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Munnar & Surrounding Areas

Munnar is a hill station 125 kms from Kochi to the West. The altitude above 1600 m means an agreeable climate throughout the year, though in December-January the temperatures can fall to the single digits. The rain fall of over 300 cm is recorded mainly during June to September. The shola-grassland eco- system so typical of Munnar is home to large numbers of birds, many of them endemic. Sightings of endemics like the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Pipit, Greyheaded Bulbul, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Broadtailed Grassbird, Crimsonbacked Sunbird, Greybreasted Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Indian Rufous Babbler, Whitebellied Blue Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing, Whitebellied Treepie & the Wyanad Laughing Thrush can be the highlights of a birding trip to Munnar & surroundings.

Scenes from Rajamala (Eravikulam National Park)
Rajamalai at Munnar is one of the bird rich areas  during the Western Ghats Endemic Birding tour by Kalypso Adventures Nilgiri Tahrs sighted during the Western Ghats Endemic Birding tour by Kalypso Adventures
Rajamala (Eravikulam National Park, Munnar) Nilgiri Tahrs at Rajamala(Eravikulam, NP, Munnar)

 

Eravikulam National Park is a plateau at an average height of 2400m, about 30 kms from Munnar, high up in the mountains of Western Ghats. This park was originally established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius), which found its way into the endangered list of animals in the Wildlife schedule. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq. kms of rolling grasslands and high altitude  shola forests. Visitors are permitted in a small enclosure named Rajamala for birding & Nilgiri Tahr watching.

Endemic birds seen at Munnar
Nilgiri Flycatcher sighted  during the Western Ghats Endemic Birding tour by Kalypso Adventures Black & Orange Flycatcher seen during the Western Ghats Endemic Birding tour by Kalypso Adventures Whitebellied Blue Robin seen during the Western Ghats Endemic Birding tour by Kalypso Adventures
Nilgiri Flycatcher Black & Orange Flycatcher Whitebellied Blue Robin

Chinnar is a unique thorny scrub forest in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, about 60 kms from Munnar. The Park is around 90 sq. kms in area and its rugged undulating terrain has held a special fascination for the adventure traveller. It is the second habitat for the Giant Grizzled Squirrel (an endangered species) in India. The altitude varies from 500 to 2400 metres and one can sense the drastic variation in the climate and vegetation, since the gradients are quite steep. The highest peaks are Kottakombumalai (2144 metre), Vellaikal malai (1863m) and Viriyoottu malai (1845 metre). Unlike other forests of Kerala, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during October - November (North - East Monsoons). The forest types comprise thorny scrub forests, dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands.

One can easily sight Large Grey Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, White-naped Woodpecker, Lesser Whitethroat and Jerdon's Baza, Rain Quail, Blue-breasted Quail, Speckled Piculet, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Sirkeer Malkoha, Oriental Scops Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Black Baza, White-rumped Shama, Streak-throated Swallow and Grey-breasted Laughing Thrush.

 

Getting There

Munnar is 135 kms from  Kochi. The National Highway 49 connecting Kochi to Madurai is the main road to Munnar. For those coming from Coimbatore, the drive through the Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary can be a very rewarding experience. From Madurai, take the NH 49 toward Kochi to reach Munnar.

 
Accommodation

Olive Brook
Olive Brook is a small family owned resort that is now one of the most recognized names in Munnar’s hospitality sector. An ideal place for birders, it is located in an 8 acre lush cardamom plantation. They offer excellent dining facilities, highly personalized services, cleanliness at its best and above all, tranquility and comfort to their guests. Enjoy the fresh cardamom scented air, the colorful flowers and dazzling views of the valleys and cliffs from the comfort of your room at Olive Brook.

Tea County
Set on the picturesque Munnar hills, Tea County offers you four star deluxe facilities complemented by impeccable service.

Anaerangal Camp
The Anaerangal Camp is located on the lee side of the  mountains, overlooking the famed Anaerangal Lake. Large cottage tents with en-suite bathrooms cater to birders especially those birding near Bodi Ghats. You also have a range of activities which include treks, plantation walks into the nearby cardamom estate or a walk through the vast tea gardens. Click here for details.

 
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Kalypso Adventures
G 340, Panampilly Nagar
Kochi - 682036, Kerala-India
Tel: +91-484-2092280, 4012700
Mobile: +91-94470-31032
Fax: +91-484-2312627
E-Mail: info@birdskerala.com

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