Situated in 'Gods own country', Kerala, Thattekad at a height of 35-523 m is 60 km away from Kochi. It is located between two branches of the longest river in Kerala, the Periyar. The area is spread over 25.16 km. It is situated in the Kothamangalam taluk of Ernakulam and is known for its sanctuary that has a host of birds and some animals.
Thattekad is located on the Njiyapilli hill and is well known for the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. This was named after the great ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali. He conducted a survey and found that this area attracted the highest number of birds in India.
He recommended that it be turned into a sanctuary in the early 1930s. Owing to his suggestion, the sanctuary was established in the year 1983 by the Kerala Government that maintains the sanctuary.
Thattekad bird sanctuary has about 280 odd species of water and land birds. The most popular birds in the sanctuary include that of the crimson throated Barbet, black winged Kite, the night heron, the grey heron, the sun bird, the bee eater, woodpeckers, the cuckoos, the jungle nightjar and many others. There are animals in the vicinity too like elephants, leopards, sloths and other mammals.
The sanctuary can be entered only with guides who can also help with getting permits. Guides are available at around INR1000 per day. Accommodation is available within the sanctuary, in the form of a watch tower which has two beds, a toilet and a kitchen. In addition, there is also a dormitory and a Forest Department inspection bungalow. More information regarding the sanctuary and accommodation can be obtained by contacting:
The Wildlife Warden,
Idukki Wildlife Division,
Vellappara, Painavu P.O. Idukki District 685603
Tele: 0486 232271
The Assistant Wildlife Warden,
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Njayapilli P.O., Kothamangalam,
Tele: 0485 588302
Thattekad can be reached by first reaching the nearest airport or railway station. The nearest airport is at Nedumbassery and also Kochi and the nearest railway station is at Aluva. By road, it can be reached by buses that ply from Kothamangalam to Thattekad. Kothamangalam is well connected by buses to Ernakulam. Places close to Thattekad like Alleppey, Cardamom Hills and the Periyar Tiger Reserve can also be visited from here.
The best time to visit Thattekad is from the month of September till the month of March. During the summer months, the temperature of Thattekad ranges from 24⁰-32⁰ Celsius. The winter season from September to January experience a maximum temperature of 25⁰ Celsius and a minimum of 18⁰ Celsius. The region receives heavy rainfall from June to August, which is the reason for its lush green scenery.