Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Grizzly Giant Squirrel in ChinnarThe Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is considered unique in the whole of the Western Ghats due to its ecological, geological and cultural importance. The grizzly giant squirrel is the star attraction here, as is the white bison, although to a lesser extent.Chinnar also has the richest reptilian fauna, in addition to a treasure trove of medicinal plants and an entire forest of sandalwood.Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is the ideal place to trek and spot wild elephants.Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary,situated at Kerla – Tamil Nadu border,is surrounded by hills that include Kodaikanal to the south,Valparai to the north and Munnar to the west.

Situated in a rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, which receives only 48 days of rainfall a year, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a massive collection of exotic wildlife including Panthers, Spotted Deer, Gaur, Sambar Deer, the Bonnet Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr and the common Langur.

Contiguous to the Eravikualm National Park and the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, the terrain of this park is highly undulating, with varying altitudes. Although it is located in the rain shadow area, nearly 1,000 species of flowering plants are found here.As it belongs to the shrub jungle category; the visibility is much better compare to the tropical rain forests.Hence,while trekking through the foothills; we will able to have a 360 degree view of the paths we came from, and also our destination.

Chinnar is also rich in avian diversity and the calls of 225 species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary. Other animals found here include the spotted deer, rusty spotted cat, wild dog, barking deer, bonnet macaque, porcupine and the wild boar. Larger mammals include the sambar, gaur and the elephant. Trekking options abound.

The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is locates in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats in Idukki.It is a treasure trove of thousands of animals and plant species. It is credited with having the largest number of reptilian fauna among the sanctuaries in Kerala, including a celebrated inhabitant the mugger crocodile and is home to the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India.

The watch towers set up by the Forest Department serve a excellent vantage points from where one can have panoramic view of the sanctuary. It offers an unbelievably beautiful view of the vast expenses of green forests extending to the nearby state of Tamil Nadu and far away mountains. With a pair of binoculars, one can spot elephants herds that frequent these parts thanks to the water body nearby. It also attracts numerous other species such as spotted deer, bison and the occasional panther.

The Thoovanam waterfall, a spectacular waterfall within the sanctuary. Koottar is a traveller’s delight with a serene stream where the rivers Chinnar and Pambar met. Jumping into the pristine clear and cool water ,you soon where in harmony with mother nature. The sanctuary, a trekker’s paradise, is situated about 60 km away from Munnar.The Munnar – Udummalpet Road passes through the sanctuary. River trekking, nature trails, bird watching, medicinal gardens and tree houses are some of the other attractions on this nature’s paradise.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest airport is at Coimbatore,115km.Kochi International Airport is 180 km.

By rail :Nearest railway station are Aluva (180 km) and Pollachi (72 km).Nearest town is Marayur.

By Road : It is 60 km from Munnar.

Where to Stay

There are no private accommodations in Chinnar.However, there are guest houses, dormitories and some jungle huts by the forest department. There is a refreshment stall at Chinnar near t he Kerala check post. Restaurants at Marayur also offer a few good options.


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