Parambikulam is the best option if you love to spend your holidays close to nature. The place is a virgin beauty devoid of human interference with lots of engaging sights and activities. It will surely cool you off. Located in the Palakkad district in Kerala, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is a busy tourist destination. Visitors from all parts of India come here to enjoy the unique beauty. It spreads over 391 square kilometers.
Attractions in the wonderland
The reserve forest is home to many varieties of animals and plants. You can see Bengal tiger, Indian Leopard, Sloth Bears, Travancore Flying Squirrel, Elephant, Malabar Pit Viper, Tortoise, Mugger Crocodile and so on. You can also find 47 species of fishes, 268 species of birds, 221 species of butterflies, and 23 types of amphibians in the reserve forest.
The area is also famous for Kannimara Teak, which is considered one of the largest teaks in Asia. Parambikulam dam, part of the Parambikulam-Aliyar project is also a tourist attraction. The area is home to four tribes of indigenous people including Kadar, Malasar, Muduvar, and Mala Malasar.
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve allows tourism activities in the buffer zone avoiding the core areas. Activities like trekking, bamboo rafting, and camping make it a favorite location for tourists.
Tips to make your visit comfortable
Great care is taken by the forest department to conduct tourism activities without disturbing the forest life. There are strict rules to regulate the tourists coming into the reserve forest. The slightest deviation from the rules can cause discomfort to the wildlife.
Apart from the regulations, if you can follow some tips while on your trip, it will be safer and more enjoyable. The following are the five important points to keep in mind while you are on a trip to Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
1. Do not use flash while taking photographs
The first rule while going on a trekking trip is not to attract the attention of wild animals. They may not like you intruding into their solitude. Sudden flashes or loud sounds can disturb them. Especially the elephants and buffaloes present the risk of turning violent. So take care not to use a flash if you are planning on taking photographs. It would also be advisable to remain quiet while you are trekking. Else you may scare the animals away and you won’t be able to see them.
2. Get back before dark
The forest officers make it abundantly clear that you should return to the place of stay before 6 PM in the evening. The jungle changes once the sun goes down and there are many dangers lurking in the dark. It is not safe anymore to roam around. You can get lost or find yourself in front of an unfriendly beast. Even if you are camping, make sure to reach the safety of your tent before 6. The tour guide with you will instruct you on such details. Take care to follow his advice.
3. Alcohol and tobacco are a big no-no
The reserve forest has a strict policy against beverages. You are not allowed to bring in booze or smokes to the area. The littered bottles and packets can cause harm to the animals. It is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol before trekking. It can result in dehydration. Also, you need all your faculties to be sharp while on the trip. Moreover, if you feel any discomfort, your day will be ruined. Not to mention that of others with you.
4. Put out that fire
Though campfires are an integral part of a trekking trip, it is not allowed in Parambikulam. In the thick forest, the risk of forest fire is high. Fires can quickly escalate and cause damage to the flora and fauna. There was such an incident in April 2007 which destroyed hundreds of acres of forest land. The smoke caused by the campfire is another factor. The different kinds of birds in the sanctuary are most affected due to it. Animals also are less resilient to smoke compared to humans.
5. Dress to the occasion
Wear light-colored clothes on your trekking trip – preferably light green or brown shades. Dark and contrasting colors can upset the wildlife. Make sure to wear the right footwear too. Hiking shoes are the best if you own one. Normal ones will also do the trick. But cleaning it afterward is not an easy task. It can rain quite heavily in the area and so you have to be prepared for that. A raincoat is preferred over an umbrella as the former provides you with much more freedom of movement.