Eravikulam National Park is a 97 km2 national park located along the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala, it is the first national park in Kerala. It is an ideal place for seeing the biodiversity of high elevation shola-grassland ecosystem.
This is the the land of “Neelakurinji”, a flower which blooms once in 12 years. The Park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best of mountain ranges in the Alps. With the highest peak south of the Himalayas – the Anamudi, located here, nature enthusiasts have ample opportunities for trekking expeditions and wildlife spotting.
The park which is also known as Rajamalai National Park was a hunting preserve for the British planters and was owned by Rajamalai and Eravikulam during the Colonial rule and then was forked over to Kannan Deven Hills for tea plantation. Later the area was declared as sanctuary with an objective of protecting the indigenous population of Nilgiri Tahr, most endangered mountain goat when founded in the year 1975 and was then upgraded as the national park in 1978.
Anamudi, the highest peak (2695 m) south of Himalayas, stands majestically in the core area of the national park. The slopes of the hills abound in many kinds of rare flora which include rare terrestrial and epiphytic orchids, and beautiful wild balsams. Important fauna here are the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Langur, leopard, tiger, Indian bison, etc.
The park holds the maximum viable population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr including other little known fauna Nilgiri marten, ruddy mongoose, small clawed otter, dusky striped squirrel etc. Some of the other animals spotted here are Elephant, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri marten, small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard and Nilgiri wood pigeon.
The forests you see here are commonly known as ‘sholas’ – evergreen tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest. You can locate small streams here, which later merge to form tributaries to Periyar and Chalakudy rivers. Lakkom waterfalls are located in this region.
The national park is divided into three areas – the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. In which, the Rajamalai is known to be the tourism area of the park. Here, the tourists are allowed to travel deep into the forest to explore the hidden beauty of the environment around. Private vehicles are not allowed inside. Only few mini buses are allowed inside in order to control the pollution. The trips are organized by the forest department.