Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary often regarded as the “green lung of Kochi” is situated in the heart of Keralas Metro city Kochi behind the Kerala High Court building. Covering about 2.74 hectares, Mangalavanam is an ecologically sensitive area, and it houses a shallow tidal lake connected with Kochi backwaters by a canal.
Mangalavanam its role in keeping the city’s air pollution under check. Mangalavanam, a nesting ground for a large variety of migratory birds, is a paradise for birdwatchers and twitchers. This green paradise is also a roosting place for resident as well as migratory birds. A survey conducted in 2006 revealed that there were 194 birds belonging to 32 species, in Mangalavanam.
This green dreamland also shelters around six species of mammals including Indian flying-fox, painted bat, Eurasian otter, house rat and three-striped palm squirrel. Further, we have two species of amphibians, limnonectes limnocharis and duttaphrynus melanostictus.
Amid the thick greenery of Mangalavanam cascades a shallow tidal lake bordered with thick mangrove vegetation. The lake is connected to the Cochin backwaters by a canal. And down under the silent depth of this water lives seven species of fishes Anabas testudineus, Striped panchax, Orange chromide, Etroplus suratensis, Malabar swamp eel, Blackline rasbora and Sarotherodon. In the fresh air of Mangalavanam flies 17 species of butterflies, the little beauties that bedeck the sanctuary with multitudes of hues.
The best time to visit the sanctuary are the early summer months, especially from mid-January to early-March.