Top 10 Bird Sanctuaries in Kerala (Visit in 2024)

Bird sanctuaries in Kerala

Hey there, have you ever heard about the bird sanctuaries in Kerala? I recently got a chance to visit a few of them and it was an experience of a lifetime. Kerala is home to a vast array of bird species, many of which are rare and endangered.

Kerala is the land of lush greenery. Bird sanctuaries in Kerala are one of the best places to visit close to various types of Birds and God gifted Nature while you are traveling to Kerala. These bird sanctuaries are a true paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. The Green Beauty of Kerala not only attracts people from various city but also create a home for many native and Migratory Birds.

Bird sanctuaries such are Thatthekkad, Kadalundi, etc have different species of Migratory and Native Birds. That Chirping of these Beautiful Birds attracts tourists to come here and feel the vibe.

Kerala is a southwestern state on the Malabar Coast of India, formed in 1956. Bordered by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the total area of Kerala state is around 38,863 square km. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city of Kerala.

There are 17 wildlife and Bird sanctuaries, 5 National parks, and 5 Elephant reserves in Kerala State in India. As a Wildlife Photographer, Travel Enthusiast, and Nature Lover, you should visit these places in Kerela.

As I explored these sanctuaries, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of these feathered creatures. From the colorful kingfishers to the majestic herons, each bird had a unique charm of its own. The lush greenery of the sanctuaries provided a serene environment, and I felt completely at peace surrounded by nature.

Probably. now, you can be confused, there are many sanctuaries reserved in Kerela, what are the famous ones? Which I will visit first?

Here, I have listed the Best and most Important Bird Sanctuary that you can save on your Priority list. So, Get away from your workstation for a few days, and plan and visit these famous bird sanctuaries.

Sanctuary NameAddressTotal Area
(Square km)
Thattekkad Bird SanctuaryKothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nyayapally PO, Thattekad25
Kumarakom Bird SanctuaryKavanattinkara, Kumarakom14
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary Kadalundi1.5
Mangalavanam Bird SanctuaryHigh Ct Rd, Marine Drive, Kochi0.02
Pathiramanal IslandAlappuzha District0.28
Chulanur Peafowl SanctuaryPeringottukurissi South3.42
Wayanad Wildlife SanctuaryBathery- Puthupally Road, Sultan Bathery344.44
Peppara Wildlife SanctuaryPeppara Dam Rd, Mannoorkara53
Chinnar Wildlife SanctuaryMunnar – Udumalpet Road, Munnar90.44
Malabar Wildlife SanctuaryKozhikode Division, Peruvannamuzhi Range, Peruvannamuzhi, Perambra, Kozhikode74.22

1. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

The Thattekkad bird sanctuary (also known as Dr. Salim Ali bird sanctuary) is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Covers an area of ​​25 square kilometers, located on the north bank of the Periyar river, Thattekkad is the Largest Bird Sanctuary in Kerala. A variety of Birds and butterflies can be seen in the Morning and Evening. It has a Peaceful environment with beautiful nature.

In 1930, Dr. Salim Ali discovered the Thattekkad area as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, and later it was named as Thattekkad bird sanctuary in 1983. The forest of the Sanctuary is covered by a large variety of evergreen trees and tropical deciduous.

  • Address: Kothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nyayapally PO, Thattekad
  • Timings: 7:00 am – 6.00 pm
  • Best time to Visit: between November and February

Location in Google Map: 

2. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a hidden gem and famous tourist destination in Kottayam, especially for Bird Lover, Wildlife Photographers. On the bank of the Vembanad lake, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located. In Season time, you can take a peaceful walk with your loved ones or friends among the lots of bird sounds all around you. 

As, the area of the sanctuary is wide, for taking a rest in walks, there is a sitting Bench. In the off-season, there is little chance to see birds, that’s why I recommend making a plan to visit the sanctuary in Winter Season and explore it in the morning time, it opens at 7 Am.  In addition, there is a facility for boat rides in Vembanad Lake.

The parking area and Ticket Counter are clean and Tidy. Moreover, there are restrooms near the ticket counter and reception center.

  • Address: Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom
  • Timings: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Best time to Visit: between November to February

Location in Google Map: 

3. Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary

Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is located on the border of Kozhikode District in Kerala. The Main Island of this sanctuary is situated on the bank of the Kadalundi River. It is a small island full of Mangroves and Trees where you can get a chance to see many species of Birds.

The Sanctuary is home to more than 60 species of Migratory Birds, The Main Attractions are Malabar Hornbill, Darts, Kingfisher, and Huimbrel Woodpeckers. You need to take a Boat ride to the mangroves to see the Native And Migratory Birds species. The Winter season is the best time to explore this bird sanctuary, in this time, migratory birds flock here in large numbers. There is no pre-booking required, you can take a ticket from the spot. The boat Riding Fee is an additional fee.

  • Address: Kozhikode District, Kadalundi
  • Timings: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Best time to Visit: between November to March

Location in Google Map: 

4. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular bird sanctuaries in Kerala, located in Kochi city. This Bird Sanctuary is also called the “young green lung”. Though Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is the smallest bird sanctuary in Kerala that covers an area of only ​​2.74 hectares, the sanctuary is fully covered with Mangrove trees. There is a tidal lake in the middle of the Bird Sanctuary. There is 4 to 5 watchtower inside the sanctuary to see Migratory Birds. Bats are the main attractions of this sanctuary. The Entree fee to the sanctuary is Free. You can enjoy a variety of birds and butterflies and take a rest under the greenery.

  • Address: High Ct Rd, Marine Drive, Kochi
  • Timings: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Best time to Visit: between January to March

Location in Google Map: 

5. Pathiramanal Island

Pathiramanal is a small green island. This island is another good choice for Bird Lover. This island is located on the shores of Muhamma in the Alapuzha district of Kerala. This bird watcher’s paradise is located 1.5 km from SWTD Boat Jetty Muhamma, this place is only accessible by Boat ride. There are multiple options available for Boat riding, from speed boats to large houseboats. Pathiramanal is home to 50 migratory birds and more than 90 native birds. On this island, You can also do a picnic with your friend and chill out.

  • Address: Alappuzha District
  • Timings: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Best time to Visit: Throughout the year

Location in Google Map: 


  1. How many bird sanctuaries are there in Kerala?

    There are a total of 17 Bird and Wildlife sanctuaries and also 5 National Parks in Keala.

  2. What are the major bird sanctuaries in Kerala?

    From the list of 17 Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, the top most famous  bird sanctuaries in Kerala are;
    1. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
    2. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
    3. Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
    4. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
    5. Pathiramanal Island

  3. Which is the famous bird sanctuary of Kerala?

    Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary or Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is the famous Bird Sanctuary in Kerala.

  4. Which is the largest bird sanctuary in Kerala?

    Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary or Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is the largest and first Bird Sanctuary in Kerala.

  5. Which district has the largest number of national parks in Kerala?

    Idukki district has the largest number of national parks in Kerala.

  6. Which is known as a bird village in Kerala?

    Padanilam Nooranad Padanilam is a known as Pakshi gramam (Village of birds) of Kerela.

  7. Which is Kerala’s first wildlife sanctuary?

    Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is Kerala’s first wildlife sanctuary.

  8. Which is the biggest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala?

    Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the biggest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. The area of the sanctuary is approximately 777 square km.

  9. Which is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala?

    Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. The area of the sanctuary is 344.44 square km.

  10. Where in Kerala is the only peacock sanctuary located?

    In Choolannur Pea Fowl Sanctuary, the only peacock sanctuary located in the Palakkad District, Mayiladumpara.

  11. Which is the latest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala?

    Karimpuzha Wildlife Sanctuary is the latest Wildlife sanctuary located in the Malappuram district which is established in 2020.

  12. Which bird sanctuary is known as the green lungs of Kerala?

    Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is known as the green lungs of Kerala.

  13. Which is the smallest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala?

    Pampadum Shola National Park is the smallest wildlife sanctuary and national park in Kerala.

  14. Which is the biggest bird sanctuary in Asia?

    Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, now known as Keoladeo National Park is considered the largest in Asia.

  15. What is the best time of year to visit bird sanctuaries in Kerala?

    The best time to visit bird sanctuaries in Kerala is from November to February, which is the winter season when many migratory birds visit these sanctuaries. This is the perfect time for Kerala bird watching as the weather is pleasant and the bird population is at its peak.

  16. Are there any specific bird species that are unique to Kerala’s bird sanctuaries?

    Yes, there are several bird species that are unique to Kerala’s bird sanctuaries, such as the Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Sri Lanka Frogmouth, and the Indian Shag. These sanctuaries are home to a diverse range of bird species, including migratory birds such as Siberian cranes.

  17. Do I need to book in advance to visit bird sanctuaries in Kerala?

    It is recommended to book in advance if you want to visit bird sanctuaries in Kerala during peak season (November to February). This is because these sanctuaries can get crowded during this time, and booking in advance ensures that you have a spot reserved for Kerala bird watching.

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