The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, located about 40 km from Thodupuzha in the Idukki district, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Kerala. Declared a sanctuary in 1976, the sanctuary spreads over an area of about 77 sq km in the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district. The Idukki Sanctuary is located in the forestland between the Cheruthoni River and the Periyar River, at an altitude ranging from 450 m to 1272 m, with Vanjur Medu standing as the highest peak at 1272 m. The world renowned Idukki Arch Dam and the scenic lake enhance the beauty of this place manifold.
Like many other wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, this one too is rich in flora and fauna. West coast tropical evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, hill sholas, and grasslands make up for the forest type of this sanctuary. Some of the faunal life that can be spotted here are sambars, elephants, bison, deer, wild dogs, tigers, jungle cats, and wild boars. Besides, different species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits, and numerous non-poisonous reptiles are also sighted here. Among the birds, mynah, jungle fowl, black bulbul, laughing thrush, peafowl, woodpecker, and kingfisher constitute the major attractions.
The sanctuary receives heavy rainfall, with an average annual shower of about 3800 mm. The temperature of this spectacular sanctuary varies from 13 0C to 29 0C with March and April being the hottest period of the year. Apart from exploring the natural beauty of the sanctuary, visitors can also marvel at the manmade creation known as Idukki Arch Dam that stands tall nearby. At a height of 167.68 meters, this dam is the 14th largest arch dam in Asia. Kottayam, about 114 km from Idukki, is the nearest railhead, while Cochin International Airport, at about 190 km, is the closest airport. For accommodation purposes, private hotels are available at Cheruthoni, Kattappana, and Thodupuzha.
Idukki is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala. Read to know more about the Idukki sanctuary.