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The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary universally known as the Thattekad Sanctuary is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar River . Close to Munnar along the lower reaches of the Western Ghats , the sanctuary magnetizes nature enthusiast’s chiefly bird watchers in hordes. Thattekad was developed due to the persistent labors of India 's birdman Dr Salim Ali. The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a proposal made by Dr. Salim Ali many years earlier. Dr. Ali portrayed Thattekad in the 1930's as the richest bird haunt in peninsular India . Ever since then much of the woodland has been preoccupied for cultivation -teak and mahogany plantation but what endures gives an indication of the unique bird multiplicity of the once prevalent lowland forests of Kerala.

How To Reach :

The sanctuary is 13 km north-east of Kothamangalam along the Pooyamkutti road. The nearest railway station is Aluva at a distance of 48 km. Kochi ; the new airport at Nedumbassery is probably the closest. Kothamangalam is well linked by privately functioning buses to Ernakulam via Muvattupuzha or Perumbavoor. There are recurrent buses from Kothamangalam to Thattekad. Construction of the bridge across the Periyar River has been recently completed.


There is a three storied watch tower within the Sanctuary with two beds, a toilet and a kitchen. Here there no electricity but there are a few solar powered lamps. A forest department inspection bungalow called “Hornbill” is sited near the sanctuary entrance. There is a dormitory just inside the sanctuary which is perfect for large groups. Accommodation is also available at the PWD rest house near the Bhoothathankett Dam and in lodges in Kothamangalam.


Tropical evergreen forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests and tropical deciduous forests create this sanctuary. The entire milieu is made delightful by the melodic high pitch notes of assorted attractive birds. It is so much calming and soothing that you will love to come here again & again. The exceptional backdrop amid the tuneful notes is the exact situate to unwind.

Around 210 species of birds have been recognized here so far. Birds like - Indian Roller, Cuckoo, Common snipe, Crow pheasant, Jungle Nightjar, Kite, Grey Drongo, Malabar Trogon, Woodpecker, Large pied wagtail, Baya sparrow, Grey jungle fowl, Indian hill myna, Robin, Jungle babbler and darter are found here. Crimson-throated Barbet, Bee-eater, Sun bird, Shrike, Fairy blue bird, Grey-headed fishing eagle, Black winged kite, Night heron, Grey heron, Common Grey Hornbill and Malabar Hornbill are among some of the rarer birds that are found here. In addition the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary also accommodates mammals like - Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Porcupine.

Boat Cruise :

Although lately established Thattekad is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in South India . A boat cruise from Bhoothathankettu to Thattekad is a cherished experience through the evergreen forests nesting migrant and native birds.


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