Leave behind Trivandrum’s humid weather and spend time at the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of its coolest spots
The next time you’re in Trivandrum, travel 35 kilometres north to pay a visit to the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is worth all the effort. Spread over 128 kilometres the sanctuary envelops the scenic Neyyar lake created by the Neyyar dam. The entire patch wears a green-blue look due to the abundant natural vegetation surrounding it and the water body has led to a variety of wild animals and birds making the sanctuary their home.
Apart from an occasional tiger, leopard or an elephant, unique species of animals like the sloth bear, nilgiri langur, nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaques and exotic birds like white-breasted water hen, woodpeckers, brahminy kites, little green heron can be spotted here. There’s more. The area is also covered with almost 1,000 species of medicinal plants.
The Agasthyamalai — Kerala’s second highest peak (1,868 m) — is a popular tourist destination located inside the sanctuary but what attracts most visitors is the Lion Safari Park, crocodile farm and deer park.
The Kappukadu Elephant Rehabilitation Centre located outside the dam premises allows visitors to even scrub and bathe elephants apart from indulging in some exciting elephant rides!
Lion Safari Park
Adventurists looking forward to chance upon a meeting with the king of the jungle can opt for a lion safari at the Lion Safari Park. The entry charges for the safari include a tour of the park in a canter (bus/truck) or an open jeep, a boat ride across the picturesque Neyyar lake, a visit to the deer park and the crocodile production centre.
What started as a crocodile farm in 1977 was established as a Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre in the year 2007. The main activity of the centre is breeding and rearing mugger crocodiles. These crocodiles are later released in the Neyyar lake near the dam.
How to get there
Travel by air or rail from Trivandrum. Also there are KSRTC buses that ply daily from Trivandrum. The KTDC office in the city also runs tours to Neyyar Dam. Options are plenty when it comes to accommodation, ranging from rest houses, dormitories and lodges, which are available at very affordable prices.
Words By: Pooja Kulkarni