Home to over half of the population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary.The sanctuary is located in Idukki district of Kerala about 15 km away from the popular hill station, Munnar.
The sanctuary is the natural habitat of Nilgiri Tahr, a mountain goat with short prickly fur and broad build. Both male and female Nilgiri Tahrs have curved horns but the males are bigger in size and have a darker colour of fur as compared to a female Nilgiri Tahr. An adult Nilgiri Tahr develops a light gray area on their fur which is why they are also known as ‘saddlebacks’. It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
The Nilgiri Tahr has been estimated to number 1317. Only few herds of the mountain goats remain in the Eravikulam and Rajmala reserves. A small herd of the mountain goats also exists at Ponmudi near Thiruvananthapuram.
The sanctuary is a good place to soak in the scenic views of the Rajmala Hills and unwind. If you seek adventure, you can undertake mountain trekking, rock climbing and rappelling on the outskirts of the sanctuary. The core area is off bounds to tourists and visited only by forest officials for census and research purposes.
It is advisable to hire a trained local guide when trekking through the densely covered areas of the forest as it is easy to get lost. A visit to the Pothundy Dam is a must when visiting Rajmala Wildlife Sanctuary. Boating is popular with tourists and the area near the boating place is a good place to have a picnic too.
The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The region of the Rajmala Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich vegetation of shrubs, herbs, climbers and trees making it a haven for nature lovers and photographers.
Besides, the Nilgiri Tahr population, there are many other animals and reptiles that can be spotted in the region like tigers, panthers, elephants, deers and gaurs.
The region experiences moderate climate throughout the year.Carry food and water when visiting the sanctuary.There is a guesthouse near the entrance of the sanctuary which needs to be booked in advance. Accommodation options in Munnar are aplenty, one can choose from luxury, budget, economy and resorts at Munnar. Homestays are another option to stay in Munnar.The Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary can be visited throughout the year but the best time to visit is between the months of August and May.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Munnar is as given below. The best time to visit Munnar is also specified.