“People expect a bird sanctuary like a glorified zoo, they don’t realize that a sanctuary is merely a conserved natural habitat where birds will come if assured of adequate food, protection and nesting facilities”


The area is described as the richest bird habitat on Peninsular India by Dr Salim Ali. Several species of birds both forest and water birds visit the sanctuary every year.
Various Species of birds have been reported being sighted at THATTEKKAD bird sanctuary including the Peninsular Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon, Crimson- Throated Barbet, Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Grey Hornbill among others.
Mammals like Elephant, Barking Deer, Sambar, Bonnet Macaques, Giant squirrels and snakes like King Cobra, Indian Rocky Python, and Russell’s viper are also present in the zoo attached to the Bird sanctuary.
The museum attached to the sanctuary contains information regarding habitat and species of various birds. THATTEKKAD can be visited throughout the year, but the optimal months are between October to March.
The best months are between November and January with the arrival of winter migratory birds from the North.

Features of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at THATTEKKAD

  • Forest type-tropical wet evergreen – 2.5 sq km
  • Tropical semi evergreen – 2.5 sq km
  • Moist deciduous – 15.0 sq km
  • Riparian forest – 2.5 sq km
  • Plantations – 2.5 sq km
  • Over 870 species of plants are identified from tbs
  • Fauna – 320 species of birds has been identified and among that 40% are migratory and 19% are international migratory.
  • Mammals – 34 sp identified including rare species like Travancore flying squirrels, painted bats, Loris etc
  • Reptiles – 30 species like snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, tortoises etc
  • Amphibians – 12 species are recorded
  • Fishes – 57 species are identified
  • Invertebrates – 17 different orders of insects among them Butterflies alone is around 222 species including southern bird wing.

Stay at THATTEKKAD Bird Sanctury

  • Horn Bill Tower ( view Tower with room )

  • Two persons: Rs.2100
  • Adults: Rs.500/- each
  • Checkin: 03:00 pm
  • Checkout: 12:00 am
  • Frog mouth Tower ( Water Tower )

  • Two persons: Rs.2500/-
  • Adults: Rs.500/- each
  • Checkin: 03:00 pm
  • Checkout: 12:00 am
  • Trogon nest ( Tree hut )

  • Checkin before 05:00 pm
  • Per Person: Rs.1000/- ( Max.5 )

Birding trips

  • Black baza trial

  • Bird watching with guide
  • Time – 6 am – 10 am and 3 pm to 6 pm
  • Max no of persons- 15 pax min 4 pax
  • Rate Rs 500/- per person
  • Minimum for 4 persons- 2000/- rs
  • Trogon Trial

  • Bird watching with guide
  • Time 6 am to 1pm and 3 pm to 6 pm
  • Rate Rs 500/- per person.
  • Minimum for 4 persons- 2000/- rs
  • Border Hiking

  • Time 7 am to 12 am and 2 pm to 5 pm from Urulamthanni
  • Rate per person Rs 1500/-

Contact Us

Kerala Forests & Wildlife Departments
Wildlife Division, Idukki
For more details, contact:
The Wildlife Warden
Idukki Wildlife Division, Vellappara, Painav P.O., Idukki Dist, Kerala.

The Assistant Wildlife Warden
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Njayappilly P.O., Kothamangalam (Via), Kerala, India.


The THATTEKKAD Bird Sanctuary, covering an area of barely 2.5 sq kms, and located about 12 kms from Kothamangalam (Kerala state, India), is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologist described this sanctuary as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India. THATTEKKAD literally means flat forest, and the region is an evergreen low-land forest located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala.
ENTRY CHARGES :35/- per head.


A bird interpretation centre with pictures, models, stuffed birds , nests etc offers immense potential for all bird fans to study and learn the birds found in THATTEKKAD bird sanctuary and in the Western Ghats of the country. Dr Suguthan R, the principal scientist and ornithologist of THATTEKKAD bird sanctuary, who is a disciple of Dr Salim Ali, has travelled three times from Thapi of Gujarat to Kanyakumari by foot through the forests of Western Ghats to study the birds, will be available at the centre for inquisitive bird lovers.


THATTEKKAD animal rescue and rehabilitation centre is a major attraction for tourists. Various animals, poisonous and non poisonous snakes including King Cobra, different types of rare birds like silver owl, frog mouth, aquatic animals like tortoise are exhibited in the centre.


Butterfly garden at THATTEKKAD Bird Sanctuary is a conservation cum educational venue where you can spot thousands of different varieties of Butterflies. It consists of Butterfly host plants and recreating suitable habitats for Butterfly. It offers an insight in to the life cycle, behavior and role of Butterfly in sustaining natural ecosystem. Plants like Aristolochia, Cassia, Cinnamon, Albizia, Tylophora, Mussanda and other nectar plants are found in the garden to attract Butterflies. It also contains sculptures of different types of Butterflies.


Several genre of orchids which are amongst the most beautiful flowers of the entire plant kingdom combining exotic looks with a diverse set of characters are found in the garden of THATTEKKAD bird sanctuary. Orchids are exquisite plants comprising over 30000 different species making orchids the largest family of plants in the world. Also a small fern garden is maintained inside the orchid garden to teach and understand the evolutionary history of plants as ferns are the first appeared plant around 430 million years ago.


Trekking and birding in the magnificent Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary offers amazing scenic views that are appreciated by nature lovers and photographers. This area is popular to house a rich array of flora and fauna. In Western Ghats, THATTEKKAD is a place where you can find different types of forests in a small trekkable distance that makes this place unique and favorable for vast floral and faunal diversity. THATTEKKAD is known for unique bird varieties and is a dream destination for the bird watchers as they get an opportunity to enjoy spotting rare species of birds like Ceylon frog mouth etc. The trek to koottikkal area is very safe where you can get to see marshy area habitat with abundance of birds.


A Birth star tree garden and herbal garden are found inside the sanctuary. 27 trees representing each stars can be seen in this garden. Also the herbal garden consists of rare medicinal plants endemic to THATTEKKAD and western Ghats can be found . It offers a good study centre for herbal plants and its uses.


A fresh water aquarium is situated inside the THATTEKKAD bird sanctuary, though not having a large collection but has various types of common and rare fishes found in the Periyar river.