|God's Own Country, Kerala, is renowned for its natural beauty. The lush tropical forests of Kerala are a major attraction for tourists from all over the world and India. The tropical and evergreen Kerala forests are one of the richest in the world in terms of biodiversity. This delicate eco system has a range of flora and fauna, each existing in its own little ecological niche.
The Nilgiris and Western Ghats are well known for their lush forgets and plantations, whether the cardamom fields or coffee farms or the wild growth which is home to orchids, ferns and hardwoods like teak, rosewood etc. Some of the best-known forests of Kerala, like the Periyar, Eravikulum, Peppara and Peechy are protected sanctuaries home to rare species of plants, birds and animals. The famed Periyar sanctuary shelters the Indian tiger, as well as many herds of elephants. The Periyar has an artificial lake that is popular due to the cruising facilities it offers, and you can take a look at the many wild denizens of the Kerala forests as you take a boat ride across the waters. The Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is reputed to have over 500 bird species, all finding shelter and nourishment in the Kerala forests. The Kerala forests also have old settlements of the tribes of Kerala, and sometimes you may come upon an old forest shrine or temple.
The Silent Valley forest near Mannakad and the Wagamon greens are very popular with trekkers. Marayoor is famed for its fragrant sandalwood trees, endangered now because of rampant misuse. Many of the forests and wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala are concentrated along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, owing to the ideal climatic conditions on the Western Ghats area here.
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