The forests in Kerala are fascinating places, making these popular rural tourism destinations. But why should you visit the forests in Kerala? What makes the these forests so special? Read on to find out…
Facts About The Forests In Kerala
Have you ever wondered what makes Kerala so special? It’s the forests! From majestic trees to unique wildlife, Kerala has some of the most diverse and beautiful forests in the world. The forests in Kerala are a source of vital resources, economic growth, and cultural heritage. Let’s take a look at 15 fascinating facts about the forests in Kerala.
Kerala is a beautiful state in India with stunning natural beauty, including lush forests. There are many fascinating facts about the forests in Kerala that make it an amazing place to visit. Here are fifteen of the most interesting facts about the forests in Kerala
1. A Biodiversity Hotspot
The forests of Kerala are home to a thriving ecosystem and immense biodiversity. Out of 18 bio-geographic zones found in India, 11 of them can be found here. The prominent vegetation types include tropical wet evergreen rainforest, semi-evergreen rainforest, southern tropical dry deciduous forest, and moist deciduous forest. You will also find several rare and endemic species of plants and animals here, making it one of the most biodiverse regions in India.
Nearly nineteen hundred species of flowering plants, including many rare and threatened ones, form a colourful canopy over these lush green jungles. With seventeen different kinds of butterflies, forty-six reptiles, forty-eight amphibians, and more than five hundred varieties of birds living in the forests, it is no surprise why Kerala has earned a place on the biodiversity hotspot list.
Additionally, these forests benefit local communities through eco-tourism activities like bird watching and nature treks. This has not only created economic opportunities for the area, but it has also encouraged locals to become passionate conservationists.
2. Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary
Encompassing an area of 66.565 sq mi, it is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in the state due to the presence of rare species like King Cobra and Flying Lizard. Home to many endangered species, such as lion-tailed macaque, leopard cat, and sambar deer, the sanctuary boasts an impressive variety of reptiles too.
Nature lovers flock here to admire the pristine beauty of the forests and watch these animals in their natural habitat – a sight to behold! Visitors can even enjoy various activities within this sanctuary such as bird-watching tours, trekking, and other forest trails as they explore deeper into the wilderness. Therefore, Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is certainly a haven for nature lovers wishing to get close to nature!
3. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Hosts 300 Species
The Kerala forests are a natural paradise that is teeming with wildlife. Spanning around 25 kilometres, this sanctuary is an avian wonderland, hosting over 300 species of birds at any given time making it one of the most diverse bird sanctuaries in India. It is also home to several endangered species such as the Crimson-throated Barbet and the Ceylon Frogmouth.
The interesting diversity of birdlife here can be attributed to its tropical evergreen forests along the myriad rivers and freshwater marshes. It also offers excellent opportunities for bird-watching enthusiasts, too! Every year tourists flock to the Kerala forests for the incredible mix of birds and foliage that makes it such an enchanting escapade from our everyday lives.
4. The Forests Contain Unique Flora and Fauna
The forests in Kerala are characterised by a wide variety of flora and fauna that may not be found anywhere else in the world. In addition to its stunning bird life, these forests are home to some of India’s rarest species such as Nilgiri tahrs, lion-tailed macaques, great hornbills, golden jackals and Bengal tigers. The forests in Kerala are so rich in flora and fauna that they truly deserve the attention of those who want to witness nature in its purest form.
From lush teakwood forests and evergreen moist deciduous forests to semi-evergreen tropical rainforests, there is such an eclectic mix of plant life that it never ceases to amaze visitors. What’s more, most of these forests are home to unique species of birds, butterflies, and other animals that contribute to a vibrant ecosystem.
With all the different animals living in their natural habitats, one can imagine how tranquil and peaceful it must be to wander through a Kerala forest. That’s why the fact that these forests contain so many unique species is such a fascinating part of exploring this beautiful Indian state.
5. The Forests Are Home to Endangered Species
The forests in Kerala are home to many endangered species including leopards, tigers, and Asian elephants among others. There are also many plants that are threatened with extinction due to habitat destruction or over-harvesting for medicinal use or timber extraction. Hundreds of species within these forests are now protected by law from being hunted or otherwise harmed.
This region has fantastic biodiversity and is one of the top 10 bio-diverse hotspots in the world! It even has plant species that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth! Conservation efforts have been in effect for over two decades now, aiming to protect these priceless creatures and reintroduce them back into their natural habitats.
The forests’ unique environment has enabled them to remain a stronghold for many species, providing habitats for a wide variety of creatures. Today, many endemic birds and animals from Kerala still thrive in their forests, making them an essential part of India’s natural heritage.
6. Ideal for Eco-Tourism
The forests in Kerala provide a perfect backdrop for ecotourism opportunities throughout the region—from trekking through lush vegetation to spotting exotic animals in their natural habitats—there’s something here for everyone! With so much beauty and diversity on display here, it’s no wonder that ecotourism is one of the types of tourism has become increasingly popular in recent years.
With a variety of rich ecosystems, they offer a unique experience distinct from other regions in India. One of the most interesting facts about these forests is their compatibility with eco-tourism, making them ideal for visitors who want to enjoy nature at its finest. Featuring lush landscapes and areas rich with biodiversity, these forests provide visitors with an opportunity to reconnect with nature and be part of something special.
From tropical rainforests to highlands and wetlands, there is no shortage of places to explore and discover Mother Nature’s wonders within Kerala forests. It’s clear that these forests are a great resource for travellers who seek an unforgettable experience through eco-tourism.
7. Rich in Natural Resources
In addition to its diverse wildlife and stunning scenery, the forests in Kerala offer many other resources including medicinal plants used in Ayurvedic treatments as well as lumber used for construction projects all over India. As a result, these forests play an important role in both local economies and global markets alike — providing jobs for thousands of people who depend on them for their livelihoods every day.
8. Home to Unique Tribes
The forests in Kerala are home to many unique tribal communities that had lived in harmony with their environment since long before the state was formed. These tribes include the Kurumbas, one of the oldest indigenous peoples in India, who inhabit the mountainous regions and practice ancient hunting traditions. The Kadars also live in small settlements throughout the forest and are known for their expertise in gathering a diverse range of forest produce.
In contrast, some of the more recently established tribes such as the Kattunayakans are renowned for their specialised knowledge of rainforest medicines. All these different cultures add a unique richness to this environment and make it one of the most exciting destinations for eco-tourism. By visiting these communities, travellers can gain insight into the lives of these fascinating people and discover more about their rich history.
9. The Forests have a Rich History
The forests in Kerala have a rich and fascinating history that is intertwined with the culture of the state. For centuries, Kerala has relied on forests for their ecosystem services as well as sustenance. From food and fuelwood to medicines and clean water, the forests have long been a source of traditional livelihoods for many communities.
This deep connection between people demonstrated itself in different ways- there were several festivals built around animals that lived in the forest such as Lord Ayyappan. Customary wildlife protection practices such as avoiding hunting during particular times of the year, and reverence for foresters who looked after these resources.
The history surrounding these ancient traditions is just one of the many facets of Kerala’s rich forestry that makes it so captivating.
10. The Silent Valley National Park
The Silent Valley National Park is located at the core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is known for its pristine environment and rich biodiversity.
It is home to several rare animal species such as Bengal Tigers, Leopard Cats, and various species of birds like White Breasted Kingfishers, Indian Pied Hornbills, and Racket Tailed Drongos among others. The park also has several spectacular waterfalls which make it an ideal place for tourists for trekking or simply admiring nature’s beauty!
11. Anamudi Peak – The Highest Peak South Of the Himalayas
The Anamudi Peak is located within Eravikulam National Park in the Idukki district of Kerala and stands tall at an elevation of 2,695 m above sea level making it the highest peak south of the Himalayas!
This peak offers breathtaking views from its summit and is surrounded by lush green tea plantations on one side and rolling hills on the other side making it a must-visit destination for tourists who come to explore Kerala’s natural beauty!
12. Periyar National Park – Tiger Reserve & UNESCO World Heritage Site
Periyar National Park is located near Kumily town in the Idukki district of Kerala which is known for its tiger reserve along with other wild animals such as elephants, gaurs (Indian bison), sambars (deer), etc. This park was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its exceptional natural beauty! It also has several man-made dams that attract a large number of tourists every year!
13. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Houses
Spread across 18 kilometre and located in the rain-shadow area of Western Ghats, the sanctuary is home to a rich biodiversity and plenty of rare species, such as Slender Loris – found only here!
In addition, it has over 200 species of medicinal plants, including Arogyapacha and Jeevani. Birdwatchers will also be delighted by its exquisite avian population, which includes Yellow-throated Bulbul, Black-hooded Oriole, and White-bellied Treepie.
For tourists who love exploring nature’s wilderness, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary should be an unmissable experience – a unique chance to witness India’s wildlife at its best.
14. Eravikulam National Park
Located in the Idukki district of Kerala state in South India, Eravikulam National Park is one of the most ecologically diverse forests in the region. Filled with a variety of plant and animal species, it’s also home to a recognisable symbol of the state: the Nilgiri Tahr. This goat-like animal can only be found in parts of Southern India and is one of the most critically endangered species in India.
While visitors can’t go too close to them due to restrictions, they can usually view small herds roaming around from far away. The park also serves as an important tourist destination for its breathtaking views, with Anamudi Peak (the highest peak south of the Himalayas) being visible on clear days. There’s no doubt that this park is one of Kerala’s greatest ecological heritages!
15. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary’s Rare Species
What makes Peppara so unique are its rare species, which includes creatures such as Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Gaurs, and Slender Lorises. These majestic creatures are seen rarely within other Sanctuaries across India and viewing an opportunity to view them naturally at Peppara makes for an unforgettable experience.
It goes without saying that visitors to the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary get to enjoy more than just some stunning scenery – they also have a chance to witness some beautiful, rare wildlife firsthand!
The Forests in Kerala: Conclusion
From rich biodiversity to unique endemic species to majestic peaks – there’s something special about the forests in Kerala that make them worth exploring! Whether you’re looking for adventure or just want to admire nature’s beauty – there’s something here for everyone in the forests of Kerala! So if you’re planning your next vacation, why not give these forests a chance? Who knows what surprises they might have waiting for you!
If you found this article about the forests of Kerala interesting, then you’ll surely like to read the following articles too: