The Shenthuruni Wildlife Sanctuary

The Shenthuruni Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Thenmala Eco-tourism Project, where 409 species of animals, 248 birds, together 34 types of mammals and 35 reptiles, 42 fishes and uncountable varieties of butterflies and moths are harbored. It is also the habitat of 951 varieties of flora where 219 of them are of medicinal value. The massive tropical evergreen forests got the name of Shenthuruni from a tree that grows only within the forest-the chenkurunji that flowers only once in 12 years. 

The Shenthuruni Wildlife Sanctuary is established in 1984 at Kollam district, Kerala. The parappar dam is located near this sanctuary and it provides an artificial lake inside the sanctuary.  

The etymological meaning of the name 'Shenthuruni' has been derived from a tree species locally called 'Shenthuruni or Chenkuruny' (Gluta travancorica), an endemic tree mainly confined to this area. The Shenthuruni Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1984. The construction of the Parappar dam across the confluence of the Shenthuruni and Kulathupuzha rivers has resulted in the creation of an artificial lake of about 26 sq.kms. which spreads along the middle of the sanctuary. The construction of the dam has also caused to submerge about 23sq.kms. of rich forest cover

 Before the formation of Shenthuruni as a wildlife sanctuary, the area was under the Thenmala Forest Division. Both clear felling and selection felling were once practised in this area to a large extent. Large tracts of forests were clearfelled and such areas were converted to plantations. Besides, the widening of the Thiruvananthapuram - Shencottah road (T.S.Road) during the 40's also enhanced the deterioration of the Shenthuruni forests. Despite all these disturbances the fauna status of Shenthuruni valley was found to be some what well, especially in the eastern mountainous zone. So, according to the recommendations by the Quilon Circle Committee report, the Government declared Shenthuruni  as wildlife sanctuary on August 25, 1984. Now the sanctuary comes under the Thiruvananthapuram Wildlife Division.

The Shenthuruni  wildlife sanctuary is home to diverse forms of wildlife and vegetation. The sanctuary is covered with lush forest cover and has many exotic plants, some of which are medically important. Among the wildlife, one can find animals like elephants, gaur, leopards, Nilgiri Langur, spotted deer, barking deer, boars, bonnet macaque, etc. Shenduruny wildlife sanctuary is a component of the Thenmala Eco-tourism Project, the Shenthuruni Wildlife reserve harbours 248 species of birds, 409 animals, including 35 types of reptiles and 34 mammals, 42 fishes and uncountable varieties of butterflies and moths. It is also the home of 951 varieties of plants, 219 of them yielding medicines. The Warblers and Waders' Club, which conducted an extensive expedition in the forest three years ago, counted 255 varieties of birds, including a variety of eagle (Praparunthu in Malayalam) that had not been presumed extinct as it had not been spotted after 1877 according to the famed ornithologist, Dr Salim Ali. According to some recent archaeological studies, Shenthuruni was the cradle of one of the oldest river valley civilizations in India - one older than even the Indus Valley, which dates from 4400 - 3700 B.C.

How to Reach
The nearest airport is at Trivandrum, at a distance of 70 kilometers from the sanctuary.
 Thenmala railway station is located near the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is well connected to Kollam and Kerala by a wide network of roads.


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