ParambikulamTiger Reserve in Palakkad is as mysterious as a riddle. Though it is in Kerala, one has to travel to Tamil Nadu to reach Parambikulam. The dense green forests and the exotic wild life make it a perfect destination for an amazing jungle safari. The Forest Development Authority runs tree top rooms and island cottages for visitors. In the 55 kilometers jungle safari organized by the forest department, you may spot animals like the wild elephant, tiger, bear and deer. The jungle safari package is arranged in such a way that the visitors reach Parambikulam by noon and leave by noon next day.
Lush green paddy fields and the rows of tall date palms at Palakkad give way to mango orchards at Kollangode. The incredibly picturesque Vettaikaranpudur is a favourite location for many film crews. One can reach Parambikulam by taking a left from here. From the Aanapady check post, one could enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the nature all the way to Parambikulam. Deer and antelopes can be seen grazing on both sides of the road. Exquisite peacocks too may make an appearance offering thrilling sights for the visitors.
Forest shows off its diverse faces at Peruvaripallam. From shrubs and meadows, to huge thick skinned trees, the forest offers an array of scintillating sights. The guides appointed by the forest development agency know every nook and corner of the forest and lead the visitors to areas where animals are frequently spotted.
The Civet Valley Resort near the Thunakadavu dam offers clean rooms with all modern facilities at reasonable rates.
The giant teak at Kannimara
The safari van which starts from Aanapady at 3 pm reaches Thunakadavu at 4 pm. The valley near the famed teak garden here is the favourite grazing area of the Sambar deer. If one is lucky enough, one can even spot a tiger which prowls at the sight of the deer. Rows of Indian gaur or wild bison could also be seen here. Mettle road leads to Kannimara which is home to the biggest living teak which is known as the Kannimara teak. The Indian government has honoured this giant teak tree with the ‘mahavriksha’ award. With a base circumference of 7.2 meters and a total height of over 39.98 meters, the Kannimara teak which is 450 years old, is the second largest teak tree in the world.
The stunning view of the Thunakadavu dam and the extensive forest area which covers the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve can be enjoyed from the view point. The visitors are advised not to get out of the van here.
A ride in the dam on rafts made with bamboo is truly a unique experience. Separate seats are made with bamboo for the tourists and the one who rows the raft. The oars too are made with wood. After a half an hour ride in the dam on bamboo rafts, the tourists can enjoy the indigenous dance of the adivasi community at the tiger hall. The tribal women sing songs in their unique language and dance to it. Their songs are accompanied by musical instruments that are also made with bamboo!
Night at the tree house
The nights at Parambikulam are not so chilly. Against the silence of the night, one may hear cries of some animal which is hunted down by a tiger. The bamboo island in the middle of the lake is incredibly beautiful. The quarters made with bamboo and thatched with palm leaves attract hundreds of tourists every year to spend an amazing night here. The bamboo bridge just adds to the charm of the whole structure. These are few of the projects initiated by the forest department to draw more number of tourists to explore the wilderness at the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.
The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is in the Palakkad district, near the border of Tamil Nadu. Four major tribal groups arachar, mala arachar, muthuvar and kaadar dwell within the Parambikulam forest. Nelliampathy and Aanamalai are the nearby forest regions. As per the official records, 40 tigers exist in this Tiger Reserve. Besides tiger, wild animals like leopard, bear, wild elephant, bison, deer, wolf and porcupines could be spotted here.
One can reach Parambikulam by travelling to Vettaikaranpudur in Tamil Nadu from Vadakkancherry via Nenmara and Kollangode. Names of the tourists have to be registered at the check post in Sethumada beyond Vettaikaranpudur. The entry fee for an adult is Rs 23 and it would cost Rs 75 for a vehicle to pass through the check post. From Vettaikaranpudu, it is easy to reach Parambikulam via Top Slip.
The bus which starts from Palakkad at 8 am will reach Parambikulam by 11.30 am. At 1 pm the bus begins its return to Palakkad.
The two and a half hour long safari covers almost 55 kilometers into the forest. The visitors are accompanied by a professional guide. It costs Rs 200 per head for the jungle safari.
There are 4 different types of accommodation facilities available for the visitors. This facility will be provided only for those who have purchased a package. The package includes forest safari from noon to noon next day. These visitors can even go for the safari in their own private vehicles and each group will be provided with the service of a guide.