If a birdwatcher dies and is told that he can spend the rest of his time on a paradise he chooses on earth, he might pick a beautiful spot on earth named Thattekkad. The name signifies a flat piece of wooded land. What an understatement for such a magical piece of earth!
The exhilarating joys of being in the birds' own country have to be experienced right from early morning. You will be woken up from your sleep by a birdsong. Soon you will be dunked deep in avian ecstasy. The hangover of all those screeches and distant hoots of night birds still linger in your mind with all its eeriness, but this mellifluous morning chorus will wash everything off.
Salim Ali and Thattekkad
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary with barely 25 square kilometers, which is the first bird sanctuary of Kerala, is also one of the most popular ones in the country. Thanks to the world-renowned ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali, the legendary ‘Bird man of India’, who during his Travancore - Cochin ornithological survey found to his pleasant surprise this patch of evergreen lowland forest on the banks of Periyar. He declared it as one of the wealthiest woodlands in the country in terms of the variety of birds. Once Salim Ali recorded its importance as a hotspot for its bird diversity, as rich as the eastern Himalayas, and recommended the authorities to protect it with adequate measures, Thattekkadwas was declared as a Bird Sanctuary. Thousands of bird lovers have begun to flock towards the place since then.
Though his chase after an elusive bird, that the tribals told him to exist in the region, was futile, he had already discovered the presence of hundreds of many other bird species in the region during his expeditions. Today the sanctuary is known after his name.
Thattekkad is located about 12 kms away from Kothamangalam