Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in the year 1976. It is located 40 kms from Thodupuzha district lying at an altitude of 450-748 m above sea level. The sanctuary covers a forest area of 77sq kms between the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. It is found both within Thodupuzha and Udumbanchola taluks in Idukki district in central Kerala. Idukki is a hill station lying in a landlocked district in the most nature-rich district in the state. The sanctuary is predominantly famous for its elephant population. It is covered by a canopy of tropical evergreen and deciduous trees.
Besides the elephants, another main attraction is the world famous Idukki arch dam. Idukki offers boat rides at the lake which borders three sides of the sanctuary.
Flora and Fauna: The wildlife found at Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is similar to that of Thekkady. The animals found at the sanctuary besides elephants are bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar etc. Several species of snakes such as cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones are also found here.
Birds such as jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc fill up the skies of Idukki.
The vegetation at Idukki is considered to be one of the richest and most extensive forest belts in the country. The Sanctuary has a thick covering of teak, marshes, bamboo and other grasslands. The terrain at the Idukki wildlife sanctuary is characterized by steep mountains, valleys and hills. Some of the commonly sighted trees in the region include white pine, kuntherekkapine, vayana, bhadraksham, pali, cheeni, rosewood and meadows of rolling grass.
When To Go: Being a major hill station in Kerala, Idukki experiences a pleasant climate throughout the year. However, the ideal time to visit the place would be between December to April.
How To Get There:
Thodupuzha-Kochi is about 58 kms from the sanctuary. The nearest railheads are at Kottayam and Changanassery which are both 114 kms away. The nearest airport is at Madurai, in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, which is about 140 km away. Cochin International Airport is about 190 kms far.
Where To Stay: There are plenty of hotels, resorts and guesthouses near the sanctuary for lodging.