At a Glance Anamalai wildlife sanctuary is one of the most attractive preserves of nature in Tamil Nadu, is also known as the India Gandhi National Park and is located in the Western Ghats. There are many places of natural and scenic beauty in the Annamalai wildlife sanctuary. Some of them are Grass hills, Karianshola, Anaikunthi Shola, groves, waterfalls, teak forests, reservoirs and dams. Nilgiri Langur, Liontailed macaque Gaur, Elephant, Chital, Sambar, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Variety of Birds, Tiger, panther, Wild Dog, Nilgiri Tahr.The park is rich in mixed deciduous forest with fair population of rosewood and teaks.
The forests are noted for their valuable timber trees including teak and rosewood, Hopea parviflora, Mesua ferrea, Calophyllum tomentosum, Vateria indica, Cullenia excels and Mangifera indica. Softwoods include Machilus Macrantha, Alstonia scholaris, Evodia meliaefolia, Ailanthus and Malabaricum. Wood for making pulp is procured from Eucalyptus hybrid and Eucalyptus grandis. Minor forest produce is collected from bamboos, reeds, soapnuts, canes, gums, lemon grass, wild cardamom, honey and amla. In addition to the economically useful plants listed, some rare orchids are found and the sanctuary is the only home of the South Indian species of conifer, podocarpus wallichianus.
ClimateThe mercury ranges from 14°C – 32°C during March to October and to 6°C-24°C during November to February. Avoid rainy months.
FloraRich mixed deciduous forest, Tropical wet Evergreen, Tropical moist deciduous. The vegetation or Flora in Indira Gandhi National Park comprises some 8,000 species of plants. The jungles in Indira Gandhi Sanctuary are thick and wooded with the flora to back up the fabulous fauna. There are evergreen forests in Indira Gandhi National Park, which are moist and deciduous forests and the lagoons and estuaries, sheltering unique forms of plant and animal life. The dry deciduous, the semi-evergreen, and the wet temperate habitat of this park contain teak, rose wood and many miscellaneous tropical species.
FaunaThe Anamalai wildlife sanctuary has various kinds of fauna like Panther, Elephant, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Tiger, Deer, Wild Bear, Porcupine, Wild Dog, Flying Squirrel, Jackal, Civet Cat, Pangolin and birds like Rocket-tailed Drongo, Red Tree Pie, Whiskered Bulbul, Spotted Dove, Black Headed Oriole, Pigeon etc. There is a reservoir (the Amaravati reservoir) in the Anamalai, having a large number of crocodiles. In Anamalai (Indira Gandhi) National Park one can also see sambar, gaur, mouse deer, barking deer, but the exclusive attraction of the National Park are Nilgiri langur, lion tailed macaque and spectacular birds.
Travel Tips It is advisable that travelers should carry easy-to-wear, dull-colored clothes, cotton socks and a pair of sneakers / canvas shoes. Torch, insect repellents, leech lotions, anti- sunscreen and headgear should also be a part of the kit.
Best Time to Visit This Park is open round the year – May to June and October to February. www.wildlifeofindia.com
Topslip “The pollution free heavenly land” Topslip is located above the 800 feet from the sea level on the Anamalai mountain range and in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. It stands majestically with Green Spread Mountains and forest all around. The unique teak forests, Bamboo forest also located near Topslip.
The Sanctuary is highly diverse in its topography, altitude, rainfall, climate and temperature. Therefore, it naturally supports a wide variety of flora and fauna including several rare, endemic and endangered species of plants and animals. Diversity of landscape and its components enchants one and all alike be he a tourist, a trekker, an anthropologist, a wildlifer or a naturalist.
COURTESY OF TOP SLIP.CO.IN
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.Let us now explore some of the options in and around Munnar that would provide travellers ample opportunities to enjoy the captivating hill station of Munnar.
Courtesy of www.keralatourism.org
The Pothundy Dam is a picturesque locale with facilities for boating and is a nice option as a picnic place. As the Ghat road winds its way up to Nelliyampathy, at certain places there are viewpoints from where the vast stretches of Palakkad district are visible with its extensive paddy fields forming a verdant carpet. It also offers a splendid view of the Palakkad Gap, which is a geographical phenomenon in the Western Ghats formation in this region, bringing into view, parts of the adjoining State of Tamilnadu.
On the way up, those interested in bio farming can take a close look at the privately managed farms and also vast expanses of tea estates managed by different plantation companies. The hills of Nelliyampathy are also well known for its orange cultivation.
Privately owned hotels and resorts are located at various points, as one goes up the hills of Nelliyampathy. The bio-farms located here are a major landmark as one proceeds up before reaching the topmost point at Palagapandi estate. The estate has a quaint bungalow, built during the period of the British rule in India, and has now been converted into a private owned resort. At Kaikatty, a community hall is available, which is usually used as a base by those interested in trekking.
Not far away from Palagapandy is Seetharkundu where one can have a fantastic valley view, and a 100 m high waterfall providing an added attraction. From Palagapandy, one can trek or go by jeep to reach Mampara; another breathtaking vantage point at Nelliyampathy. The area in and around Palagapandy estate has tea, cardamom and coffee plantations with adjoining hills allowing one to catch a glimpse of the wildlife in the form of Indian gaur, elephants, leopards, giant squirrel etc. and is also a paradise for birdwatchers.
Courtesy : wikimapia.org
A pollution free heavenly land. Valparai is located 3,500 feet above sea level on the Anamalai mountain range. Valparai is not just a small town. It stands majestically with Green Spread Mountains and forest all around. Valparai shares its boundaries with Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park and Vazhachal forest division. People are approachable and very friendly. This is a one of the places that you shouldn’t miss in your life.
The unique grass forests, Grass Hills, is also located near Valparai. The hill sports tall grass and houses elephants, boars, cheetah and other wild animals. In addition, one can drive around the mountain tea estates enjoying the pleasant climate and forget the once dense forest that have paved the way for tea bushes. 64-km drive from Pollachi to Valparai is itself an exotic experience. En route is the Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary where lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri and the common langur, Malabar giant squirrel, elephant, gaur, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and wild boar reside. From Valparai you can visit the Aliyar, Sholaiyar and Nirar dams. Tunnels bored into the mountains and canals to harness the water from Parambikulam, Aliyar, Nirar, Sholaiyar Dam, and several tourist spots.
Thirumoorthy Hill is a part of Western Ghats about 19 km from Udumalaipettai. This hill is also a part of the Indra Gandhi national park and has a huge number of plants and animals living in it. The important landmarks in the Thirumoorthy hill are Universal Peace Foundation, Thirumoorthy dam, Thirumoorthy waterfall and Thirumoorthy Temple. Thirumoorthy Temple Road is the major road which passes through this hill. Thirumoorthy Hill at Udumalaipettai is located at 10°27’46.2″N 77°09’18.2″E or 10.462829, 77.155051. It is situated 50 Kms from Pollachi and 20 kms from Udumalaipet on the highway from Palani to Coimbatore. Like other hills in Anamalai range, this place heaven for the hikers and natural lovers