Thattekkad located Njiyapilli Hill at a height of 35 - 523 meter is between the two branches of the longest river in Kerala Periyar. Spreads over an area of 25.16 square kilometer Thattekkad is 60 km away from Kochi in the Kothamangalam taluk of Ernakulam and is well known for its sanctuary that houses so many variety of birds and some animals.
Thattekkad, Kerala’s first Bird Sanctuary was notified in 1983. Now renamed as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in honour of the famous Ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Dr. Ali described Thattekkad as one of the finest bird habitat in India. He described Thattekkad as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India in the year 1983.
The drive to Thattekkad along the region of Periyar crossing two forest check posts is an amazing experience. Thattekkad is one of the most wonderful scenic spot in Kerala. The place has a pleasant weather throughout the year.
Places to Visit in Thattekkad
1. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary also named as Salim Ali Bird sanctuary at Thattekad is one of the most important bird sanctuary in India. This is a favorite haunt of bird watchers. The literal meaning of Thattekad is Flat Forest. As the name suggests the region is an evergreen lowland forest located between the branches of Periyar river.
The Edamalayar Forest is located just 15 km from Thattekad Bird sanctuary. This is an evergreen forest located above the Edamalayar River where one can find some birds and animals. Places close to Thattekkad which worth a visit are Edamalayar Dam, Alleppey, Cardamom Hills and Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The bird sanctuary is located on the northern bank of Periyar River and was noted in the year 1983 after recommendation by Dr. Salim Ali. The place consists of evergreen, tropical, semi green and moist forest which is a pleasure to watch. The sanctuary is called as the birder’s Paradise with its rich varied birdlife.
Several species of birds both forest and water birds are found here. Nowadays much of the area of the sanctuary is converted into plantation area for agriculture.
The rest of the area has over 280 species of birds including Crimson throated Barbet, Sunbird, Fairy Bluebird and some varieties of Hornbill family. Some other popular birds in the sanctuary are black winged Kite, the night heron, the grey heron, the bee eater, woodpeckers, the cuckoos, the jungle nightjar etc.
Thattekkad is also famous for its small mammalian population such as Sambhar, shy barking deer, wild boar and bonnet macaques. This bird sanctuary is located along the Pooyamkutty road. The nearest railway station is located at Aluva while the nearest airport is in Kochi. By road, it can be reached by buses from Kothamangalam to Thattekad.
2. Bhoothathankettu Dam
The reservoir and the childrens Park is a famous picnic spot. A 15 km ride from Kothamangalam to Edamalayar takes you to this wonderful place.
Where To Stay in Thattekad
There are two best staying options in Thattekad which are Hornbill Camp and Hornbill Inspection Bungalow. The three storey watchtower, a perfect place for spotting birds also offer accommodation on the top floor. Periyar River Lodge and Kothamangalam Plantation Stay are some other options close to Thattekkad.