Kerala is renowned for its greenery and sandy shores worldwide. While the million hues of green that you see in the evergreen forests of Kerala are bound to fill any tourist with wonder it is the completely indigenous flora and fauna of the forests that attract the seasoned traveller. Almost a third of the state is covered with forests. Among the protected forest land there are six national parks and fourteen wildlife sanctuaries.
One of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries is the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. On the shores of the river Periyar there is a Tiger reserve as well. Home to several endemic species such as the Lion tailed macaque the sanctuary is the best for the first time trekker. Facilities and accommodations are quite easy to find for the tourist and there are well trained guides to take you on guided tours. A few shops can also be found nearby which cater mostly to tourists and sell exotic jewellery and forest merchandise.
If you are someone who likes to explore the untouched wild then Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit. This sanctuary is also a tiger reserve and admission is restricted to tourists. Wild Gaurs, the Nilgiri Tahr, Wild Boars, Great Indian Hornbill, Great Pied Hornbill, King Cobras, etc are some of the numerous exotic fauna of the region. Parambikulam has well equipped tents that are guarded with fences for the tourist who wants to play it safe. However if adventure is what drives there are tree-houses right in the middle of the forests constructed on some of the tallest trees of the reserve. The view from the top is spectacular and you can experience the sheer bliss of being surrounded by Mother Nature in her most pristine form.
The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is must visit for any bird lover. The sanctuary is best visited during winter when many rare species of birds migrate to the region. The sanctuary is well known for the Indian Pitta. Orange-headed Thrush, Large-billed leaf-Warbler, Jerdon’s Nightjar, Indian Cuckoo, Oriental Darter, Cormorants, Whiskered terns, Collared Scops Owl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Yellow-browed Bulbuls, etc are some of the other birds that can be found here. As the sanctuary has several varieties of cuckoos it is also called the Cuckoo paradise.
Unlike most other states in India the state of Kerala is almost green throughout. It is very difficult to travel a few kilometres without finding at least a small water body. The abundance of water added with the heavy rains of the region make the state a bright green. The shimmering leaves sparkling in the golden rays of sun just after a rain is a sight that could be exotic for most but is a typical scene in the evergreen forests of Kerala.