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Inside Kerala Forest -Pampadum Shola,Munnar














     Photography: Devaraj Devan 

How to Reach
Road: Pampadum Shola is nearly 35 Km from Munnar town and can be reached from Kochi ( 135 Km), and Kottayam (148 Mk) by Road. The Kochi - Kodaikanal highway passes through this National Park.
Air: The Park is accessible from Cochin (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) airports, which are located at about 170 Km and 160 Km respectively.
Rail: The nearest railway station in Kerala is Aluva (180 Km) and Udumalpet (110 Km) in Tamil Nadu.

CLIMATE

            Enjoys misty and cloudy climate throughout the year. Months from April to September have pleasant climate and is the most popular time for tourism in this area. The coldest months are December and January when the minimum temperature inside forests fall up to 6°C even at lower elevations. The temperature varies with a minimum of 6°C (December) to a maximum of 30°C (April). There are 4-5 dry months spanning between December and March. Due to the location situated near to the Tamil Nadu State, Pampadum Shola Forests receive heavy rain in the North-East monsoon also.

TOPOGRAPHY

            The terrain is undulating with hillocks of varying heights. The altitudes range between 1600-2400 m. The forest is seen as a continuous patch from 1600 m up to 2000 m, above which grasslands prevails with small forest patches distributed among them.

VEGETATION

             The National Park offers a wide range of habitat types to the flora and fauna. 22 Species of trees, 74 species of herbs and shrubs, 16 species of climbers.

WILDLIFE POPULATION

         The fauna includes several   threatened, rare or endemic species. The numbers of rare and endemic species found were high when the extent of Shola forest is taken into consideration. The species Parantica nilgiriensis (Nymphalidae) which is restricted to some hills of South India and listed as threatened by IUCN was recorded to be highly abundant in the area. Besides this, other rare species include Libythea lepita, Pantoporia ranga, Rohana pariasatis, Zipoetis saintis and Jamides dalecto. There are about 14 species of birds, 9 species of mammals, 100 species of butterflies and 93 species of moths recorded from the Shola. The important animals found in the Park are elephant, gaur, leopard, wild boar, sambar and common langur.


ECOTOURISM

            The clear blue sky, clean air, stretch of green meadows and thick foliage teeming with flora and fauna makes it a dream destination for tourists. All the Eco-tourism activities are organized jointly by the Forest Department and the Eco-development Committees (EDCs) of the local tribals. The activities are designed to offer a wide spectrum of wilderness opportunities to the visitors and to provide means of sustainable livelihood for local communities.


            An adventure trekking option through the Munnar - Kodaikanal forest road to the Watch Tower at Vandaravu is available and is named as Nature Trail to the Watch Tower.

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