The tranquil Aralam Wildlife sanctuary is situated in the southeast part
of Kannur District of Kerala State. Spread over 55 square kilometres,
the sanctuary falls in the Aralam, Kelakam and Kottiyur revenue villages
and is located on the slopes of the Western Ghats contiguous with the
forests of the Kodagu district of Karnataka.
The northern most wildlife sanctuary of Kerala, it comes
under the Wayanad Division. A home to numerous species of birds and animals,
Aralam Sanctuary was established in 1984. The headquarters of the sanctuary
is near Iritty, a small town about 55 kms from Kannur. The sanctuary adjoins
a 3060 hectare Central State Farm at Aralam.
The Altitude ranges from a lower 60 m to a top 1489 m.
Cheenkanni Puzha is the main water source of this sanctuary and the scenic
beauty of Aralam fringing on this river is truly an exhilarting experience
for all nature lovers and photographers. The sanctuary's terrain is rugged
in most places with hillocks. The tallest peak here is Katti Betta, scaling
to a height of 1,145 m. The hilly terrains provide opportunities for trekking
The sanctuary consists of various vegetation zones mainly Tropical
Evergreen Forest, Tropical Semi Evergreen Forest, Hilltop Evergreen Forest,
Moist Deciduous Forest. There are about 490 ha of teak and eucalyptus
plantations within the forest area. Myristica Species, Mesua ferrea, Calophyllum
elatum, Cullenia rosayroona, Magnifera indica, Largestroemia lanceolata,
Toona cillata, Euphorbia Longana, Strobilanthes, Hopea parviflora, Cinnamomum
Zeylanicum, Mechilus macrantha, Xyliaxylocarpa, Mallotus are some other
tree species found in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary has a wide variety of fauna with over 23 Amphibians,
114 Butterflies, 39 Fishes, 23 Mammals and 22 Reptiles. Bonnet macaque,
Bison, The Indian wild boar, Lion tailed macaque, The Indian porcupine,
Hanuman langur Indian pangolin, Nilgiri langur, Common palm civet, Slender
loris, Otter, Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Common mongoose and various types
of squirrels are some of the animals seen here. Around 190 species of
birds, even some species considered extinct, have been found here. Some
of the common birds found in the sanctuary are Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Malabar
Pied Hornbill, Great Pied Hornbill, Ceylon Frogmouth and Broad billed
Eco-tourism is promoted in a big way in Aralam. One of the interesting
ecotourism activities in Aralam is the comprehensive package for trekking
inside the sanctuary such as Adventurous trekking to Ambalappara, Trekking
to Meenmutty falls and Day visit at Aralam Sanctuary. Tents and sleeping
bags are also available and about 6 tourists can be permitted in a package
for 3 days along with 5 Watchers/ Guides. Nature Camps of two types such
as 2 day camps and 3 day camps are also conducted for Students of L.P,
U.P, H.S, College and E.D.C / VSS members and other NGO's involved in
environmental conservation inside the sanctuary. Usually 50-60 camps are
conducted every year. The park opens from 8 am to 4 pm.
Adult Rs.15/-, Children (Below 12 years) -Rs.7/-, Foreigners Rs.150/-,
Vehicle (Heavy) Rs.150/-, Vehicle (Light) Rs.75/-, Vehicle (Others) Rs.20/-,
Guide Rs.150/-, Video / Movie Rs.150/-, Ordinary Camera Rs.25/-.