Pampadam Shola National Park is the smallest national park of Kerala, located 35 km from Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala. Pampadam Shola National Park comes under the Anamalai sub-cluster of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is being considered for World Heritage Site status.
Spread over 11.753 sq km, Pampadum was declared a national park by Government of Kerala in December 2003 after acknowledging the ecological, faunal, floral, geographical and zoological importance of the park.
The name of the park means ‘the forest where snakes dance’. The name is derived from three Tamil words, ‘Pamb’ means ‘snake’, ‘adum’ means ‘dance’, ‘Shola’ means ‘forest’.
In terms of vegetation, the national park consists of wide range of habitat types. There are 22 species of trees, 74 species of herbs, shrubs and 16 spices of climbers. The rugged terrain of the park is covered with west coast tropical evergreen and southern hilltop tropical vegetation found at higher altitudes.
The national park houses several threatened and endemic species. The main attraction of the park is the Nilgiri marten, which is highly endangered and endemic small carnivore. Altogether there are nine spices of mammals, 14 species of birds, 93 species of moths and 100 species of butterflies.
Among the animals, elephant, leopard, barking deer, wild boar, Indian wild dogs and langurs are seen. One can also see birds like blue rock-thrush, blue-capped rock-thrush and pied kingfisher. There are also reptilian fauna like cobra and pythons.
The Forest Department and Eco-development Committees comprising local tribal community organizes eco-tourism activities. The activities are organized to provide means of sustainable livelihood for local communities while promoting tourism. Adventure trekking activity is conducted by the forest department from Munnar-Kodaikanal forest road to the watch tower at Vandaravu.
There are no accommodation options in the park but one can find log houses at Kuttikadu and Nedavarpu. One can also opt to stay at Munnar, which is located 35 km from the park. There are many budget, mid-range, luxury hotels and resorts in Munnar. There are no places to eat in the park. It is advisable to carry food hamper and water.
The best time to visit the park is during the months of December to April. As during these months the climate remains pleasant.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MUNNAR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Munnar is as given below. The best time to visit Munnar is also specified.