During the holidays when you have finally an opportunity to relax and lazing around, that’s the time when all your energies return to you and pushes you to explore new places. And we were no exception in this case. So halting a day at hotel Shalimar Metro for a day and hopping the local market and restaurants, we were finally ready for our next destination Munnar. The main attraction there was the Eravikulam National Park, which had a supreme appeal to me even by watching its wildlife pictures online.
Having an affinity for animals, wildlife sanctuaries have a special place in my heart since my childhood days. Now this likeness has been transferred to my kids, who are also great animal lovers. They were most excited for this trip. Spreading over 97 sq km in the Kannan Devan hills, this wildlife reserve is a sanctuary for the Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered mountain goat of South India. Paying 15/- for tickets for me and my husband and 5/- for our kids, we finally entered into the world of exotic flora and fauna. The place reminded me of the picturesque location featured in the movies. We along with other tourists were taken into the tourism area– Rajmalai, the spot from where we observed the Nilgiri Tahr from the closest proximity.
My husband, who was all set with his Nikon D3300, became busy clicking the endangered species and also our kids who were elated to see them. Being a home to 19 varied amphibians and 26 species covering mammals, the sanctuary had a large reserve of balsams, orchids and the exotic Neelakurunji, which blossoms only once in 12 years. For a change a sign of concentration was visible in my children who did not want to miss any animals, birds and butterflies, which could be seen there. A special attraction for my personal photographer was a bright coloured frog with distinguished characteristics of bright red coloured iris. I was amazed to know that there are more than 130 avian species, which include many endemic species.
We were lucky enough not to visit the place within January to March, which being the calving season of the endangered Nilgiri Tahrs. Spending almost the whole day in the Eravikulam National Park helped us to have the correct start of our journey. Due to the humid climate we felt a little exhausted but were sure enough to have a comfortable time in our next resting place, Thekkady Lake and Palace, Kerala.