In the past the known human inhabitants in the area were the Muduvans, a tribal community. The area falling under the park was a game preserve managed by the High Range Game Preservation Association during the colonial era. The Association was assigned with the task by the former Kanan Devan Hills Produce Company.
The Government of Kerala took over the area in 1971 and declared it a sanctuary in 1975. The park was given the status of national park in 1978. The park is managed by the Department of Forests and Wildlife, Government of Kerala. The Department ensures the participation of the tribal communities in the preservation of the park.