Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary presents an ideal blend of features that makes a visit to any reserve worth remembering. Be it the attractive and rich collection of animal & bird life, it’s easy to access location or the adventure and eco-tourism opportunities, it all blends seamlessly at Aralam to result in an exciting, highly frequented wildlife sanctuary.
The reserve is located on the western slopes of Western Ghats, and is the northern most wildlife reserve in Kerala. Covering an area of 55 sq km, its elevation ranges from 50m to 1145m, the highest point found at Katti Betta peak. The sanctuary was established in 1984 with headquarters locate near Iritty, a small town around 45 km from Kannur. Its undulating forest comprises of four different types of trees and vegetations namely, the West Coast semi-evergreen, West Coast tropical evergreen, Southern hilltop evergreen forest and South Indian moist deciduous plantations. The reserve is being promoted as an Eco-tourism and adventure destination. Its 20-km trek passing through the sanctuary to Ambalapara village (altitude of 1400 mt) is highly popular, so are the camping facilities in the reserve with tents, sleeping bags and camping equipments made available by the forest authorities.
Nearby attractions include Central State Farm at Aralam village, which is a 3060 hectare farm started in 1971 by the Government of India. The farm is now one of the main production centers of hybrid coconut seeds in the country. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (flora & fauna)
Aralam wildlife sanctuary’s undulating forestation consists of Cullenia rosayroona, Calophyllum elatum, Toona cillata, Magnifera indica, Myristica Species and Strobilanthes. Some of the commonly sighted trees include Hopea parviflora and Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.
The reserve houses a large number of wildlife species, some of which are endemic to the Western Ghats. Leopard, jungle cat, elephants and boars are its star attraction. Other animals include bison, Sambar deer, common langur, wild dog, Malabar giant squirrel and bonnet macaque. As with most wildlife reserves in Kerala, a large number of reptiles are found here including the king cobra.
A bird lover’s paradise, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 210 species of birds including Malabar grey hornbill, the blue winged parakeet and Nilgiris wood pigeon. Apart from birds, around 170 types of butterflies may also be seen here.
Climate & Best time to visit
Although the reserve is suitable to visit any time of the year, the ideal season is regarded from October to June. The temperature varies from 21° degrees to 40° with the monsoon season lasting from June to September. The annual rainfall experienced is around 3000m.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (How to reach)
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Kozhikode located 113 km away.
By Rail: The nearest Railway Station is at Thalassery 35 km away
By Road: well connected by a network of roads, the reserve is around 35 km from Thalassery and 45 km from Kannur.