone day trip to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Idukki KeralaTotal No of days - 1Dated - April 2013

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Vinod Kumar...know more about me

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A one day drive to Thattekad was quite unplanned during our last trip to Kerala. My husband being a bird lover wanted to make it to the park which was 140 kms away from where we were putting up (a quaint town in Alleppy district). We enquired a bit about it to the people around who were infact hearing it for the first time. They knew Idukki but not Thatttekad, anyways although too tough for a one day trip still he decided to venture out with his camera. Now let me tell you a bit.

Thattekad is the first Bird Sanctuary in Kerala with a wide variety of flora and fauna is a heaven for nature lovers and bird watchers. The Indian legendary Ornithologist Dr Salim Ali during his survey in 1933, noted the bird diversity here as one of the richest ever seen. Later in 1983 the area was declared as a sanctuary having an extent of 25.16sq kms. About 284 species of birds have been recorded here so far.

How to reach
The nearest railway station is Angamaly and Alwaye which is 45 and 48 kms away. The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport at Nedumbasserry which is 48kms away The Sanctuary is 13 kms from Kothamangalam which is the nearest town.

The entry fee was Rs 30-40 (dont remember correctly, and the equal amount for the camera too). We needed a guided which is a must as they can guide you through places where the birds can be spotted. Our guide Reji was quiet a knowledgeable guy and he helped us through the jungles some in car and some on foot in spotting some of the rare birds.

The terrain is undulating and elevation ranges between 35m to 532 m above sea level. The two highest peaks are Njayappillimudy (523m) and Thoppimudy(488m). Climate is tropical and humid with temperature range varying 20 to 35 degrees with an average annual rainfall of 3000mm.

The vegetation here is tropical wet evergreen , semi evergreen, moist decidous, Riparian forest and plantations. Located on the foothills of the western ghats and is connected to Malayatoor, Sholayar, Parambikulam hill ranges on one side and Munnar, Eravikulam and Chinnar on the other side.

728 species of plants
284 species of birds
222 species of butterflies
52 speciesof fishes
39 species of mammals
36 species of reptiles
17 species of amphibians have been so far recorded here.

Although Thattekad is famous for the Ceylon frogmouth (see photogallery) all major mammals found in the western ghats including tiger, leopard, elephant sloth bear, wild dog sambar deer are seen here (it is practically not posibble to see any above mentioned except the deers or if so lucky the elephants). Migratory birds and butterflies are another distinguishing feature of the sanctuary.

Dr Salim Ali was born in 12th November 1896 and is known as the father of ornithology in South east Asia. He was the first Indian to start the scientific study of ornithology. During his one year long Travancore Cochin bird survey he spent 13 days at Thattekkad from 2nd to 13th February 1993. The books "Birds of Kerala" was brought out as a result of the survey.

About the Administrative side of the Sanctuary It comes under the Idukki Wildlife Division by the Wildlife warden with HQ at Vellappara 56 kms east of Thodupuzha. There is no human settlement in the core area.
The sanctuary is open for visitors from 8am to 5pm and permission for entry can be obtained from the Assistant Wildlife warden's office.
During summers and for other administrative reasons the sanctuary can be closed for public.
Trekking in the core area and over night stay is not permitted.
A full fledges interpretation zone is functioning here.
An animal rehab, deer park and medicinal garden is also functioning here.

Contact The Wildlife Warden
Idukki Wildlife Division
Vellappara, Painavu PO
Idukki, Kerala
Tel 0486 2232271

The Assistant Wildlife Warden
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Njayappilly PO
Ph 0485 2588302

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