The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve in Kerala's Palakkad district is a virtually paradise of amazing sights. Parambikulam dam and the surrounding forest and wildlife will never cease to mesmerise tourists. The 643.66 sq km region around the dam is home to rare flora and fauna.
Though located in Kerala, this tiger reserve can be accessed only through Tamil Nadu. The tourists can reach Parambikulam, situated at Muthalamada Panchayat in Palakkad, via Sethumadai in Tamil Nadu.
Wildlife of Parambikulam
As per the latest estimates, there are 28 tigers at the reserve. Apart from tigers, elephant, leopard, lion-tailed macaque, peacock, spotted deer, sambar deer, bison, porcupine, and Nilgiri tahr are part of this reserve. Rare plant species, various types of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and butterflies can also be spotted here. A rare type of frogs known as Parambikulam Chilappan can be seen only at this Palakkad reserve.
Kannimara Teak in Parambikulam is considered to be one of largest teaks in Asia. During the reign of the British, a tramway was constructed to take the teak to Chalakudy in Thrissur from Parambikulam. The remains of the tramway tracks can be seen here even today.
The Parambikulam dam, which is part of the Parambikulam-Aliyar project, is situated here. Both Kerala and Tamil Nadu share water from the dam.
Tourists can opt for a ride on the bamboo rafts at Parambikulam reservoir.
The nearby Thunakkadavu and Peruvaripallam Dams are also interesting spots to explore.
There are also nearby shops from where you can buy forest produce and souvenirs of Parambikulam.
Get to know the forest
The forest department has made all safety arrangements for the tourists to enjoy the forests and observe wildlife. A jungle safari, trekking, and camps, too, have been set up.
Guides from local tribal communities would be part of the ride into the forest.
The safari on the forest department's vehicle will extend up to 3.5 hours. For overnight stay, the forest department would provide tent, or tree huts or honeycomb complexes. The packages are inclusive of food. However, there are no private accommodations within the reserve. For booking accommodation at the reserve, check http://www.parambikulam.org/
On board the KSRTC
You can enrich your forest experience by taking a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus to Parambikulam Reserve. The ride up to the reserve on the bus in itself would be a good experience. The transport corporation of the Tamil Nadu government, too, conduct services.
You can opt for the 8.15 am bus from Palakkad and it would return from Parambikulam at 12.30 pm. However, confirm the bus timings, before fixing your itinerary. For details on bus services, call 0491 2520098
How to reach
By road: From Palakkad, take the Puthunagaram-Meenakshipuram road to reach the Ambarampalayam Sunkam. Head to Sethumadai and cross the Tamil Nadu check post. From there pass through the Anamalai Tiger Reserve and catch a glimpse of the Topslip hill station to reach Parambikulam. Those taking their private vehicle, would have to give toll at the check post.
The distance from Palakkad to Parambikulam is 91 km, a 2.5-hour journey on road.
If you are coming from Thrissur, take the Wadakkanchery-Nemara-Kollengode-Govindapuram route to reach Ambarampalayam and then the Sethumadai.
Nearest railway station: Pollachi and Palakkad junction
Nearest airport: Coimbatore International Airport