Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary, Thenmala, Kollam

The Shenduruney forest – declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984 gets its name from an endemic species of tree called Chenkurunji (Gluta travancorica). In the central region of this moist, mixed deciduous forest, spread over hilly terrain of over 100 sq km, is the 26 sq km artificial lake formed by the Parappara dam built across the Shenduruney and Kulathupuzha rivers.

But beautiful surroundings guaranteed to give those exhausted batteries a recharge is not all what Shenduruney is famous for. According to some recent archaeological discoveries, a rock shelter has been found here which contains a few pre-historic rock engravings believed to be from the Mesolithic period.

Significance of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

The significance of the sanctuary lies in its ecological, faunal, floral and geomorphological importance. Various factors contributing to the significance of the area are as indicated below:

  •     Abundance of Gluta travancorica, an endemic species of Agasthyamalai region.
  •     It is a treasure house of plant diversity. About 1257 species of flowering plants belonging to more than 150 families are reported from this sanctuary of which 309 species are endemic to Western Ghats.
  •     Occurrence of more than 100 species of threatened plants within the sanctuary, which is the type locality of several endemic and threatened species.
  •     Presence of wild populations of lion-tailed macaque, a highly endangered species.
  •     Presence of other wild animals like elephant, tiger, leopard, bear, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel etc.
  •     High degrees in diversity of avifaunal wealth – 267 species of birds were reported including migratory, endemic and endangered species.
  •     An artificial lake of nearly within the sanctuary attracts a large number of water birds
  •     The watershed of Kallada reservoir roughly coinciding with the boundary of the sanctuary is an important source of water for irrigation purposes to the districts of Kollam and Pathanamthitta.
  •     As part of the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve, the sanctuary has an important role to play in conserving the rich biological diversity.
  •     Presence of unique vegetation of Myristica swamps.
  •     The first eco-tourism project in India, Thenmala Eco-tourism Project making use of land and water area of the sanctuary add colour to the prominence of the sanctuary, its role in the nature education and promoting ecologically sustainable tourism.

Near by Attractions

  •     Various Zones of TEPS(Thenmala Eco-tourism Promotion Society) like Leisure zone, Adventure zone, Deer Park, Butterfly Park , Musical fountain and Childrens Park
  •     Suspension bridge at Punalur.
  •     Water falls at Palaruvi.
  •     Water falls at Courtallam.

Thenmala is at 75 Km away from Thiruvananthapuram and 66 Km from Kollam.From Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam KSRTC operates regular bus services at regular intervals. Nearest town – Punalur 21 Km.
Nearest Airport – Trivandrum 72 Km
Railway Station:
The train service is also available from Kollam which is now interrupted by gauge conversion work .

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