Indira Gandhi National Park formerly called as Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is among the handful of national parks and wildsanctuaries that have been built over the years, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is quite prominent and is situated in the high mountainous ranges of the Western Ghats. It has rich heritage due to its close association of the Vijayanagar Empire of the medieval period. The largest teak and rosewood trees are grown in the lush forests of this sanctuary.
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary houses endemic arboreal animals like lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, Common Langur, Nilgiris Langur, Malabar Giant squirrel and Grizzled giant Squirrel. The wild animals populating this sanctuary are Tiger, Panther, Elephant, Gaur, Pangolin, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Wild Boar, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Nilgiris Tahr, Civet Cat and Toddy Cat.
The Indira Gandhi wildlife Sanctuary flora is thick and wooded.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.
In and Around
It is the place of first choice to most of the tourists. Ample accommodation, vehicle ride, elephant ride and regulated nature walk are provided. Adjacent Karianshola a tropical rain forest with tall rising trees and well-developed canopy forest is for serious visitors. Medicinal Plants Conservation area (MPCA) and interpretation centre here cannot be missed. In the west, it connects with Kerala’s Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and a joint visit would give a taste of varied landscape and lot of surprises.
It is located at Chinnar which is 25 KM from Topslip. Grassy swamps and teak plantations and the Seychalli valley are other interesting spots.
It is one of the highest mid elevation hill resort in the country. The tea plantations are surrounded by evergreen moist deciduous forest a rich elephant tract and a panther prowl.
It can be reached conventionally through pollachi over the Attakatti ghat or from topslip via vargaliar and manompally. The shoals and grass lands which are continuous with the grass lands till Konalar hut and a briddle path connects the grass hills of the Eravikulam National Park in Munnar district. Rhododenron, Kurinji are popular in this tract. Tiger, panther, Elephant Nilgiri Tahr and many other wildlife are found to be peacefully existing in this area. The grass hills road ends at Konalar, a small mountain stream across which the Konalar hut is located.
The Crocodile farm at Amaravathi dam is one of the four major crocodile farms in the country and is a popular destination. The crocodile farm is also the home of grizzled squirrels with many nests located on trees within the farm. The forests around are ideal elephant tracts.
Monkey falls located at the 29th km junction on the Pollachi-valparai road, is the place for a refreshing bath from the natural falls
Attakatti is about 36 km. on the pollachi Valparai state highway.A well maintained trekking shed is available near Attakatti. The area is an ideal dry deciduous and moist deciduous forest tract and home of wildlife like Elephant, Tiger, Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar etc.
Monompally is about 85 km from Pollachi and about 20 km from valparai has a beautiful trekking shed close to Manompally river. The place is known for its thick shola forests, fast flowing rivers and scenic beauty.
Manjapatty valley is a unique elephant country. The Dhallinji and Manjampatti tribal settlements are within this area.
It is about 25 km from Udumalpet, is famous for the Panchalingam water falls. The place has many tribal settlements around and has rich moist & dry deciduous forests.
Chinnar is situated at about 25 km from Amaravathi. Elephants are very common here. Deers and Bisons are also seen in large numbers. It has abundant population of Elephants, Grizzled Squirrels, wide variety of small mammals, birds and reptiles. Tigers are a common sight for visitors on this road.
Several interesting trek routes are avaialable and regular guided treks are conducted during favourable season. Prior notice of a fortnight is necessary.Some of enchanting trek routes are
Top Slip-Karianshola-Pandaravarai-Topslip trek of 12 kms takes 5 hrs. It is best done during September – March. It is a trek for animal and bird watching. There will be no need for camping enroute.
Akkamalai-Thanakka malai-konal Ar- Fishing hut – Akkamalai. Moderate to steep climb to a distance of 10 kms and climbing down for 20 kms takes 7 hrs. during june. The route passes through vast stretches of rolling meadows with evergreen shoals. Herds of Nilgiri Tahr a mountain goat are found.Fishing hut at Konalar is an exciting camp site.
Elumalaiyan Odai-Kamanuthu pungan odai-udumalpet moonar road. A steep climb for two kms and gentle undulating ground for 7 kms.takes 3 hrs. done during December- June. Panther, Gaur, Sambar, Deer, Elephant, Tiger and a variety of birds are sighted. Observation tower at Kamanuthu provision for halt at Amaravathi.
Monkey falls – a linear stretch of evergreen forests is surrounded by rocky cliffs.
Varagaliar – Kurampalliar and Varagaliar shola– Perrunkundru Malai- back – a 14 KM stiff climb taking 7 hrs, is best done during September- March. A It takes one through a stretch of lower elevation, shola supports large number of arboreal animals especially primates (Lion Tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur). Nilgiri Tahr and Indian Hornbill can be sighted. Forest Rest House at Varagaliar will be the camping site.
Moderate warm climate almost through the year makes it attractive destination throughout the year but the best time to visit would be December to April.
How to Reach
The nearest airport is at Coimbatore (Peelamedu airport, 10 km from Coimbatore city).
The nearest railway station is at Pollachi from where there are trains to Coimbatore and Dindigul.
There are regular bus services from Coimbatore and Palani to Pollachi, which is the nearest town. There are two buses a day from Pollachi to the Anamalai park. Taxis from Pollachi are also available for hire.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
There are many lodges and rest houses available at the lodges in Topslip, which must be to be booked in advance at the Wildlife Warden Office, 178 Meenkarai Road, in Pollachi. Ambuli Illam at Top Slip, distance 2-km from the reception center, is the best place to visit and stay and it also has a restaurant. There are several other places to visit Pollachi also.
Near forest checkpost
Pollachi – 642133
The Dense farm stey and nature camp
Near Topslip check post