Pampadum Shola National Park
|Pampadum Shola National Park|
|Location||Devikulam taluk, Idukki district, Kerala, South India|
|Area||1.32 km2 (0.51 sq mi)
1,886 meters (6,188 ft) to 2,531 meters (8,304 ft)
|Governing body||Kerala Forest Department|
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 Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including these parks, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
The name´"Pampadum Shola" means, "the forest where the snake dances", derived from three Tamil (one of the Dravidian languages) words, "paamp", which means "snake"; "aattam", means "dance"; and "cholai", means "forest". "Shola" may be considered as a mis-speller of "cholai".
The park protects a moderate amount of montane evergreen shola forest that is associated with the wildlife rich Eravikulam National Park.
There are various types of medicinal plants (herbs), of which studies have been made. After the forest range there are grandis (a variety of eucalyptus) that threatens the ecology of the area due to its dehydrating and quick-spreading character. These trees as well as the private legal and illegal plantations of the same trees remain as a living danger. The eucalyptus trees (grandis) that eat up the unique eco-system is yet to be a consideration of the forestry. The national park with its unique richness of uncontaminated "humus", has been an interest of studies recently.
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.
The Forest Department provides opportunity to experience the beauty of Pampadum Shola National Park to the curious tourists and research fellows. A special welcome board is placed at the entrance of the National Park, at the Check-post, which is 7 km before reaching Vattavada. These days the National Park is open to the tourists with payment, and the accompaniment of the forest officers, for the safety of the forest as well as of the people. The evergreen trees and the water sources become the habitat of various birds and animals. This thick green forest is situated almost 35 km away from Munnar, towards the road to Koviloor and Vattavada.
- Envis Kerala (2009). "Forest". Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment. Archived from the original on March 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
- Online Highways LLC. (2004) India | Kerala | Devikulam Pambadum Shola National Park, retrieved 6/4/2007 
- K.S. Sudhi (Nov 03, 2006) The Hindu, retrieved 6/21/2007 New lives bloom in Rajamala
- UNESCO, World Heritage sites, Tentative lists, Western Ghats sub cluster, Niligiris. retrieved 4/20/2007 World Heritage sites, Tentative lists
- "Pampadum Shola National Park" (PDF). 19 Maharani Chinnamba Road Alwarpet, Chennai - 600018: Ficus Wildlife & Natural History Tours. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
- Mathew Roy, Kerala, Small National Parks
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