Day 04: Parambikulam
Lying adjacent to the Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, the 285 sq km stretch of forest known as the Parambikulam Sanctuary is one of Keralas premier wildlife reserves. Parambikulam lies in the Annamalai Hills, south of the Palghat Gap in the Western Ghats. The areas hilly and rocky, drained by several rivers, including the Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy. Thickly forested with stands of bamboo, sandalwood, rosewood and teak, the sanctuary has some marshy land and scattered patches of grassland. Parambikulam was once home to some of south Indias finest stands of teak; most of these, however, have now been replaced by teak plantations. Parambikulams animal species include many of Indias most prominent mammals: leopards, wild dogs, sloth bears, elephants, wild boar, barking deer, spotted deer, langurs and macaques. Parambikulam is also home to Keralas largest population of gaur. Besides these, civet, chevrotain, pangolin, crocodile, jungle cat, porcupine and some 140 species of birds are found in the sanctuary. Although the larger cats are few and far between, gaur, monkeys and deer are fairly common in the sanctuary.