Eravikulam National Park was established primarily as a haven for the Nilgiri Tahr, and declared a sanctuary in 1975. This mountain goat species is very elusive and can be spotted only if you go deep into the jungle. Rolling into the Rajamalai Hills, the park covers about 97sq.km. Tiger, leopard and lion-tailed macaque are also found here. The park is home to about 30 species of mammals, 140 species of birds and many snakes and butterflies.
When the Neelakurinji blooms once in 12 years, the whole mountainside and valleys take a blue colour. It is a beautiful sight and many visitors come here. Lakkam Falls, Anamudi Peak and other trekking areas are open to people who take prior permission from the wildlife warden. The area receives heavy rains during the monsoons. This is one of the wettest areas of the world. Trekkers should avoid the place in the rainy season as it can be dangerous. The park is about 15km from Munnar. It is located in Devikulam taluk.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary covers about 90sq.km and is a top sanctuary in theWestern Ghats. It is located in Devikulam taluk and stands in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. Kottakombumalai is the highest peak here – it is 2,144m high. Other high peaks are Vellaikalmalai and Viriyoottumalai. You'll find sholas, grasslands, wet grasslands, scrub forests and dry deciduous forests.
Animals found here are gaur, leopard, spotted deer, elephant, Hanuman monkey and the endangered Giant grizzled squirrel. The Chinnar sanctuary is accessible from Munnar, Cochin and Coimbatore.
Pampadum Shola National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park and Kurinjimala Sanctuary are small sanctuaries that come under the Munnar Wildlife Division. Pampadum Shola Park is the smallest national park in Kerala. Its name means "forest where the snake dances".
The park adjoins the Allinagaram Reserved Forest within the proposed Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. The park is home to many medicinal plants and herbs, besides animals and birds. There's a wildlife corridor here that animals use, so the road to Kodaikanal is closed nowadays.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary covers about 77sq.km and is at a height of about 500m on an average. Animals and birds such as bison, elephant, sambar, tiger, wild boar, cobra, krait, viper, mynah, bulbul, woodpecker and kingfisher can be spotted here.
It covers the Thodupuzha and Udumbanchola taluks. Within it, you can find the Idukki Reservoir formed by the Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu dams.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is open 12 hours a day – from six in the morning to six in the evening. It is located in and around Thekkady. This huge sanctuary is spread across 777sq.km, with a core area as the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The artificial lake gives you the advantage of boating across it and witnessing animal activity at close quarters. It is formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River. Herds of elephants, groups of deer and wild boar usually sighted.
The areas near the sanctuary Watch Towers at Edappalayam and Manakkavala are good for trekking. You can go for treks, night safaris and jungle rides into the forests.