Eravikulam National Park
Spread across 97sq km in the Idukki district, Eravikulam National Park is rich in grasslands. Streams dissect the hills almost poetically and the wild flowers that grow here are any botanist’s dream. This national park is a wonderful site to study the biodiversity’ typical to a shola-grassland ecosystem. Shola in Tamil means ‘forest’, pockets of which are found scattered on these grasslands. The main attraction here though is the Nilgiri tahr, an endangered mountain goat.
Tourists also come looking for Neelakurinji, a purple-blue shrub which blooms abundantly once in 12 years and drapes the Nilgiri hills in their trademark colour. Besides the Nilgiri tahr, the park is home to creatures like Nilgiri langur, Indian bison, leopard, etc. The nearest airport is at Kochi (21km), from where one can drive to Munnar; in turn connected with the park by a state road. The tourism zone starts from the Rajamallay checkpost and is open throughout the year except for a short period between January and March.