Location: Kannur District, Kerala
Nearest Access: Thalasseri
Coverage Area: 55-sq-kms
Aralam wildlife sanctuary is situated in the Northwest slopes of Western Ghats connecting with the forests of Coorg (Kodagu) district of Karnataka states. Aralam is a village in Thalasseri. It is located in southeast part of Kannur District.
Aralam wildlife sanctuary is one of the smallest sanctuaries in Kerala. Its total area is just 55 sq. km. The headquarters of the sanctuary is near Iritty which is a small town located about 55kms from Kannur. The topmost peak here is Katti Betta which rises to a height of 1145m above sea level.
Aralam wildlife sanctuary is established in 1984, by carving the areas of Odanthode Malavaram of Thalasseri. Earlier it was a private forest which was now taken over by Government as per the provisions of the Kerala Private Forests (Vesting and assignment) Act, 1971. Vegetation in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Wide varieties of plants found in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. Coast tropical evergreen and west coast semi evergreen forests are prominently seen in the sanctuary. There are about 490 hectares of teak and eucalyptus plantations in the forest area.
Evergreen area consists of vellapine (vateria indica), Mesua ferrea, Mechilus macrantha, Calophyllum elatum, Cullenia rosayroona, Magnifera indica, Toona cillata, Myristica Species, Euphorbia Longana, and Strobilanthes. In semi evergreen area Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Hopea parviflora, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Xylia xylocarpa, Mallotus, Philippines’s trees are commonly found.
Central State farm started by Government of India in 1971 for producing crossbred coconut seeds which increases the prominence of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. It covers the area of 3060 hectares. This is one of the key production centers of hybrid coconut seeds in the country Wildlife in Aralam wildlife Sanctuary
In Aralam wildlife Sanctuary about 23 species of mammals, 188 species of birds and 22 species of reptiles were seen. 16 species of amphibians and 39 species of fishes are also spotted here. The wild animals found in Sanctuary are Elephant, Bison, Sambar, Deer, Boar, Sloth Bear and different types of squirrel. Leopards, Tigers and other Wild Cats are also available but seen rarely. Birds like Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Blue Winged Parakeet, Ceylon Frogmouth, Broad Billed Roller and Nilgiri, Wood Pigeon are also the main attraction for the visitors. In reptiles, King Cobra makes the Aralam visit more thrilling.
Special Attraction to Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
An overnight stay in the forest watchtower gives a great experience to the visitors for spotting the wildlife in the Sanctuary.
The Meenmutty Waterfall near the watchtower is the perfect place to relax. Trekking from Valayanchat to Meenmutty covering the distance of about 14 km also provide great experiences in the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary.
The calm Aralam River is nearby from the Sanctuary. It is the ultimate picnic spot. Chavachi Waterfalls and Ambalapara peak is also a one of the tourist attraction in Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary.
Best time to visit Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary:
Best time to visit Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is October to June. In Aralam the temperature at foothills varies from 21 degree C to 40 degree C and at the higher reaches from 8 degree C to 25 degree C. Rainy season here starts from June to August measuring around 3000 mm. To see 172 different types of butterflies’ tourist must plan their visit during November and December.
Visiting timings: 8 am to 4 pm.
How to reach Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary:
By Air: The nearest airport for Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is Kozhikode which is about 113 kms from Iritty and 71 kms from Thalasseri.
By Rail: The nearest railway station for Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is Thalasseri about 45 kms.
By Road: One can reach the Aralam Sanctuary by road from Thalasseri about 45 kms. and Kannur about 45 kms.