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The Peppara wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is of great interest to the wildlife enthusiasts and adventurers.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is located about 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Situated on the outskirts of the capital city, the sanctuary falls on the way to Ponmudi, northeast of Thiruvananthapuram. Established in 1983, the sanctuary is spread over an area of 53 sq km on the picturesque Western Ghats. The majestic Peppara Dam, dense forests, limpid streams of water, and rocky terrains make the sanctuary one fine spot for adventure and wildlife lovers. The elevation of the entire region ranges from 100 m to 1717 m, with major peaks being Chemmunjimottai (1717 m), Athirumalai (1594 m), Arumukhamkunnu (1457 m), Koviltherimalai (1313 m), and Nachiyadikunnu (957 m).

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse and thick forest areas beautifully embossed with tropical evergreen, semi evergreen, moist deciduous, and swamp forests. The sanctuary has a rich population of mammalian fauna and is fast emerging as a great tourist attraction for wildlife enthusiasts and ornithologists. 43 species of mammals, 233 of birds, 46 of reptiles, 13 of amphibians, and 27 of fish have been reportedly found thriving in the sanctuary, according to statistical surveys. Some interesting animals that are easily spotted at the sanctuary include leopard, elephant, Sambar, tiger, bonnet macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, and sloth bear. The sanctuary is also famous for its diverse birdlife, such as small sunbird, whitebellied treepie, cormorant, pied kingfisher, and Malabar grey hornbill. Besides wildlife, 13 tribes are also known to reside in the sanctuary.

The sanctuary receives more than moderate rainfall, about 2500 mm annually on an average. The temperature inside the sanctuary varies from 16 0C to 35 0C. Other attractions of the sanctuary include trekking to the forest area, bonafalls, Vazahuvanthole waterfalls, and Kalarkad waterfalls. Although the sanctuary is open throughout the year, the best season to visit is between the months January and March. The nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram, which is 44 km from the sanctuary and the closest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 49 km from the sanctuary.

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