If you want to see wildlife in its natural habitat amid thriving green forests, then pack your bags and head straight to Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary in Wayanad district. Located 20 km northeast of Mananthavady on Kodagu Road, the sanctuary is one of the best places in Kerala to view bountiful flora and fauna at home.
Tholpetty is part of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, which is the second-largest in the state after the Periyar sanctuary. Tholpetty in the north is one of the two discontinuous pockets of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary; the other being Muthanga in the south. Established in 1973, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses an area of around 345 sq. km.
Tholpetty forests consist of both tropical moist dry deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. Plantations of teak, eucalyptus, silver oak and rosewood cover about one-third of the sanctuary. It is a must-visit for those who love to see wild animals. Elephants, tigers, panthers, jungle cats, civet cats, monkeys, wild dogs, bison, deer, bears and snakes can be spotted in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is also a birdwatchers' paradise: peacocks, babblers, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers, jungle fowls, butterflies and vultures are some of the avian beauties spotted in the area. A lake where animals come down for a drink, and a watchtower are the ones you shouldn’t miss.
One of the best ways to explore the wildlife and the forest at Tholpetty is through a jeep safari conducted by the Forest Department. Organized twice a day, the jeep safari lets you spot wild animals and birds up close in their natural habitat.
Kuruva Dweep, Thirunelly Temple, Chembra Peak, Wayanad Heritage Museum, Edakkal Caves and Thrissilery Shiva Temple are some of the tourist destinations near the sanctuary.
To have a preview of the jeep safari at the sanctuary, check https://youtu.be/NNUaugry7bU
Asst. Wildlife Warden
Ph: +91 4935 250853
Nearest railway station: Thalassery, about 60 km
Nearest airport: Kannur International Airport, about 90 km | Calicut International Airport, about 135 km