Grass Jewel, South India’s smallest butterfly and Garuda, the biggest. Ninty seven varieties of fishes, 160 types of plants, a rare variety of Travancore special Java Plum, turles, wild cats, seals… Do you know that you can check out all of them in a single location in Kerala?
Asramam in Kollam, the only Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) in the state, is this scenic spot.
Spanning 50 hectares with a mangrove spread and the Ashtamudi Lake on the side, Asramam is the site of Kerala’s first airport, otherwise known as the Asramam aerodrome and the Government Guest House, a 190 years old colonial structure built by the English. Here's what else you get to see at Asramam:
A number of studies have been done on the mangroves of Asramam. According to them, the area has three species of mangroves, 10 mangrove associates species, 115 species of other plants and nine exotic invasive species of plants.
The mangrove varieties are those retained for ages from the British times. A few decades ago, some of these were axed for a development project, but the rest were preserved following the efforts of environmentalists. The adjacent lake also has 34 fish species. About 62 species of birds frequent the mangrove forest.
The site will soon have a butterfly park too near its old boat club. Apparently, about 60 species of butterflies have been spotted in the area. The authorities are now planting trees and saplings like lemon and pomegranate to attract more butterflies.