Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

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Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is one of the most important bird sanctuaries of India. The Bird Sanctuary at Thattekkad is located at a distance of 67 Km from Kochi. Thattekkad literally means Flat Forest. Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologists has said that the sanctuary at Thattekkad is "the richest bird habitat on peninsular India".

Thattekkad Bird SanctuaryThe quantity of birds found in Sanctuary indicates a clear increase since the original survey done by Dr. Ali in the year 1930. Actually, Government of Kerala notified the sanctuary in the year 1983 according to a recommendation done by Dr. Ali after his 1930 survey. The Bird Sanctuary is named after Dr. Salim Ali, the legendary ornithologist.

The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary covers an area of about 25 Sq. Km. The sanctuary is an evergreen low-land forest moreover it is located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala. The forest type is Tropical evergreen forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical deciduous forests. There are patches of grasslands also. The sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers.

The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary has a rich as well as exotic birdlife. Many types of birds, both forest birds and the water birds, visit the sanctuaries, and the important ones include Ground Thrush (an orange-headed bird), Large-billed Leaf-warbler, Jerdon's Nightjar, Indian Cuckoo, Darters, Cormorants, Whiskered Terns, Collared Scops Owl, Frogmouths, Pompadour Green Pigeon and Yellow-browed Bulbuls.

The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is also a home for many species of Cuckoos and a region of the sanctuary usually called as Cuckoo Paradise and they include Drongo Cuckoo, Indian Hawk Cuckoo and Large Hawk Cuckoo, which looks quite huge when compared to other species of cuckoos, and is differentiated by a dark grey and heavily streaked throat. Malabar Grey Hornbill, Crimson-Throated Barbet, Bee-Eater are the major attractions.

Besides the birds, you can also see 28 varieties of animals as well as several varieties of reptiles at this place. Animals such as leopard, bear and porcupine are found over here frequently. You can also see elephants rarely. Among the reptiles, you can see cobra as well as pythons resting at this place.

The sanctuary flourishes not just in animals and birds but also has many different plants. You can see teak, mahogany as well as rosewood in big numbers in this sanctuary. These trees are the reason for the luxurious green cover that blankets the sanctuary.

The Sanctuary comes under The Assistant Wildlife Warden of Kerala Forest Department.

Best time to visit the sanctuary is between October and May.

Accommodations are available at the PWD rest house near the dam. Private lodges are available at Kothamangalam which is 12 Km away from the sanctuary.

Distance from Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Ernakulam: 58 Km
Kochi: 67 Km
Idukki: 76 Km
Kottayam: 78 Km
Munnar: 84 Km
Thrissur: 88 Km
Kumarakom: 97 Km
Alappuzha: 112 Km
Kozhikode: 216 Km
Kuttanad: 130 Km
Kollam: 200 Km
Thiruvananthapuram: 263 Km
Kovalam: 269 Km
Kannur: 305 Km
Kasargod: 397 Km

How to get there:

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport or Nedumbassery Airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI)

Nearest Railhead: Aluva (48 Km) is the nearest railway station.

Road: The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is well connected to the cities and towns of Kerala by a wide network of roads and is easily accessible.

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