Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala

A mere 55 sq.kms in area and located on the western slopes of the Western Ghats, the Aralam sanctuary is the northern most wildlife sanctuary of Kerala. It was established in 1984. The headquarters of the sanctuary is near Iritty, a small town about 55 kms from Kannur. The sanctuary adjoins the Central State Farm at Aralam. It lies between north latitude 11°50' and 11° 52' and east longitude 75° 49' and 75° 57'.

Topography :

The elevation varies from 50m to 1145m. The highest peak is Katti Betta, which is 1145m.

Climate :

The temperature at the foothills varies from 21° C to 40°C and at the higher reaches from 8°C to 25°C. The sanctuary receives an annual rainfall of about 3,000 mm. The wettest part of the year is from June to August. (south-west monsoon).

Forest type :

Forest coast tropical evergreen and west coast semievergreen forests are predominant. There are about 490 ha of teak and eucalyptus plantations within the forest area.

Flora :

In the evergreen areas the following species are found: vellapine (Vateria indica), Mesua ferrea, Mechilus macrantha, Calophyllum elatum, Cullenia rosayroona, Magnifera indica, Toona cillata, Myristica Species, Euphorbia Longana, Strobilanthes. The common trees in the semievergreen areas are Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, Hopea parviflora, Largestroemia lanceolata, Xyliaxylocarpa, Mallotus, Philippinensis.

Fauna :

A variety of animals and birds usually found in the Western Ghats are seen here. Different kinds of deer, boar, elephant, and bison are quite common. Leopard, jungle cat and various types of squirrels are sighted.

Travel Information :

One can reach the Aralam sanctuary by road from Thalasseri (45 kms) and Kannur (45kms). The nearest railway station is Thalassery and the nearest airport is Kozhikkod, 113 kms from Irutti. The infrastructure for tourism development is limited at present, but steps are being taken by the Forest Department to improve the situation.