Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
4.5
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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Address
Kodhamangalam, Palamattam PO, Thattekad 686681 India
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles166 reviews
Excellent
103
Very good
46
Average
10
Poor
4
Terrible
3

Adrian E
Newport, UK50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Wonderful wilderness sanctuary with so many endemic species. Needed an expert and patient guide Praveen and we saw >80 spp in 3 days and 47 lifers! Including white bellied eagle owl, Sri Lanka Bay owl, black baza, orioles, flame backed woodpecker, Indian portrait, frogmouth, Malabar trogon, cuckoos, flycatchers, thrushes, sunbirds and more
Written March 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarkJGibbons
Cape Town, South Africa25 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
We had taken a local guide to go birding the day before outside the sanctuary and were astounded by the rich diversity. This morning we opted for the Baza trail inside the sanctuary, which was capably hosted. Didn't see much, but thats birding, though the teak forests were pleasant enough. That said, the facilities are old, broken or simply no longer there: disappointing.
Written December 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Danny B
Banjar, Indonesia8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
I stayed at Jewel Homes which is only 10 - 15 minutes walk away from the ticket office. Once you have a ticket you can then walk along the Salim Ali Trail where you will see some interesting birds. However for the best experience you will need to engage a guide who will take you to other more interesting areas within the forest. There are some hides open in the afternoons for photographers so ask about how to get to them. .
Written February 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yedu R
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021 • Solo
Very good place. Must visit. Early morning entry is one you should opt. 500 rs plus 100 rs for entry. You will spot few birds, not much as in a hides. But in natural habitat. Pitta, trogan, hornbill, few woodpeckers etc are the few birds you might see.butterfly park is also a treat to watch. One day trip. Many options to stay around the place.
Written February 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

G A
India2,645 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Salim Ali or Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is a relatively small area but chock full of rare and endangered species endemic to the Western Ghats. It is set against the tranquil Bhoothathankettu reservoir.

Getting there: By road: 30 min drive from Nedumbassery airport or 45 min from Ernakulam city. Aluva / Angamali are convenient railway stations. Accommodation is available at Kothamangalam, 10 min drive away or at a couple of resorts beyond the sanctuary.

To enter the forest area, it is mandatory to engage a local tribal guide from the ticket counter at the entrance gate. Rates are negotiable depending on length of trek but usually most reasonable. For optimal bird sightings, start at the crack of dawn, for butterflies about 9am. Giant malabar squirrels and Nilgiri langurs are usually spotted.

The most famous denizen of this forest is the Ceylon Frogmouth. These are highly endangered nocturnal birds with froggy faces. The guides usually know where they perch during the day time, so a guaranteed photo opportunity of this rare species awaits. A huge selection of moths, big butterflies and other insects are easily visible. Elephants occur in season. It is possible to trek through the elephant corridors all the way to the foothills of Munnar, for whoever is so inclined.

Watch out for leeches in moist, warm seasons. It can get unbearably humid in summer and closer to the monsoons. Also well worth visiting are the Bhoothathankettu reservoir, the Periyar barrage and the Edamalayar reservoir, all close by.

This is one of the best, most easily accessible places to experience a tropical rain forest, so close to Cochin. A must visit for the serious bird watcher.
Written February 13, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

binubal
Bengaluru, India6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Solo
My trip to Thattekadu was during May considered as off season since the migrants would have left by March-April. It was planned in a hurry. Quickly searched in facebook and found a birding guide Vinod Thattekad. Mr. Vinod told me about some resident birds of Thattekad which sounded very interesting for me. Next weekend I landed in Nedumbaserry airport. Vinod was waiting there with his car to pick me up. He took me to his homestay named "Sanctuary View" which is inside the sanctuary itself. I enjoyed the homely food for dinner along with the hospitality of Vinod. To be frank that night I couldn't sleep well thinking about the birds I am going to see.

Next day morning 6:00 AM I was ready for the trip and gave a call to Vinod who reached in 5 minutes. On the way we had a hot tea from one of the local teashops. Believe me the stuff you get in local teashops in kerala taste much better than what you get in five star hotels. While I was sipping the tea I could hear some strange loud calls all around. They were Malabar Grey hornbills. They were on tall trees, still clicked a few shots. We started going towards the forest and stopped once again for the ashy wood swallows and chestnut headed bee-eaters sitting on electric lines. A remarkable shot I got on the way was a spectacular display of a southern coucal basking in the sun spreading his wings and tail on a fence.

The morning was blessed with many lifers like Dollar bird, Yellow-browed Bulbu and Flame-throated bulbul. An orange minivet couple was flying around giving good shots. A green imperial pigeon was sitting on a tall tree little far, I could manage only a record shot. The surprise was when a pair of Brown capped Pygmy Wood Peckers flew in to a short tree nearby. Apparently they are one of the shortest wood peckers. Other interesting species were Vernal Hanging parrots, Malabar parakeets, Hill Myna and Small Minivet.

From there we went straight to the place where frog mouths are seen. These are nocturnal birds which will select a perch in certain trees where they camouflauge into the dry leaves. Vinod showed me two birds sitting around 10 feet from the floor. It took me a while to figure out them although they were very close. They were seeing us very well but not moving an inch. These birds believe in their camouflage 100%.

It was lunch time and we drove back to our homestay . A pair of Brown Hawk Owls were waiting for us near the forest office, again lifer for me. Had a nice lunch at the homestay with local fish items. We could take rest only for a few minutes when we got a call from Vinod's friend about a Bay Owl Sighting. We rushed there in no time. It was sitting on top of a tree in a clutter. Though the photos were not great, I was very much excited as sighting a Bay Owl is not easy. We then walked around and spotted a female Malabar Trogon. By evening Vinod took me to another place. All of a sudden birds started coming from all directions. Malabar wood strike, Asian fairy blue bird, Yellow-browed Bulbul, I couldn't take pics of all of them as they came and went very fast. Probably they were hurry picking up the last meal of the day. The day ended with a nice dinner in Sanctuary View.

We had missed the Malabar Trogon male, so the next day was dedicated for that. Malabar trogon is one of the most beautiful birds that can be found in a tropical forest with a drak crimson belly, black head and a white 'ring' around the neck.We had to spend a couple of hours inside dense forest before we started hearing its call and it did come near us. From the pictures that i had seen earlier, I thought it will be as big as a crow but it seemed smaller. The bird was a bit shy, and always sitting under dense foliages making it difficult to photograph. Afterwards we went looking for the Mottled Wood Owl, but it was missing in its usual perch. One thing I noticed was that there were many butterflies around. In fact it was the season for butterflies there, I missed my macro lens badly.

Thattekad was amazing even in off season, so I am imagining what would be the situation in the winter months when birds all over the world will fly in. I will definitely vist this great birding location in the cooming winter.

Guides email: endemicbirding4u@gmail.com, Phone: +919946042711
Written August 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roger N
Bedlington, UK679 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Solo
The forest and its trails are dangerous, you need a guide. Wear light clothing as it is hot, but full length trousers and sturdy shoes are essential as is head covering and water. Try to wear clothing that will merge with the surroundings. Ideally go with one guide yourself as some guides take large groups so you get little individual help and also make a lot of noise. I would also suggest you are either a birder with binoculars OR a photographer- different needs, results in frustration if mixed together in a group.

I had a fantastic 3 hours with my guide who knew the calls of many of the birds and located them by sound. He was able to direct me onto the bird, give clear identification and time to note what had been seen. A great session.
Written February 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan
Manchester, UK267 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
Due to recent and previous fires in the area the birding walk around the park is closed. I think it will open again soon but to arrive and make a special journey just to see the Sanctuary is very dissapointing.

We saw the small zoo and butterfly place and saw a few birds but it wasn't what we were expecting.

The Web site doesn't mention that you can't do the walk. This isn't good for people making special journey to come here!
Written March 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sanatkumar B
Thane, India51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is in the Ernakulam district of Kerala under the administrative jurisdiction of Idukki Wildlife Division. It is also known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Thattekad is a peninsula formed by two rivers Periyar, the longest river in Kerala and Kuttampuzha and lies at the peripheral section of the vast forest region of Kerala. It was once a place of rubber plantation. Being a thickly wooded tropical perennial and semi-perennial and moist deciduous forest, it is very rich especially in avian fauna with almost close to 300 bird species. The sanctuary spreads over 25.16 sq. km covering forest, wetlands and rivers. Extensive plantation of rubber, teak, rosewood and mahogany are found along with patches of grass land in the sanctuary area. The elevation of sanctuary is in the range 35 to 523 meter from mean sea level rising to Njayapilli peak. It lies at the foothill of Anamudi mountain – the highest peak in Wester Ghat mountain range and South India.

One can reach Thattekad by driving a little more than two hours of drive from Kochi International Airport or Ernakulam Junction Railway Station. There are some good hotels and resorts in and around Thattekad depending on pocket.

We, a senior citizen couple, visited the Thattekad bird Sanctuary during 4th and 9th November, 2017. After a good homework we chose ‘Bird Song Homestay’ for our staying at Thattekad. We made a package deal with its owner Sri Vinod Narayanan that included food and boarding, to and fro pick up from Cochin International Airport to ‘Bird Song Homestay’, sanctuary entry fees and guide fees for five birding trips. Although visiting Munnar was not in our original plan, we finally agreed to visit it as advised by Vinod with some extra cost of car transport only.

There are several trails for birding like Urulanthanny forest area, Salim Ali Bird Trail, the bank of Periyar river etc. It is always wise to have a local birding guide who knows well which bird can be found out at which place. It saves much time and here one is sure to spot around 100 bird species in two three trips. It is strongly suggested to have a binocular 8X40 or 10X50. Birders interested in taking snaps should have ultra-zoom camera or tele-lens.

With help of our host-cum-guide Vinod we spotted 89 different species of birds - some of them are endemic and also lifers. This place is truly a cosmopolitan megacity of birds.
Written January 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GitaBhukta
Chennai District, India667 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Family
The main sanctuary was closed to the public since there was a huge herd of elephants right there. Our guide (the owner of Jungle Bird Homestay), Gireesh, knew alternate places to go to. We visited this place during the fag end of March when all the migratory birds had left. In spite of this, we were able to see 83 species of birds in 3 nights and 4 days. In addition, we also heard calls of 5 new species but were unable to see them.

Gireesh took us to 3 different places and suggested two more to go birding. We were able to see the Ceylon frogmouth, at one time, there were three birds in the same place: an extremely rare finding. We were also able to see the Malabar trogon (five different sightings), the Indian pitta, the Asian paradise flycatcher! It was a birder's dream.
Written April 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Thattekad Bird Sanctuary - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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