Mathikettan Shola National Park, Kerala, India

Nestled in the Poopara Village, in the Idukki District of Kerala, Mathikettan Shola National Park was created to preserve the rich biodiversity and wildlife of the region. The park covers an area of about 12.82 sq km.

About the park
The park was declared a Reserve Woodland in 1987 by the Travancore Government. However, it was deemed a national park in the year 2003. The park is an integral part of the Elephant Corridor. Moreover, the area within the park has been referred to as Cardamom Hill Reserve. The name of the park (Mathikettan) in Tamil means mind 'confuser'.

Major vegetation covers of Mathikettan Shola National Park are west coast semi evergreen forests, west coast tropical evergreen forests, grasslands, moist deciduous forests and shola forests. Important trees of the region include Syzygium Gardneri, Bhesa Indica, Chionanthus Ramiflorus, Callophyllum Austro-Indicum, Callophyllum Austro-Indicum, etc.

The important animal species of the park include Tiger, Elephant, Panther, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Gaur, Sambar, Indian Bison, Nilgiri Tahr, Hanuman Langur, Flying Squirrels, Sloth Bear, Endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel, etc. The reptile species of the reserve include Vipers, Cobras, King Cobras, Rat Snakes, Crocodiles, Pythons, Turtles and different types of lizards. The park is also home to different colourful butterflies.
How to get there
Cochin International Airport and Madurai Airport are the nearest airports to the park. Kottayam Railway Station is the closest rail head. Madurai Bus Stand and Kochi Bus stand are the chief bus stand and are located about 120 km and 130 km away respectively from the park. Nedumkandam and Munnar are nearest towns.

General tips
No lodging facilities are available inside the park area. However, some camping sites and guest houses are available at Madurai and Poopara village. The nearest places of tourist interest are Pampadum Shola National Park and the Eravikulam National Park.
Tourist information
Mathikettan Shola National Park, Kochi - Dhanushkodi Rd, Kerala - 685619, India.
Ideal time to visit: October to February
Visiting hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; Monday to Friday
Closed: Sunday & Saturday

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