Pambadum Shola National Park
Pampadum Shola National Park is the smallest national park in Kerala state, South India. The park is administered by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife, Munnar Wildlife Division, together with the nearby Mathikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary. The park adjoins the Allinagaram Reserved Forest within the proposed Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. The name Pampadum Shola means, the forest where the snake dances, derived from three Tamil words, paamp, which means “snake”, aattam, means dance and cholai, means forest. Shola may be considered as a mis-speller of cholai. The keystone species here is the highly elusive and endangered, endemic small carnivore, the Nilgiri marten. Leopards and Indian wild dogs are sometimes sighted at dusk or dawn, tigers are an important animal of the park. The Old Kodaikanal-Munnar Road nearby is closed due to the growing population of wildlife such as elephants, buffaloes gaur and Nilgiri langurs. Some notable birds found here include the Nilgiri wood-pigeon, white-bellied shortwing, vernal hanging parrot, blue rock-thrush, blue-capped rock-thrush and Nilgiri flycatcher, and black-and-orange flycatchers. 35 km away from the Munnar town in Idukki district, another prominent hill station in Kerala the Pambadum Shola is located in the eastern part of Southern Western Ghats of Kerala on the way to Vattavada. The region with its captivating beauty is fast becoming a favourite eco-tourism destination in Kerala. The green meadows, clear blue sky, clean air and the thick foliage are something irresistible for any tourist. Eco-tourism activities here are organized jointly by the Department of Forest and Eco-development Committees comprising members of the local tribal communities. This guarantees an authentic, secure and intimate experience of wilderness to the visitors.
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