Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala (2024)

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary or Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is the first Bird Sanctuary in Kerala. This bird sanctuary is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district.

In this post, I will show you complete information about Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.

Here, you will know about,

  • About Dr. Salim Ali and the Bird Sanctuary
  • Thattekad Butterfly Park
  • Accommodation 
  • And a lot of information

Let’s get started.

About Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

The Thattekkad bird sanctuary (also known as Dr.Salim Ali bird sanctuary) is located on the banks of the Periyar river, about 12 km s from Kothamangalam, Kerala. Thattekkad bird sanctuary is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala.  The bird sanctuary, spread over an area of 25 sq km at the foot of the Western Ghats, was advertised in 1983 on the recommendation of Dr. Salim Ali.

The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary has a wide range of 280+ Species of Birds and Wildlife. From native birds to Migratory birds, every type of Bird is found here due to the various natural habitats found in Thattekad, including Periya. In addition to Native Birds, Water Birds, and Migratory Birds, there are many butterflies available are found in the Garden. This Sanctuary is formed by Lakes, Rivers, and the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats.

Dr.Salim Ali and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Mr. Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali (also known as Dr. Salim Ali) was an Indian naturalist and ornithologist. He has written many books on birds which is the main reason for how much popularity ornithology has gained in India. Dr. Salim Ali was the first Indian to conduct a scientific avian survey all over India, that’s why he got the title of “Bird Man of India”. Dr. Selim Ali was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1958, the 3rd highest civilian honor in India, and the 2nd highest civilian honor in 1976.

In 1933, Dr. Selim conducted a bird survey in the then-states of Kerala, Travancore, and Cochin 1933. From that survey, he found a diversity of birds in Thattekade. And, Finally, In 1983, The First Bird sanctuary was established in Kerala under the name of Dr. Selim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

  • Dr. Selim was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1958 and Padma Vibhushan in 1976.
  • Dr. Selim has written ‘Hand Book of Birds of India and Pakistan’, which he co-authored with S Dillon Ripley
  • Mr.Ali became the first non-British citizen to receive a Gold medal from the British ornithologist’s Union in 1967.
  • Dr. Selim has Received honorary doctorates from Aligah Muslim University, the University of Delhi, and Andhra University.

Thattekad Butterfly Park

Butterfly Park of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is another major attraction of the Bird Sanctuary. This Beautiful garden for butterflies on 30 cents of land has been planted with various trees which are required to attract many Butterfly species. You will get a chance to see the life cycle of a Butterfly, from egg to adult. According to one survey of Sanctuary, there are more than 200 types of Butterflies available there. And, on average  60 to 70 are found daily basis.

Some of the Butterflies which are commonly found in Sanctuary are;

  • Papilio Buddha (Malabar Banded Peacock)
  • Papilio Paris 
  • The Blue Mormon (Papilio Polymnestor)
  • Troides minos
  • Papilio polytes
  • Hypolimnas bolina
  • Papilio dravidarum or malabar ravern

Activities to do at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

1. Boating 

Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. At Thattekad, Periyar is quiet and spacious, thanks to Bhutatanketu Dam. There is an evergreen forest in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary on one side of the river and a rubber plantation on another side. It is the perfect location to capture an image of a Clean Environment and Fresh Water. Visitors can use Paddle Boat to explore the lagoons scattered across the forest. In addition, if you come here with a small group, you can rent Motor Boat.

2. Bird Watching

Spread over an area of ​​more than 25 sq km, The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located on the banks of the Periyar River in Kerala which is home to more than 280 species of birds. Due to the different habitats, there are large numbers of birds found in these small areas.

At the Sanctuary, An local Bird guide will help you to identify the bird species from their faucet and find out the preferred habitat of different birds. It is good to hire a local Guide to not lost in the forest and visit all the major attractions. Morning is the best time to watch birds in this Sanctuary.

Some Popular Bird of the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary are;

  • Malabar trogons (Harpactes fasciatus)
  • The Black Bazza (Aviceda leuphotes)
  • Ceylon Frogmouth or Srilankan Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger)
  • White-bellied woodpecker (Dryocopus javensis) 
  • Brown-capped pygmy woodpecker (Yungipicus nanus)

3. Cycle Tour

Bicycles are the most efficient and eco-friendly to explore pristine areas. Places such are The Thattekad Circuit, Inchathotty Circuit Lagoon Circuit, and Periyar Circuit are a few of the list of our local cycling programs that take you closer to local attractions, rural life, and different side of the place. 

4. Plantation/Village Walk

As you walk around the Lagoons beside the Periyar River, rubber plantation, green garden, and field, you will feel the serenity and beauty of rural Kerala. On the way, you will get a chance to see the Forest birds, Village Birds, and Wetland Birds and feel the rural life of Kerala on a walk.

90% of India’s Natural Rubber production is in Kerala. Kerala is the leading Rubber Producer in India, Palamattam, near Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, is home to India’s first commercial rubber plantation. 

Founded in 1902 on the banks of the Periyar River, it was known as the Periyar Syndicate.

You will see many rubber plants beside the road. Here, you can see the process of making small cuts on a rubber tree to collect white milk-like natural latex and process it on a rubber sheet. In addition, you will see Pineapple Cultivation.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary Ticket Price and Timing

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary Ticket Rate:

AdultRs. 50
ChildrenRs. 45
ForeignerRs. 200
Boating per AdultRs. 150
Boating Per ChildRs. 70
With Photo CameraRs. 45
With Video CameraRs. 255

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary Parking Charges:

Two WhelerRs. 10
Three WhelerRs. 15
LMV (CAR & JEEP)Rs. 25
HMVRs. 50

Thattekad guided birdwatching Tours Fee:

  • Rs. 500 per person
  • Minimum charges Rs. 1500 (for 2-3 pax)
  • Morning session: 7.00 am to 10.30 am.
  • Evening session: 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm.
  • Note: Entry fee applicable.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary Timing:

Monday7:00 am – 6.00 pm
Tuesday7:00 am – 6.00 pm
Wednesday7:00 am – 6.00 pm
Thursday7:00 am – 6.00 pm
Friday7:00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday7:00 am – 6.00 pm
Sunday7:00 am – 6.00 pm

Best Time to Visit Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Dr. Selim Ali Bird Sanctuary or Thattekad Bird Sanctuary welcomes everyone throughout the year. October to March is the Best time to visit Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, try to avoid visiting in Rainy Season.  In Season time, Arrive at the sanctuary in the morning, in that time, you will see many Birds, and also in the evening. The numbers are at the top among bird watchers and bird photographers between November and February, mainly due to the migratory bird season.

How to Reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

The Nearest Railway station to the Sanctuary is Aluva which is 50 km away from the spot. If you are coming from long, you need to take Flight, Cochin Airpot is the nearest Airport to the Sanctuary which is around 45 km away. 

  • Nearest Railway station- Aluva (50 km)
  • Nearest Airport -Cochin (45km)
  • Nearest city – Kothamangalam (13 km)

Location in Google Map:

Accommodation at the Sanctuary

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from. There are many homestays, resorts, and cottages available there. Thattekad Hall is the perfect destination for Picnic, Family trips, and Group outings, apart from the bird watching and Butterfly Garden. Most resorts are located on the banks of the beautiful Periyar River or the lagoon formed by the Bhuhatanketu Barrage.

At Thattekad you can book the spot for any type of occasion in your budget. These are some resorts or Guest Houses near Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.

  • Soma Birds Lagoon: near Palamattom 10 km away from Thattekad.
  • Dollar Bird Lake Retreat: Bhoothathankettu Barrage, 7 km away from Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.
  • Birds Island Cottage: A beautiful property with an area of 1.5 acres on the banks of  Bhoothathankettu reservoir and just 3 km away from Thattekad bird sanctuary.
  • Fish Valley Homestay: near Palamattom, 7 km from Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.
  • Birds murmur camp: near Njayapilli, only 3.5 km away from Thattekad Bird sanctuary.


  1. Is Salim Ali bird sanctuary and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary the same?

    Yes. Salim Ali bird sanctuary and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary are the same.

  2. Where is Thattekad bird sanctuary located?

    Thattekad bird sanctuary is located at Kothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nyayapally PO, Thattekad, Kerala.

  3. Which state is Salim Ali bird sanctuary?

    Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is in Kerala.

  4. What invented Salim Ali?

    Salim Ali invented systematic bird surveys in India and abroad. In addition, he also made great strides in ornithology.

  5. Can I take a pre-wedding shoot at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary?

    Yes, You can take a pre-wedding shoot at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary.


In conclusion, Dr. Salim Ali bird sanctuary or Thattkead Bird Sanctuary is the famous Bird Sanctuary in Kerala for its population of western ghat endemics and many Native and Migratory Birds. So, I hope you got all the necessary information about Thattkead Bird Sanctuary from this article.

Now, I’d like to know from you:

Do you know about the Biography of Dr. Salim Ali?

Have you visited Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, before reading this?

Let me know in the comment Right now.

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1 thought on “Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala (2024)”

  1. Thanks for the info. Can we book a local guide in advance for taking us around the Thettakkad BS? If so are you able to suggest any contact numbers or emails?. We plan on arriving there from Kochi at around 7 am.

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