Nilgiri tahr, Eravikulam National Park

The Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) known locally as the Nilgiri ibex or simply ibex, is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India. The species is found in a roughly 400 km stretch in the Western Ghats which falls in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The local distribution of the species is attributed to the animal’s preference for the habitat with grasslands with steep rocky cliff shelters. 

The Eravikulam National Park has the highest density and largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr. 

The Eravikulam National Park is situated in the Idukki district. It was established with the aim of protecting the endangered species Nilgiri Tahr. But due to its wide range of flora and fauna and also its ecology, it was considered as a National Park. Around 16 km northeast of Munnar is the hill side where the Neelakurinji flower is grown which blossoms once in 12 years.

A large variety of animals are found here such as the Atlas Moth which is the largest of this species found in the world. It is one of the major attractions of this place. An endangered species found in this park is the Nilgiri Tahr which gives pride to this area. The highest peak in south India, the Anamudi hills are located here. Nature lovers get s chance to trek in these hills.

There are tourism zones where these activities are limited and these zones can be reached by vehicles. The view of the hills is an attractive sight to the visitors. The one day trek from the Lakhom waterfalls to the Pakkumarathery is exciting as the people can also take a look of the Anamudi peak and can also have an overnight stay at the huts here.

There are about 300 species of animals which includes mammals, birds, amphibians and butterflies. These areas are covered with beautiful grasslands and are found mainly in the upper regions of the valley.

Close to the Eravikulam National Park lies the Munnar which is a hill station famous for its wide variety of spice plantations and cool climate. Some attractive places that are near to this Park include Athucacad and Cheeyapara Water Falls, Mattupetty Dam and Sethuparvathipuram Dam, Lockhart Gap, Pothanmedu, Nyamakad Gap, Director’s Leap Viewpoint etc. The trekking trails include Palkulamedu, Parakulam, Kulamavu, Anaward and Painavu.

Munnar is the nearest town (13 km). Eravikulam is also well connected by roads from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The Park is accessible from Kochi (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) airports, which are located at about 148 km and 175 km respectively.
Railway Station:
The nearest railway station in Kerala is Aluva (120 km from Munnar) and Coimbatore (165 km) in Tamil Nadu.

Tourist Place to Visit in Idukki District, Kerala