The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary comprises dense hilly forest and the Peppara dam built across Karamana River to increase the water supply of Thiruvananthapuram. The sanctuary is located in Kerala about 50 kms northeast of the capital city. The area was declared a sanctuary in 1983 in view of the unique and diverse eco-system of the place. It covers an area of 53 sq kms merging partially with Palode and Kottoor reserves.
The vegetation of Peppara is characterized by three major forest belts such as the southern hilltop tropical evergreen forests found at an altitude of above 1000 m, the west coast semi-evergreen forests found at an elevation of 150 to 1050 m and the southern moist mixed deciduous forests found in the lower slopes covering over 60% of the area. The terrain of Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is hilly, with elevation ranging from 100 m (330 ft) to 1,717 m (5,633 ft). The sanctuary is known not only for its wildlife but also for housing 13 tribal settlements and plenty of waterfalls. Temperature of this region varies from 18°C to 24°C and rises to 39C during the months of March to April. Peppara receives an annual rainfall of about 3340 mm on the average.
Main Attractions: Peppara is a gene pool of an amazing variety of flora and fauna. The most commonly sighted animals are panthers, wild boar, elephants, tigers, lion tailed macaque, gaur, sambar, barking deer and Nilgiri langur. It is also home to various species of birds including kingfisher, egrets, wild ducks, cormorants, etc. Water birds can be sighted most of the time here. Numerous reptiles such as cobras, pythons and other non-poisonous snakes are also found here apart from many species of butterflies and moths.
Common tree species found here are terminalia paniculta, T. bellerica, Pterocarpus marsupium, Palaquium ellipticum, Mesua ferrea, Hopea parviflora, Bombax ceiba, Syzyguium cummini, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Albizzia procera, Alstonia scholaris, etc.
When To Go: The best time to visit Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is between January to March.
How To Get There: Peppara is well connected by road to the rest of the state. The nearest airport and railway station is at Trivandrum which is located at a distance of 32 kms. From here, there are local transports that can be hired.
Where To Stay: There is no lodging facility within the Sanctuary. But there is a Kerala Water Authority rest house nearby.