Everybody loves being close to nature and relaxing while on vacation, and there is no better way to do this other than going on a trip to explore the lush greenery of the forests in Kerala. Truly living up to its nickname, “God’s own country,” this little South Indian state nestled in the shadows of the Western Ghats is a haven for nature lovers. The numerous forests and wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala have an abundance of biodiversity and are home to several unique birds and animals. Some of the best places to visit in Kerala to enjoy the wilderness include the following.
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One of Kerala’s most stunning eco-tourist destinations, Gavi Forest is a pristine and well-preserved forest situated on the fringes of Pathanamthitta town. Pathanamthitta is one of the least polluted towns in India. Gavi is home to about 35 mammal species and 200 bird species, including the Nilgiri Tahr, lion-tailed macaques, elephants, tigers, sloth bears, bulbuls, and kingfishers. It is also home to more than 150 butterfly species, 40 reptiles, and 140 varieties of orchids. In addition, the forest offers numerous activities, including trekking, bird watching, camping, boating, and Jeep safaris.
One of Kerala’s most extensive and densely forested areas is the Munnar forest range, nestled in the Western Ghats. Also, the famous Eravikulam National Park is located here. The park is famous for the Neelakurinji blooms and the Nilgiri Tahr. The forest is abundant with life, filled with deciduous and evergreen trees, shrublands, medicinal plants, grasslands, and hills. In addition, the region is protected by the efforts of the government and the Muthuvan people, a local people. This location offers a rare combination of a unique ecosystem, scenic beauty, and rare plants and animals. Trekking is the most common activity here.
Marayoor Sandalwood Forest
Next, known for its fragrant sandalwood trees, the Marayoor forest, located 40 km from Munnar, is home to government-run sandalwood factories and vast sugarcane plantations. In addition, history buffs can explore the two prehistoric sites here, Ezhuthupara and Muniyara. These hills are home to tribal communities. Also, this beautiful location is ideal for hiking and other adventurous activities. You can also soak in the Pamber River’s stunning splendor while inhaling the rich sandalwood aroma.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
One of Kerala’s most fascinating forests, the Peppara sanctuary, is located on the fringes of the capital city, Trivandrum. This slowly expanding forest covers an area of 53 square km and is a perfect place to enjoy the beauty of a lush, evergreen forest. Also, the sanctuary is home to numerous indigenous bird and mammal species. This forest is also great for trekking. The Vazhanthol waterfall, situated 5 km from Peppara, is also a must-visit place.
Next, located in Palakkad, a picturesque district in Kerala, Nelliyampathy Hills is a tourist destination surrounded by dazzling waterfalls. This hill town, sitting at the height of 1500 meters, gives a breathtaking view of the surrounding region. The sparsely populated place makes it the perfect getaway for people looking for a tranquil vacation. Also, the place offers diverse sights, including tea and orange plantations, rainforest zones, scenic landscapes, cliffs, rocks, and many insect and bird species. The main attraction here is the Pothundy Dam. The place is also perfect for adventurous trekking.
Silent Valley National Park
Named “Silent Valley” due to the marked absence of noisy cicadas, this 237.52 square kilometer national park is situated on the borders of the Palakkad district. Also, it makes up most of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and has over 1000 blooming plants, 34 mammal species, and 200 butterfly species. The rich biodiversity of the place has made it one of the most popular areas in Kerala for nature lovers. Travelers can also explore the pristine locations of Keerippara and Bommiyampadi here.
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
Also, one of Kerala’s most dangerous forested areas, the Tiger Reserve at Parambikulam, is where ecological diversity and scenic views coexist. This beautiful reserve is a biodiversity hotspot located in the southern part of the Western Ghats. In addition, it covers 643.66 square km and is primarily a buffer zone. As a result, there is minimal human tampering, and the region is protected by indigenous people and preserved in all its natural glory.
The pristine Sholayar forest is one of the most beautiful forests in Kerala, filled with streams, gorges, valleys, and grasslands. This is one of the best places to unwind and be at one with nature. The gorgeous forest is home to rare birds, spotted deer, elephants, and leopards. One of the area’s top attractions is Sholayar Dam. Travelers can also enjoy the Vazhachal and Athirapilly waterfalls while they are here.
Kerala is a place blessed with natural beauty. The magnificent forests of Kerala should be on the bucket list of every nature lover. So follow this itinerary for a magical experience in God’s Own Country.