PARAMBIKULAM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Tucked away in the valley between the Anamali Ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy Ranges of Kerala on the majestic Western Ghats is the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, a fine example of serene, tranquil and undisturbed eco system. Situated in Palakkad district, it was originally a small tract of reserve forest of 48 sq.kms. However, owing to growing wildlife needs, it was expanded in 1962, and today it is a vast expanse of greenery of 285sq.kms in area.

Ideally suited to the growth of teak, the tract encouraged large scale teak plantations thorugh artifical regeneration in the early 20's. This was, however, abandoned when a full-fledged Wildlife department was formed in 1985. 9,000 ha of teak plantations in the sanctuary are being managed in such a way as to restore the forest's original status. A giant teak tree 40m high and 6.4m in girth is a standing monument of the past aptly named 'Kannimaram'.

Topography


Several streams originate from the hill ranges and flow down westward to join the river Chalakudi. The terrain is most undulating with a valley in the basin. The Karimala Gopuram is the highest peak (1444m). The average elevation is about 600m.

Climate


The sanctuary receives much heaviyer rains between June and August. The eastern part of the sanctuary receives more rains in October-November. Temperature drops substantially and mist envelops the sanctuary in the morning hours.

Dams and Lakes

Three dams have been built by the Tamil Nadu Government under the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project. The reservoir harbours several kinds of aquatic fauna. The area of water-spread of each lake is as follows.

Name of Dam Area of Water
Spread sq.km
Catchment area
sq. km
Parambikulam 21.22 228.34
Thunacadavu 4.33 43.33
Parivarippallam 2.89 15.79


Forest Types

Natural forests are classifieds as follows; 1. West coast tropical evergreen forests. 2. West coast semi evergreen forests. 3. South Indian moist deciduous forests. 4. South Indian dry deceiduous forests. 5. Moist bamboo brakes. 6. Reed brakes.

Tropical Evergreen forests (Area 50 sq.kms approximately)

A Wide variety of trees grow here. The top canopy consists of Palai, Punna, Nangu, Vediplavu, Kalpine, Aini, Vellapine, Kambakam, Vellagil, Pathiri, Nedunar, etc.Lower canopy predominantly consists of Vetti, Kara, Nasagam, Marotti, Kurukutti, Cheru, Mullialvu etc. Undergrowth comprises Antidesma, Calamus, Glycosmis, lxora species, etc.
Semi-Evergreen Forests (Extent 30 sq.kms.)
Both evergreen and moist deciduous species are found in these areas.
Moist Deciduous Forests (Extent 70sq.kms)
Top Canopy :
Manjakadambu, Vaka, Pala, Elavu, Vembu, Rosewood,Aval, , Teak, Maruthi, Pathiri, etc.
Lower Canopy :
Arampuli, Pezhu, Konna, Kodapunna, MurukkuKanjiram, Bamboos, etc.
Southern Dry Deciduous Forests (Extent 15 sq.kms)
Top Canopy : Teak, Vengal, Muzhukanjiram, Maruthy, Vaka,Mulluvenga, Rosewood etc. Middle & Lower Canopy : Veppu (Neem), Manja-nathi, Sandal,etc.with moi-stpatches of Dendrocala- mus and Bamaboosa arun-dinacea.Undergrowth is chiefly of Lantana and Heli-cteres besides grass.

Fauna


Mammals: Bonnet macaque, Liontailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Loris, Tiger, Leopar, Jungle cat, Civet, Mongoose, Fox, Bear, Elephant, Gaur, Nilgiri Tahr, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking deer, Wild boar, Pangolin etc.

Reptiles: Crocodile, Varanus, Pond Terapin, Cane Turtle, Gecko Skink, Chameleon,Snakes like King Cobra, Spectacled Cobra, Krait, Viper, Python,Green keel back, Rat snake, Vine snake etc.

Fishes : Aral,bral,vattudi,thilopia, noori, mooshu, poochutti, kollotty, exyprius,taral, etc.

Birds : Darter, Little Cormorant, Black eagle, Lesser adjutant stork, Black capped kingfisher, Great Indian hornbill, Broad billed roller, Black woodpecker.

Administration

The sanctuary is headed by a Divisional Forest Officer with headquarters at Thunacadavu and is under the direct control of the Field Director, Project Tiger. There are four ranges with 13 sections.

Wildlife Tourism


The sanctuary is accessible by road. Buses ply between Pollachi and Parambikulam. Pollachi is 60kms away and has a railway station. The nearest airport is Coimbatore, 100kms away. Visitors can have boat rides in the Parambikulam lake and tour the sanctuary with the help of guides.

Accommodation

There is a forest rest house at Thunacadavu. The parambikulam Project also provides accommodation. There are several hotels in Pollachi and Coimbatore.

Useful Informations

Latitude        : 10°20' and 10° 26' N
Longitude     : 76° 35' and 76° 50' E
Rainfall         : Average - 1720 mm.


Contact Address

1. Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)
    Thiruvananthapuram - 695 014, Kerala
    Phone : 322217.

        2. The Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)
            Northern, Palakkad.

        3. Divisional Forests Officer
            Parambikulam, Thunacadavu P.O. -678 661.
            Via Pollachi, Palakkad district, Kerala.