Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary :
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, also known as Thattekkad, is situated in the Ernakulam district of Kerala.
The sanctuary, named after the famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, was established in the year1983. Besides being a paradise for bird watchers, the place is also home to a large number of animals and reptiles. An estimated 300 species of birds are said to be found here.
The sanctuary is open throughout the year, with the months of Nov to June being the best time to visit as it is the time of arrival for migratory birds from the north. Avoid the monsoons (July-Aug) as heavy rains often flood the place.
Wildlife Attractions in Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The undulating terrain of the area is covered with tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests and grasslands. Prominent among the numerous variety of trees found in the region are teak, rosewood, jungle jack, red sandalwood, Lagerstroemia microcarpa and terminalia paniculata.
Often described as a paradise for bird watchers, some of the birds found here include the peninsular bay owl, ceylon frogmouth, Malabar grey hornbill, Malabar trogon, crested serpent eagle, rose billed roller, crimson throated barbet, fairy bluebird, Malabar pied and great Indian hornbill.
The place is also home to some species of mammals and reptiles which include elephant, sambar, barking deer, bonnet macaque, giant squirrels, travancore flying squirrel, vine snake, Indian rock python, king cobra, Russell's viper and saw scaled viper.
Vehicles are not allowed inside the sanctuary. The best way to explore the place in on foot, where it is compulsory to take along a guide. Moreover the guide will also help increase your knowledge and identify the hundreds of species of flora and fauna.
Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar
A short drive from the sanctuary will take you to this popular picnic spot. A dam and a children's park are major attractions of this place.
Other attractions in the area include the Animal Rehab Centre, a place for the rehabilitation of wounded or stray animals, the Deer Park, which has Sambar and deer species in open enclosures and the Taxidermic Museum, which provides rich info about the denizens of Thattekkad. The timings for these attractions are 8AM to 6PM.
How to Get There
By Air :
Kochi International Airport, Nedumbassery is the nearest airport. Kochi is connected by Indian Airlines flight from Delhi (8:00, Daily), from Mumbai (11:05, Daily), (15:45, Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat), from Bangalore (12:45, Daily) and from Chennai (12:55, Mon, Fri), (14:40, Wed, Fri, Sun), (18:30, Tue, Thu, Sat).
By Rail :
Ernakulam is the nearest railhead, connected by daily trains from Delhi : Mngla Lksdp Exp. (9:55), Kerala Exp. (11:30), from Mumbai : Mngla Lksdp Exp. (8:50), Kanyakumari Exp. (15:45), Netravati Exp. (11:40), from Bangalore : Kanyakumari Exp. (22:00) and from Chennai : Dnh Allp Exp. (3:50), Tata Allp Exp. (3:50), Trivandrum Mail (20:00), Alleppey Exp. (21:15), Ms Guruvayur Exp. (7:25).
By Road :
To reach from Kochi, take the NH47 to Aluva. From here, follow the state highway 16 to Kothamangalam via Perumbavoor from where a state road will take you to Keerampara. Finally, take a ferry ride to the sanctuary.
Distances from Major Cities
74 km (NE)
49 km /1.5 hrs.
55 km/1.5 hrs.
Travel Tips/Important Information
- It is compulsory to hire a guide to travel inside the sanctuary. As it is, this will help you gain immense knowledge and identify the numerous species of wildlife.
- The entrance to the sanctuary is 50 mts left of the Thattekkad bridge. The entry fee counter is also located near by.
- Guides can be hired from the assistant wildlife warden's office located near the bridge.
- Vehicles are not allowed inside the sanctuary. You can pay the vehicle fee and park your vehicles inside the entry gate.
- Some of the park charges include Entry fee : Rs. 10 (Indians) & Rs. 100 (foreigners), Vehicle entry : Rs. 25 (light vehicles) & Rs. 150 (heavy vehicles), Camera : Rs. 25 (still) & Rs. 150 (video)
- Sanctuary timings are 6AM to 6PM.
- There are no fixed charges for the guides.
- Carry a pair of binocular. Carrying salt may be of help to avoid the leeches.