Situated on the western slopes of the Western Ghats, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary holds the distinction of being the northernmost in Kerala, established in 1984. Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary shares borders with Wayanad-Brahmagiri, encompassing Wayanad’s northern slopes, as well as connecting with the Protected Areas of Karnataka State, including the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and the forests of Coorg. The sanctuary’s highest peak is Katti Betta, and it stands as the sole protected area representing the West Coast Tropical Evergreen Forest of Dipterocarpus-Mesua-Palaquium type.
Spanning across 55 square kilometers within the forested expanse of the Western Ghats, the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary distinguishes itself as a top-tier reserve in Kerala. With its rich variety of flora and fauna, it serves as a captivating sanctuary nestled in the picturesque terrain of Kannur district. Covered by tropical and semi-evergreen forests, the entire area unfolds as a genuinely enchanting spectacle.
In this region, one can catch a sight of elephant herds, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, Nilgiri Langur, Hanuman Langur, and the Malabar Giant Squirrel. The area is well-known for its varied butterfly species, several of which are unique to the Western Ghats. The serene forest provides ample trekking opportunities.
Aralam village is home to the well-known Central State Farm, initiated by the Government of India in 1971. This farm plays a crucial role as a central production center for hybrid coconut seeds in the country. A visit to the sanctuary would be incomplete without experiencing the awe-inspiring Katti Betta, the tallest peak in the region, soaring to a height of 1145 meters.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary Trekking
While the main draw at the sanctuary is a day visit, there are also enticing trekking opportunities like the Ambalappara trek and the Meenmutty falls trek. The Ambalappara trek extends over three days, featuring an overnight stay at the Ambalappara watchtower. Conversely, the Meenmutty trek is a one-day package that involves a jeep ride to the waterfalls with the guidance of a tour guide.
Exploring Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
The closest railway station to Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary is Thalassery, approximately 55 km away. The nearest airports are Kannur International Airport, situated about 40 km away, and Calicut International Airport, approximately 96 km from Thalassery town.
For additional information on Aralam Trekking
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary Contact Details
The Wildlife Warden, Aralam Wildlife Division, Iritty P.O, Kannur
Phone: +91 490 2493160, 9447979101
Resting in the captivating cradle of the Western Ghats within Kerala’s Kannur district, stretches out a lush expanse bustling with a variety of wildlife. The Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, embellished with numerous bird species, unique trees, and rare medicinal flora and fauna, proudly stands as a bastion of biodiversity.
To reach the sanctuary, one journeys through the lush Aralam Farm, filled with swaying coconut palms, cashew nut groves, and diverse plantations. Recognized as a key production center for hybrid coconut seeds in the country, it provides a vibrant and verdant pathway to the sanctuary.
Embark on a journey deep into the enchanting Aralam woods, and return with captivating tales and photographs showcasing the vibrant flora and fauna. Patience during your observations will reveal surprising sights, from the rare Malabar Pied Hornbill to the exquisite Scarlet Minivet. This paradise for bird watchers provides an opportunity to spot a diverse array of avian wonders, such as Mountain Pigeons, Flame Throated Bulbul, Imperial Pigeons, Asian Fairy Bluebirds, White-bellied Treepie, Indian Black-lored Tit, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Barbets, Southern Hill Myna, Orioles, and more.
Spanning over 55 square kilometers, this vast landscape is meticulously conserved and protected by the Department of Forest. Offering a variety of trekking and Jeep ride services, the department guides visitors to the enchanting Meenmutty Waterfalls. The lavish cascade, set amid lush green surroundings, serves as the crowning jewel of your expedition. Along the journey to the falls, you’ll have the chance to stop at the Pothenplavu watchtower, providing an opportunity to admire a breathtaking aerial panorama of the preserved forests and the Western Ghats.
Aralam functions as a haven for butterflies, housing an impressive array of around 250 diverse species. To experience the captivating migration of these delicate creatures, schedule your visit between late December and early February. As you journey through the woods, anticipate enchanting pauses as the wings of the Giant Orange Dip, Common Albatross, Buddha Peacock Butterfly, Papilio Paris Butterfly, and the majestic Southern Birdwing—the largest butterfly in South India—gracefully flutter in your midst.
The diverse wildlife in Aralam comprises elephants, tigers, gaurs, Malabar giant squirrels, sambars, barking deer, Nilgiri langurs, and Hanuman langurs. Additionally, Aralam stands out as an excellent location for the exploration and study of various frog species and reptiles.
Situated on the western slopes of the Western Ghats, Aralam stands as the northernmost wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.
Location : 75º 47’and 75º57’ East Longitude and 11º 54’ and 11º59’ North Latitud
Area : 55 sq. km.
Year of formation : Declared a Sanctury during 1984 (GO(P)300/84/AD/15.10.1984)
Climate : Temperature varies from 110C to 400ºC
Topography : Altitude ranging from 650 to 1150m.
Rainfall : Rainfall varies from 3700 to 5000mm.
Drainage : Cheenkannipuzha serves as the main drainage system on the southern side. Originating from the northern upper reaches, Narikkadavu thodu, Kurukkathodu, and Meenumuttithodu flow southward and unite with Cheenkannipuzha.
Forest Types: The forest classifications comprise West Coast tropical evergreen forests, West Coast semi-evergreen forests, South Indian moist deciduous forests, Southern hilltop evergreen forests, and assorted plantations.
Biodiversity: The primary tree species include Artocarpus heterophyllus, Bischofia javanica, Calophyllum elatum, Cannarium strictum, Cullenia exarillita, Dipterocarpus sp, Drypetes elata, Dysoxylum malabaricum, Elaeocarpus tuberculatus, Holigarna arnottiana, Mesua ferrea, Palanquium ellipticum, Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia latifolia, Grewia tiliaefolia, Terminalia sp, and others.
The sanctuary is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including 23 mammal species, 188 bird species, 22 reptile species, 16 amphibian species, and 39 fish species. Among the prominent mammals found in the area are elephants, gaurs, tigers, panthers, sambar deer, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boars, sloth bears, Nilgiri langurs, bonnet macaques, common langurs, wild dogs, common otters, and Malabar giant squirrels.
Best season to visit: November to May
Closure period: Open throughout the year
Special Attractions: Trekking in the sanctuary.