Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve, earlier known as Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (IGWLS&NP) and previously as Aanaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary, is a protected area located in the Aanaimalai Hills of Pollachi and Valparai taluks of Coimbatore District and Udumalaipettai taluk in Tiruppur District, Tamil Nadu, India. The Tamil Nadu Environment and Forests Department by a notification dated 27 June 2007,[3] declared an extent of 958.59 km2 that encompassed the erstwhile IGWLS&NP or Aanaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary, as Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Reserve presently includes a core area of 958.59 km2 and buffer/peripheral area of 521.28 km2 forming a total area of 1479.87 km2.[4]

Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park/Aanaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
Map showing the location of Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve
Map showing the location of Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve
Location in Tamil Nadu, India
LocationCoimbatore District, Tamil Nadu, India
Coordinates10°25′01″N 77°03′24″E / 10.4170°N 77.0567°ECoordinates: 10°25′01″N 77°03′24″E / 10.4170°N 77.0567°E
Governing bodyTamil Nadu Forest Department
Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve
Anamalai Tiger Reserve Pollachi 116
Athioda Stream
Athioda stream at the park
Jambu Malai 2
Jambu Malai
Shola-grass-mountain-Grass HillsNP
Akka Malai (at rear) at top of Bison Ridge
Nilgiri Langur - Trachypithecus johnii
Vulnerable Nilgiri langur at Indira Gandhi National Park


The park is named after former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi who visited the park on 7 October 1961. The main tourist facilities are located in the northeast corner of the park at "Topslip", so named because of the local 19th century practice of sliding timber logs down the hills from here.[5]


By the mid-1800s, large tracts of Valparai plateau in the Anamalais were under intense tea or coffee plantations after deforestation of the natural forests. By 1866 two-thirds of the plantations were owned by Europeans and the remaining by Indians from coastal towns. Since most native inhabitants either refused to work or were inefficient workers, labour for plantations was brought from the plains of Tamil Nadu to clear forests and grow coffee.

Some parts of the forest however were reserved for timber including large areas around Top Slip. This part of the Western Ghats, under the Bombay Presidency were exploited extensively for teak which was supplied to the Bombay Dockyard for shipbuilding and later for railroad ties.[6]

In 1855, this area came under sustainable forest management for teak plantations by the pioneering efforts Douglas Hamilton and Dr. H. F. Cleghorn of the new Tamil Nadu Forest Department. In the early 1900s, protection of the Karian Sholas was also ensured (Johnsingh 2006a).[7]

The area was notified as Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary in 1974. of its unique habitats at 3 places – Karian Shola, Grass hills, Manjampatti Valley were notified as a National Park in 1989. The 108 square kilometres (42 sq mi) National Park is the core area of the 958 square kilometres (370 sq mi) Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.[1] IGWS was declared a Project Tiger tiger reserve in 2008.

The Park and the Sanctuary is under consideration by UNESCO as part of The Western Ghats World Heritage site.[8] The Sanctuary and the Palni Hills in Dindigul District form the Aanaimalai Conservation Area.[9]


The sanctuary has six administrative ranges;
Pollachi: A southern suburban town of Coimbatore, it has Range Headquarters at Aanaimalai Farm: 109.72 square kilometres (42.36 sq mi)
Valparai: Water Falls: 171.5 square kilometres (66.2 sq mi),
Ulandy Top Slip: 75.93 square kilometres (29.32 sq mi),
Amaravathi: Amaravathi Nagar: 172.5 square kilometres (66.6 sq mi) and
Udumalpet: 290.18 square kilometres (112.04 sq mi).
IGWLS is adjacent to Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary to the west. The core area of Manjampatti Valley is a 110 km2 (42 sq mi)± drainage basin at the eastern end of the park. Manjampatti Valley is contiguous with Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary to the south and the proposed Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park to the east.

Elevation ranges between 340 metres (1,120 ft) and 2,513 metres (8,245 ft) above MSL
There are several named peaks over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in the park, including:

Local name Height Location
Akka Malai 2,483 metres (8,146 ft) 10°20′43″N 77°4′10″E / 10.34528°N 77.06944°E
Tangachi Malai 2,380 metres (7,810 ft) 10°20′46″N 77°3′38″E / 10.34611°N 77.06056°E
Thanakku Malai 2,170 metres (7,120 ft) 10°22′22″N 77°4′44″E / 10.37278°N 77.07889°E
Sadayandi Malai 2,240 metres (7,350 ft) 10°19′28″N 77°6′7″E / 10.32444°N 77.10194°E
Kazhuthasuthi Malai 2,250 metres (7,380 ft) 10°19′38″N 77°5′21″E / 10.32722°N 77.08917°E
Kallar Malai 2,270 metres (7,450 ft) 10°18′48″N 77°4′40″E / 10.31333°N 77.07778°E
Jambu Malai 1,395 metres (4,577 ft) 10°15′51″N 77°15′48″E / 10.26417°N 77.26333°E
Pappalamman Malai 2,201 metres (7,221 ft) 10°17′29″N 77°21′04″E / 10.29139°N 77.35111°E
Vellari Malai 2,219 metres (7,280 ft) 10°15′46″N 77°20′56″E / 10.26278°N 77.34889°E
Podu Malai 2,230 metres (7,320 ft) 10°18′44″N 77°5′16″E / 10.31222°N 77.08778°E
Unknown at Kilanavayal 2,350 metres (7,710 ft) 10°14′55″N 77°21′22″E / 10.24861°N 77.35611°E
Paratumba 2,370 metres (7,780 ft) 10°13′39″N 77°17′24″E / 10.22750°N 77.29000°E
Kalabhaathur Malai 2,066 metres (6,778 ft) 10°14′09″N 77°16′13″E / 10.23583°N 77.27028°E
Kadavaari 2,112 metres (6,929 ft) 10°13′40″N 77°17′24″E / 10.22778°N 77.29000°E

Mean annual rainfall is between 500 millimetres (20 in) in the south western fringes and 4,500 millimetres (180 in) on the north east. This Sanctuary is an important watershed for the agricultural economy and power supply in other parts of Tamil Nadu. Major reservoirs like Parambikulam Reservoir, Aliyar Reservoir, Thirumurthi Reservoir, Upper Aliyar Reservoir, Kadambarai, Sholayar Dam and Amaravathi Dam are fed by the perennial rivers which originate from the Sanctuary.[1]

Tribal Communities

The IGWS has significant anthropological diversity with more than 4600 Adivasi people from six tribes of indigenous people living in 34 settlements. The tribes are the Kadars, Malasars, Malaimalasar s, Pulaiyars, Muduvars and the Eravallan (Eravalar).[10][11]


Threatened species of mammals in the sanctuary include:

'asiatic wild dog), Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque,

Animals of least concern here include: golden jackal, leopard cat, jungle cat, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, common langur, bonnet macaque, Asian palm civet, small Indian civet, Indian gray mongoose, striped-necked mongoose, ruddy mongoose, grey slender loris, Indian giant squirrel, Indian crested porcupine, Indian pangolin, Indian porcupine and three-striped palm squirrel.

Over 250 species of birds have been identified in the park. Some of the most important groups are cormorants, ducks, teal, darter, partridge, quail, jungle fowl, spurfowl, Indian peafowl, parakeets, hornbills, barbets, drongos, orioles, shrikes, warblers, Old World flycatchers, woodpeckers, leafbird, trogons, kingfishers, storks, egrets, Lesser fish eagles, hawk eagles, harriers, falcons, kites, owls and nightjars. It is also home to the near-threatened great Indian hornbill.

It is home to 15 of 16 species of birds endemic to the Western Ghats.

Reptiles include toads, spotted leaping frog and Leith's leaping frog, black torrent frogs, anaimalai flying frog, tree frogs, pythons, cobras, kraits, vipers, grass snakes, forest cane turtles, Travancore tortoises, flapshell turtless, star tortoises, flying lizards, chameleons and forest lizards.

315 species of butterflies belonging to five families have been identified in the Anaimalai Hills. 44 are endemic to the Western Ghats.[12]

Anaimalai Tiger Reserve

The Steering Committee of Project Tiger granted approval in principle to inclusion of Indira Gandhi WLS and NP under Project Tiger in 2005.[13] IGWS was declared a Project Tiger sanctuary in 2008.[14] Continuance of Project Tiger' in Anamalai Tiger Reserve for FY 2010/11, at the cost of Rs. 23547,000, was approved by the National Tiger Conservation Authority on 31 August 2010.[15]

This tiger reserve, together with the several other contiguous protected forest and grassland habitats, is the core of the Parambikulum-Indira Gandhi tiger habitat landscape complex, with tiger occupancy area of about 3,253 km2 (1,256 sq mi) and an estimated metapopulation of 34 (32 to 36) tigers.[7]

Kozhikamudhi Elephant Camp

Indira Gandhi WS & NP
Tourists with Kumki elephant from Kozhikamudhi Elephant Camp after Elephant Pongal at Top Slip

Elephants were earlier trained and used at Anamalai for timber operations till felling of trees was stopped in 1972. The elephant camp has become a popular public attraction since 1976. There are 20 kumki elephants at the Kozhikamudhi Elephant Camp in the IGWSNP. There are 13 tuskers (including three calves) and seven cow elephants. The names and ages of twelve of the working elephants are: Vijayalakshmi (58), Sarada (56), Nanjan (50), Kaleem (45), Paari (31), Kalpana (30), Venkatesh (28), Karthik (27), Bharani (25), Durga (13), Rajvardhan (11) and Suyambu (4).[16]

In 1997, annual celebration of Elephant Pongal at Top Slip was begun. For Pongal, several decorated elephants stand in front of the Pongal pot to mark the commencement of the celebration. The elephants are fed chakkarai pongal, banana and sugarcane while lined up behind a barricade, so tourists can have a close look. In 2011, Elephant Pongal was celebrated on 18 January.[16]

On 24 February 2011 the Kumki Karthik was gored to death by two wild male elephants after it unchained itself in the camp and escaped into the forest. The elephant was in musth and was in search of a female companion. It was gored by the two elephants possibly because Karthik entered their habitation leading to a territorial conflict.[17]


IGWS&NPGrass Hills
Shola/grassland complex at Grass Hills, Indira Gandhi National Park

The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna typical of the South Western Ghats. There are over 2000 species plants of which about 400 species are of prime medicinal value. The diverse topography and rainfall gradient allow a wide variety of vegetation comprising a mix of natural and man-made habitats. The former includes wet evergreen forest and semi-evergreen forest, montane shola-grassland, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, thorn forests and marshes. Tropical wet evergreen forest is found at an altitude of 600m to 1,600m.

Tropical montane forests occur at higher elevations and are interspersed with montane grasslands, forming the shola-grassland complex. Much of the original evergreen forest now contains introduced teak plantations. Bamboo stands and reeds occur in the natural forests. Tree cover is provided by Hopea parviflora, Mesua ferrea, Calophyllum tomentosum, Vateria indica, Cullenia excelsa and Mangifera indica, Machilus macrantha, Alstonia scholaris, Evodia meliaefolia, Ailanthus and Malabaricum and Eucalyptus grandis. The area is home to Podocarpus wallichianus, a rare South Indian species of conifer.[1]

Visitor information

Top Slip Lodge
A lodge at Top Slip

The IGWLS is managed by the Wildlife Warden and falls within the administrative control of the Coimbatore Forest Circle headed by the Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore. The park has a large tourist complex at Top Slip that houses many cottages, rooms, and dormitories for visitors. Visitors can get around the park by trekking and a safari van.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park". Tamil Nadu Forest Department. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
  2. ^ Sen, Sumit K. "Top Slip Indira Gandhi National Park". Birds of India. Kolkata: Sumit K Sen. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  3. ^ Tamil Nadu Government Gazette, Part II—Section 2, No. II(2)/EF/333/2007, dated 27 June 2007, page 240.
  4. ^ "Aanaimalai Tiger Reserve". National Tiger Conservation Authority. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b National Geographic Channel, OFF THE BEATEN TRACK, Indira Gandhi National Park [1]
  6. ^ Government of India, "Bombay Dock", Early History (Indian Navy), National Informatics Center, archived from the original on 10 March 2010, retrieved 14 March 2012
  7. ^ a b Y.V.Jhala, Q.Qureshi, R.Gopal, and P.R.Sinha (Eds.) (2011). "Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India" (PDF). 2011: National Tiger Conservation Authority, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ UNESCO, World Heritage sites, Tentative lists, Western Ghats sub cluster, Anamalai, 2007. [2]
  9. ^ Sajeev T.K.; et al., "Management of Forests in India for Biological Diversity and Forest Productivity- A New Perspective" (PDF), Volume III Anaimalai Conservation Area (ACA), WII-USDA Forest Service Collaborative Project Grant No. FG-In-780 (In-FS-120), pp. 169–190.
  10. ^ "Tribes of the Anamalais", Discover Wild – Care for the Anamalais, retrieved 14 May 2007
  11. ^ Sajeev T.K.; et al., "Management of Forests in India for Biological Diversity and Forest Productivity- A New Perspective" (PDF), Volume III Anaimalai Conservation Area (ACA), WII-USDA Forest Service Collaborative Project Grant No. FG-In-780 (In-FS-120), pp. 169–190.
  12. ^ Discover Wild – Care for the Anamalais, retrieved 14 May 2007 the INDIRA GANDHI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY & NATIONAL PARK Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Proteded Area Update (Oct. 2005) "New Tiger Reserves" (No. 57) p.17 [3] Archived 17 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Eight New Tiger Reserves". Press Release. Ministry of Environment and Forests, Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  15. ^ Dr. Rajesh Gopal, APCCF (PT) and Member Secretary (NTCA) (31 August 2010), "Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme 'Project Tiger' Administrative Approval for funds release to Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu during 2010–11." (PDF), No. 4-1(32)/2010-PT, New Delhi: National Tiger Conservation Authority, archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2011, retrieved 2 February 2011
  16. ^ a b V.S. Palaniappan (19 January 2011), "Jumbos in all majesty at Top Slip", The Hindu, Chennai: Kasturi & Sons Ltd, retrieved 10 February 2011
  17. ^ "Kumki elephant gored to death", The Hindu, Chennai: Kasturi & Sons Ltd, 25 January 2011, retrieved 25 February 2011

External links

Anaimalai Hills

The Anaimalai or Anamala Hills, also known as the Elephant Mountains, are the range of mountains that form the southern portion of the Western Ghats and span the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India. The name animala is derived from the Tamil word anai or ana, meaning elephant, and malai or mala, meaning hill — thus Elephant Hill.

Anamudi Peak (8,842 feet [2,695 metres]) lies at the extreme southwestern end of the range and is the highest peak in southern India. Palakkad Gap divides the Western Ghats to the north. The lower slopes of the hills now have coffee and tea plantations as well as teak forests of great economic value. Dense monsoon forests including rosewood, sandalwood, teak, and sago palms cover most of the region, which helps the coffee and tea plantations and teak plantations grow.

The Western Ghats and Anaimalai Sub-Cluster, including the Anaimalai Hills, are currently under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Banasura Hill

Banasura Hill is one of the tallest mountains in the Western Ghats of Wayanad district, Kerala, India. The hill is named after Banasura, a mythical character of Indian legends. It is one of the highest peak exceeding 2,000m between Nilgiris and Himalayas after Chembra Peak.

Canopy bridge

Canopy Bridge connects two or more large trees on either sides of the road to facilitate the crossing of wildlife especially primates from one part of the forest to the other and help mitigate roadkills. The canopy bridge at Puduthotam at Valparai is a good example of canopy bridge installed by Nature conservation foundation and Anamalai Tiger reserve to mitigate roadkill of the endangered and endemic Lion-tailed macaque.

Chembra Peak

Chembra Peak (Chembra Mala) is one of the highest peak in the Western Ghats and the highest peak in Wayanad hills, at 2,100 m (6,890 ft) above sea level. Chembra is located near the town of Meppadi and is 8 km (5 mi) south of Kalpetta. It is part of the Wayanad hill ranges in Western Ghats, adjoining the Nilgiri Hills and Vellarimala in Kozhikode district in Kerala. It is the highest and the largest peak in Western Ghats of India in between Nilgiris and Himalayas exceeding 2,000m . Visits to this peak organized by 'the Chempra Peak VSS' under the control of South Wayanad Forest Development Agency, guides are provided for trekking. Chembra Peak is accessible by foot from Meppady. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides and trekking equipment on hire charges to tourists. Banasura Sagar Dam and Banasura Hill is also nearby.

Grass Hills National Park

Grass Hills National Park is a protected area in the Western Ghats, India, and a part of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, forming its boundary with Eravikulam National Park in neighbouring Kerala state. It is not an actual National Park. The landscape is a combination of peaks and high plateaus above 2000m MSL composed of montane shola-grassland ecosystem that is unique to the higher ranges of the Western Ghats of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The important peaks are, Attuparai kurukku top(6662ft), Oosi malai Theri, kazhuku chutti malai, silve medu. It is primarily a shola grassland eco system

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in the Western Ghats, India.

Indirana phrynoderma

Indirana phrynoderma is a species of frog endemic to the Anaimalai Hills, of the Western Ghats of Kerala and Tamil nadu states in South India. This species is known from Munnar, Eravikulam National Park, Valparai tea gardens, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Grass Hills National Park and Palni hills. It is a very rare terrestrial frog species associated with leaf-litter in tropical moist forest. It is threatened by habitat loss caused by subsistence wood collecting. It has the status of one of the "Top 100 Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered Amphibians".

List of birds of South India

This list of birds of South India includes bird from India south approximately of the Narmada River.

Rollapadu in Andhra Pradesh, Nagarhole (Rajiv Gandhi National Park) and Bandipur National Park in Karnataka; Rajamalai (Eravikulam National Park) and Periyar National Park in Kerala; Mudumalai National Park, Udhagamandalam, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in Anamalai, Vedanthangal and Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in Kodikkarai, Tamil Nadu are notable bird watching locations in South India.


Malakkappara or Malakhappara is a small hill station and tourist destination, being a border place in the Thrissur district, state of Kerala, India. This is a lesser developed area in Kerala.

Languages spoken: Malayalam

PIN: 680721

Gram Panchayat: Athirappilly

Village: Pariyaram in Chalakudy Taluk

Legislative Constituency: Chalakudy

Parliament Constituency: Chalakudy

Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

The Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is a proposed protected area in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu India. The park will be an upgrade and expansion of the 736.87 km2 (PRO) Palani (Kodaikanal) Wildlife Sanctuary which was to be established in 2008. The park includes about 36% of the 2,068 square kilometres (798 sq mi) in the Palani Hills. The park is located between latitude 10°7' - 10°28' N and longitude 77°16' - 77°46' E. Central location is 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) east northeast of Silver Cascade Waterfall and 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) E X NE of Kodaikanal Lake.

Protected areas of Tamil Nadu

The Protected areas of Tamil Nadu State in South India cover an area of 3,305 km2 (1,276 sq mi), constituting 2.54% of the geographic area and 15% of the 22,643 km2 (8,743 sq mi) recorded forest area. It ranks 14th among all the States and Union Territories of India in terms of total protected area.Creation and administration of Protected areas in South India originated with the Maharajas of the Southern Princely States' private hunting grounds. The Mudumalai National Park, established in 1940, was the first modern Wildlife Sanctuary in South India. Most protected areas throughout its 30 Districts are under the stewardship of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.


Udumalai, also known as Udumalaipettai or Udumalpet, is a selection grade municipality in Tiruppur district in the kongu nadu region of Tamil Nadu. .It is famous for spinning mills.It is the headquarters of Udumalaipettai taluk and as of 2011, the town had a population of 61,133. Udumalpet town is under Udumalpet Legislative Assembly constituency.

Wildlife crossing

Wildlife crossings are structures that allow animals to cross human-made barriers safely. Wildlife crossings may include: underpass tunnels, viaducts, and overpasses (mainly for large or herd-type animals); amphibian tunnels; fish ladders; Canopy bridge (especially for monkeys and squirrels), tunnels and culverts (for small mammals such as otters, hedgehogs, and badgers); green roofs (for butterflies and birds).Wildlife crossings are a practice in habitat conservation, allowing connections or reconnections between habitats, combating habitat fragmentation. They also assist in avoiding collisions between vehicles and animals, which in addition to killing or injuring wildlife may cause injury to humans and property damage.

Similar structures can be used for domesticated animals, such as cattle creeps.

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