Location – Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala
Nearest access – Thiruvananthapuram
Main wildlife found – elephant, lion, tiger, leopard, crocodiles, and gaur
Coverage area – 128 Sq Km
Neyyar wildlife sanctuary is famous for its lion safari park. Tourists can see rare Asian lions, in lion safari park. This wildlife sanctuary is the home for hundred species of flora and fauna. This repository is situated in southeast corner of the Western ghats in the state of Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary covers more than 128 kilometers area. This sanctuary was get status of wildlife sanctuary in the year 1958, but wildlife conservation work starts in the year 1985. Because of its picturesque location, ride of this sanctuary is treating to nature lovers. This sanctuary is becoming very popular among tourists because of its well preserved wildlife, dense forests and high peaks.
The peak of Agasthvamalai is important landmark of Neyyar wildlife sanctuary, which has an elevation of 1868 meters. This wildlife sanctuary has an extensive natural vegetation wrap. The diversity of flora makes it an idyllic gene pool preserve. The vegetation varies here from grassland to various plantations. Because of diversity in flora, this park has healthy population of fauna. Because of topographic and varied climatic conditions, the sanctuary has high percentage of endemism. It is expected that near about 1000 species of flowering plants can see here.
Neyyar wildlife sanctuary is a repository of rarest medicinal herbs. This sanctuary is home to several plants such as poeciloneuron pauciflorum, Eugenia floccose, humboldtia, ardisia missionis, Eugenia discifera, chiloschista glandulosa, polyscias acuminata, eulophia cullenii, paphiopedilum, hetaria ovalifolia and many more. These medicinal herbs are very helpful to cure many diseases. Because of these medicinal herbs thousands of ayurveda and biology students visit this wildlife sanctuary every year.
Wildlife in neyyar wildlife sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary has more than 39 species of mammals, 217 species of birds, 13 species of amphibians and 27 species of fishes. Important wildlife habitats include tiger, sloth bear, elephant, leopard, Niligiri tahr, gaur, wild boar, dhole, sambar deer lion tailed macaque. Tourists can also see other mammals like pangolin, bonnet macaque, Niligiri marten, toddy cat, jungle cat, small Indian civet, leopard cat, flying squirrel, hare, Mongoose, porcupine sloth near and many more. The frequent sightseeing of tiger is strong indication of quality habitat and prey base. The very rare Niligiri tahr population is increasing in the sanctuary.
Major attractions in Neyyar wildlife sanctuary
Neyyar dam – is very popular picnic location because of its scenic location. The dam is ideal for boat ride and offers panoramic view of the dense wilderness as well as dark shadow of the Western Ghats at the backdrop. Tourists can enjoy the boat ride on the crystal clear waters of the lake and capture the forest from different perspective.
Crocodile farm – is also major tourist attraction here. This farm is home to 20 mugger crocodiles. Tourists can also visit to crocodile rehabilitation center and see the efforts taken by farm for the preservation of crocodiles.
Lion Park is another major tourist attraction here. Tourist can see lions here in their natural habitat.
Jungle safari– this park provides jeep ride or elephant ride, to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Visit to Neyyar wildlife sanctuary offers a calm retreat away from the busy city life.
Best time to visit
Climate of Neyyar wildlife sanctuary is extreme. It witness heavy rainfall in monsoon. Summer is extremely hot here and temperature remains generally above 35 centigrade in summer. Winter is very cool and warm here. Best time to visit this sanctuary is between Novembers to march because of pleasant climatic conditions.
How to Reach:
By road – Neyyar wildlife sanctuary is situated at a distance of 38 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram city. Thiruvananthapuram is major important city of the state of the Kerala and well connected by all cities of Kerala by daily bus services. Regular bus services are available from Thiruvananthapuram to sanctuary.
By rail – the nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram, situated at a distance of 38 kilometers to reach this place by railway. Thiruvananthapuram is important railway station of south India and well connected by daily trains with rest of India.
By air– Thiruvananthapuram is nearest airport to reach this sanctuary by flight, at a distance of 38 kilometers. Thiruvananthapuram is international airport and offers daily flights to major national as well as international cities.