One of the main attractions near Munnar is the Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park. Located about 15 kms. away from Munnar, this park is famous for its endangered inhabitant The Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. k.m. ,this national park is also home to several rare species of butterflies as well as other animals and birds.
A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue and violet, resulting from the flowering of the Strobilanthus, called Neelakurinji in Malayalam. It is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats, which blooms only once in 12 years. The last time it bloomed was in 2006.
Many perennial streams crisscross the park. Lakkom waterfalls is in this region. 26 species of mammals have been recorded in the park, including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr, estimated to be about 750 in number. Elephants make seasonal visits here. 132 species of birds and 101 species of butterflies also have been recorded here.
Private vehicles are not allowed within the park. Mini buses are operated by park staff as part of the visitor management programme as well as a pollution control measure.
The park will be closed for two months till April fourth every year, this being the calving season of the Nilgiri Tahr. Births peak during February and the kids are instinctively vary of human presence. So be careful when planning your tour to Eravikulam.
Located inside the Eravikulam National Park is the Anamudi Peak. This is the highest peak in South India, standing at a height of 2695 m. An ideal place for trekking. Treks to the peak are allowed with the permission of the Forest and wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.