Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the Western Ghats of southern India, is a pristine and biodiverse region located about 30 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. This sanctuary, with its serene dam, lush forests, and rich wildlife, offers nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of Kerala’s natural landscapes. In this article, we will explore the Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary, its attractions, and why it’s a must-visit destination for eco-tourism in Kerala.
Location and Geography
Neyyar Dam is located in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala and is easily accessible from the city. The sanctuary is spread over an area of approximately 128 square kilometers, encompassing a range of ecosystems, including evergreen and deciduous forests, grasslands, and freshwater bodies.
Attractions and Activities
- Neyyar Dam: The dam itself is a significant attraction and a beautiful reservoir created by damming the Neyyar River. The surrounding landscape is dotted with picturesque hills, making it an ideal place for a leisurely boat ride. The dam area is also a popular spot for picnics and relaxation.
- Boating: Visitors can enjoy boat rides on the Neyyar Dam. The boat rides offer a unique perspective of the surrounding forests and hills. You can choose from speedboat rides or serene pedal boat rides.
- Deer Park: The sanctuary houses a Deer Park, where you can observe various deer species in a semi-natural environment. It’s a great place for animal enthusiasts and photographers.
- Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Center: Neyyar Dam is home to a Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Center, which plays a crucial role in conserving and rehabilitating crocodiles. You can learn about the conservation efforts and observe these fascinating reptiles from a safe distance.
- Lion Safari Park: The sanctuary also has a Lion Safari Park, where you can catch a glimpse of Asiatic lions. The park aims to support the conservation of these endangered big cats.
- Hiking and Trekking: Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary offers several trekking and hiking trails for adventure enthusiasts. Exploring these trails allows you to immerse yourself in the lush greenery and spot various flora and fauna.
- Agasthyakoodam: The sanctuary is a gateway to the Agasthyakoodam Biosphere Reserve, one of the region’s most iconic trekking destinations. Agasthyakoodam is the second-highest peak in Kerala and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
- Butterfly Park: Neyyar Dam is also home to a Butterfly Park, where you can observe a diverse range of butterfly species in a natural setting.
Wildlife and Biodiversity
Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary are rich in biodiversity and house a variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, wild boars, sambar deer, barking deer, and more. The sanctuary is also a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous bird species inhabiting the region.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary is during the post-monsoon season, from September to February, when the weather is cool and comfortable for outdoor activities. The sanctuary is closed during the monsoon season (June to August).
- Entry Fees: There is a nominal entry fee to access the sanctuary, and additional fees may apply for specific activities and safaris.
- Guided Tours: Consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the sanctuary’s wildlife, flora, and conservation efforts.
- Respect Wildlife: While observing wildlife, maintain a safe distance and avoid disturbing the animals.
- Pack Essentials: Bring essentials like water, snacks, insect repellent, and comfortable walking shoes when exploring the sanctuary.
Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, wildlife conservation, and outdoor activities in the heart of Kerala. Whether you’re cruising on Neyyar Dam, trekking in the lush forests, or observing wildlife in their natural habitat, Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary provide a rejuvenating escape into Kerala’s wilderness, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.