About : Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

Aland-locked district, Idukki is one of the most naturally blessed areas of Kerala. The mountains,grasslands,sholas and rivers makes spectacular sceneries that envies Europe.The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over an area of 105.364 sq km in the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of the district. Situated at an altitude of 450-748 m above sea level, this sanctuary occupies the forest land between the Cheruthoni and Periyar rivers. The reservoir forms a scenic lake around the sanctuary, covered by an enchanting canopy of tropical ever-green and deciduous trees, that offers boat rides by Forest department.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary which came into existence in 1976, is located in Thodupuzha and Udumbanchola taluks in Idukki district.It is an enchanting place marked with steep mountains and undulating hills and valleys. The world famous Idukki arch dam and the vast scenic spots increase the importance of the area.

  • Location: 76º 55’ and 77º 0 5’ East Longitude and 9º 40’ 30’ and 9º 53’ 30’ North Latitude.
  • Area: 105.364sq.km.
  • Year of formation: 1976 (GO.7898/FM3/76/AD/09.02.76)
  • Climate: Temperature varies from 13ºC to 29ºC. Hottest period is March-April.
  • Topography: Altitude ranging from 450to 1272 m. Highest peak is Kizhukalachi Mala (1272m)
  • Rainfall: Average rainfall is 3800 mm.
  • Drainage: The major rivers flowing through the area at periyar and Cheruthoni ar. The sanctuary consists of 33 sq,km of water body of Idukki reservoir.
  • Forest Types: Forest types include West Coast Tropical Evergreen forests, Semi Evergreen forests , Moist Deciduous Forests, Hill shoals and Grass Lands.
  • Biodiversity: Major tree species are Depterocarpus indicus, Palanquium ellipticum, Calophyllum polyanthum, Vernonia arborea, Mesua Ferrea, Hopea parviflora, persea macrantha, Artocarpus hirsute, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Tectona grandis, Dalbergia latifolia, Terminalia paniculata., T. bellerica,bGrewia tiliacfolia, Pterocarpus Marsupium etc. The common animals found here are Elephant, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Bonnet macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Malabar giant squirrel, Wild dog, Wild boar, porcupine, jackal, Indian Giant Squirrel etc. apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones. Birds include grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, several species of woodpeckers, bulbuls, flycatchers, etc
  • Approach: By Road-Eranakulam-115 km. Kottayam – 120
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam (120kms)
  • Nearest Airport: Nedumbassery (120kms)
  • Accommodation: IB, Vellappara (6beds), Dormitory, Vellappara (35 beds),Jungle cottages (4 beds) IB at Vazhathopu owned by Kerala State Electricity Board Private hotels at Cheruthoni, Kattappana, Thodupuzha

This sanctuary lies adjacent to the world renowned Idukki Arch Dam.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year for the visitors. The visiting hours of Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is between 9 AM and 5 PM every day.

Wildlife enthusiasts may avail trekking packages to watch the animals and birds in the sanctuary. Authorities of the sanctuary have specified fixed timings and prices for different facilities to be paid by the visitors. Visitors are advised to get in touch with concerned officials for complete information.

Entry Timings: 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Entry Fee: Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary authorities have fixed the entry fee differently for visitors, based on nationality etc. Visitors need to pay the fee specified by the authorities of the sanctuary.

Indians: RS 10 per head
Foreigners: Rs 150 per head

How to reach Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
By Air: The nearest airports are in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram cities in Kerala, and Madurai city in Tamil Nadu State.
By Rail: The nearest station is Kottayam Railway Station.
By Road:Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is well connected by roads and distances with various cities are as follows: Kochi (120 km), Thiruvananthapuram (220 km) in Kerala and Coimbatore (270 km) in Tamil Nadu.


Idukki Dam - History and Facts

The Idukki Dam, is a 168.91 m (554 ft) tall arch dam. The dam stands between the two mountains - Kuravanmala (839)m and Kurathimala (925)m. It was constructed and is owned by the Kerala State Electricity Board. It supports a 780 MW hydroelectric power station.

It is built on the Periyar River, in the ravine between the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills in Kerala, India. At 167.68 metres, it is one of the highest arch dams in Asia and third tallest arch dam. It started generating power on 4 October 1975.[1] Technically, the dam type is a concrete double, curvature parabolic, thin arc dam.

This dam was constructed along with two other dams at Cheruthoni and Kulamavu. Together, the three dams have created an artificial lake that is 60 km² in area. The stored water is used to produce electricity at the Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside nearby rocky caves. The Government of Canada aided in the building of the dam with long term loans and grants.

The idea of constructing a dam for power generation was first conceived in 1919. As per history, Shri Kolumban, the head of 'Araya' race during 1922, showed the way to the Malankara Estate Superintendent and his friend Thomas, who were on a hunting spree in the forest, the spot of present Arch Dam. He told them of the legend of Kuravan and Kurathi Hills. Mr. Thomas was impressed by the sight of water flow between the mountains and it was his idea that has materialised in the form of Idukki Arch Dam. Sri. W.J.John of Malankara Estate submitted a report to the Government of Travancore in 1932 on the possibility of constructing a dam at Idukki for Power Generation. There is a Samadhi sthal for Kolumban near to the ticket counter at Vellapara which is being reconstructed now.

In 1947, a preliminary investigation report was prepared and submitted by Sri.P.Joseph John,then Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of Travancore. It was during 1956 that the Central Water Commission conducted a detailed investigation based on the Government's request. The project report was prepared in 1961 and the Planning Commission accorded sanction for implementing the scheme in 1963 and the preliminary works of the project were started.

The construction of this Dam commenced on 30 April 1969. Storage of water in idukki reservoir commenced in February,1973. The inauguration of trial run of the first machine was celebrated on 4th October,1975. Commercial operation of the Power Station was Commissioned on 12 February 1976 by the then Hon. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi.

Construction of this Arch Dam and two other dams at Cheruthony and Kulamavu has created an artificial lake of 60 km. width and the water stored, is utilised for production of electricity at the unique Moolamattom Power house, which is located inside the rocky caves.

Foreign Aid: The Idukki Dam project was aided by the Government of Canada through long term loans and grants. Consulting Engineers from Canada were advising and assisting Project Engineers under the Canadian Aid.

Features: Idukki Dam is Asia's biggest Arch Dam, which is 554 feet height, constructed between the two mountains - kuravanmala' (839 meters) and 'Kurathimala' (925 meters ). This project is situated in Idukki District and its underground Power House is located at Moolamattom which is about 43 km from the dam.


Power Generation: The Project harnesses a major portion of the power potential of Periyar, the largest river in Kerala, by the creation of a reservoir of 2,000 M.cum (2 Billion Tonnes) capacity, diversion of waters thus impounded through a water conductor system consisting of a power tunnel and two underground pressure shafts to an underground power house situated in Muvattupuzha Valley. The installed capacity of the Power House is 780MW consisting of 6 Units of Pelton-type turbines with a power generation capacity of 130 MW each. The regulated waters of Periyar falls through a drop of about 669.2 metres (2195 feet) while generating power in the underground power house.

Irrigation:The tail waters flowing to Kudayathurpuzha through tunnel and open channel is diverted for irrigation purposes in the Muvattupuzha Valley.

Tourist Destination and Attraction

Idukki valley is 121 km away from Kottayam, and is a small hill town surrounded by a spread of beautiful, wooden valleys and meandering streams. Idukki is a well known tourist center in Kerala.

The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumbanchola taluks of Idukki district, spread over 105 km2 and is about 450 - 748 m above sea level. The Idukki Reservoir formed by three dams - Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu - extends to 33 km2 Hill View Park, a beautiful park maintained by DTPC also is located close to Idukki Dam.