Parambikkulam Wildlife Sanctuary in central Kerala was declared the 38th tiger reserve of India on February 18, 2010. The Sanctuary sprawls like a carpet between the Anamalai ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliyampathy ranges of Kerala in the Sungam range covering an area of 285 sq km. It is located in Palakkad district in the Western Ghats. Parambikulam was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1973. The undulating landscape is drained by many rivers such as Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy. The area is thickly forested with patches of marsh lands and grassland. It was once a thriving bamboo plantation home to some of south India's finest teak. The oldest teak tree 'Kannimari' also the largest in Asia is found here. The tree is about 450 years old having a girth of 6.8 m and a height of 49.5 m.
The jungles of Parambikkulam are also home to few hill tribes, like the Malayars, the Kadars and the Muthuvans. It is also famous for housing Kerala's largest population of gaur.
The Sanctuary is located at an altitude ranging from 300 m and 1438 m having mostly hot and wet climate with an annual rainfall of around 3645 millimeters. There are three man-made reservoirs here namely Parambikulam, Thunacadavu and Peruvaripallam.
Main Attractions: Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is teeming with both animal and bird life. Today there are an estimated 39 mammal species, amphibians 16, birds 268, reptiles 61, fish 47, insects 1049 and butterflies 124.
The important animals found here are lion-tailed macaques, Nilgiri tahr, elephants, tigers, panthers, wild boar, sambar, bonnet macaques, Nilgiri langurs, sloth Bears, Nilgiri marten, small Travancore flying squirrel and Indian Gaur. Reptiles such as king cobra, Indian rock python and mugger crocodile are found here. Out of the 268 bird species recorded 134 species are rare and 18 endemic to Western Ghats. Most common birds found are Grey-headed Fish-eagle Peninsular bay owl, Broad-billed roller and Great pied hornbill as well as Darter, Little Cormorant, Black eagle, Black-capped kingfisher, Great Indian hornbill, and Black woodpecker.
When To Go: Parambikulam should be avoided during the monsoon though it is open throughout the year. The best time to visit is between December to February.
How To Get There: Parambikkulam can be easily accessed by road. The nearest railway station is at Pollachi about 65 kms away and the nearest airport is at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
Where To Stay: There are Forest Department rest houses at Thoonakkadavu, Thellikkal and Elathode. Thoonakkadavu also has an accommodation in the form of a tree-house in the Reserve Forest area but prior booking has to be done.