Spread over 12.82 sq km, the Mathikettan Shola National Park is located 130 km west of Madurai
, in Udumbanchola taluk of the Idukki district in Kerala
. The national park gets its name from the Tamil phrase that literally translates to ‘mind confuser’ and is named so since the locals believe that the once you enter the path leading to the national park, it is forgotten instantly. Situated between many other reserve forests like the Pampadam Shola National Park
and Eravikulam National Park, the Mathikettan Shola National Park was part of the Cardamom Hill Reserve region till it was notified as a national park in 2003.
The region was notified as a national park owing to the unique characteristics of the shola forests and the Mathikettan region being a very important elephant corridor in south India. The national park is a biodiversity hotspot and plays a vital role in safeguarding wildlife in the region. The terrain, difficult to cross, acts as a natural defense in the protection of the animals and protects their natural habitat. Certain parts of the forest are leased out to farms to cultivate cardamom.
The Mathikettan Shola National Park attracts large numbers of adventure seekers with its trails that run through the forests providing amazing views of the region. Watching birds and wildlife in their natural habitat is a popular attraction among trekkers in the national park. A haven for wildlife photographers, they visit the national park and stay for long periods to capture the animals in their natural habitat. The forest is home to beautiful and rare animals like tigers, panthers, wild elephants, giant grizzled squirrel, flying squirrels, spotted deer and Nilgiri tahrs. The park abounds in snakes such asking cobras, pythons, vipers and rat snakes, turtles, crocodiles and lizards. Make sure you wear the appropriate clothing and footwear to safeguard yourself from bites of any kind.
BEST PLACES TO STAY NEAR MATHIKETTAN SHOLA NATIONAL PARK
While there are no accommodation options within the national park, Poopara has several guest houses and camp sites in. Madurai offers a wide variety of accommodation options as well.
BEST PLACES TO EAT NEAR MATHIKETTAN SHOLA NATIONAL PARK
The national park does not have any eateries and it is advisable to carry your own food and water for the duration of your visit.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Mathikettan Shola National Park is as given below. The best time to visit Mathikettan Shola National Park is also specified.