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Read about the Aralam wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, established back in 1984, is located about 35 km from Thalasseri and 60 km from Kannur. Spread over 55 sq km of forested land on the western slope of the Western Ghats, it is the northern most wildlife sanctuary of Kerala. Katti Betta, the highest peak of the region that rises up to 1145 meter above the sea level, adds to the natural beauty of the surroundings. The elevation for rest of the sanctuary varies from 50 meters to 1145 meters.

The Aralam Sanctuary is home to a large variety of flora and fauna, so common to the Western Ghats. The sanctuary is cloaked with tropical and semi evergreen forests with about 490 hectares of eucalyptus and teak plantations. According to statistical reports, 23 species of mammals, 188 of birds, 22 of reptiles, 16 of amphibians, and 39 of fish are found in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary with main faunal attractions being boar, gaur, spotted deer, barking deer, elephant, Nilgiri langur, malabar giant squirrel, and bison, while jungle cats, leopards, and various types of squirrels can also be spotted.

The forest receives an average annual rainfall of around 4000 mm on a consistent basis. Although, 70% of this average rainfall is received during the southwest monsoon that knocks in the month of June and stays on till August. The temperature at the foothills varies from 21 0C to 40 0C and fluctuates from 8 0C to 25 0C as the altitude increases. April and May are generally the hottest months of the year while it remains relatively cool from the months December through February. Aralam is also known for the Central State Farm, which produces hybrid coconut seeds and is one of the main production centers in the country.

The sanctuary can be reached by road from Thalasseri (45 km) and Kannur (45 km). The nearest railway station is Thalasseri, which is about 70 km from the sanctuary while the closest airport is Kozhikode, about 150 km from Irruti, a small town where the headquarters of Aralam Sanctuary are sited. There are many government guest houses and private lodges in Irruti that offer accommodation facilities. Though the sanctuary can be visited in anytime round the year, the best time time to visit is considered between the months November and May.

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