|Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Highlights: Munnar, Kuthumkal Waterfalls and flora/fauna of the park
How To Reach:
By Air: Cochin is the nearest airport (at a distance of 200 kilometers) and Coimbatore.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Aluva (at a distance of 200 kilometers) and Pollachi (at a distance of 60 kilometers)
By Bus: Chinnar can be approached from all parts of the country. The sanctuary is well connected to various states by a fine network of roads.
In 1984, Chinnar acquired the status of a wildlife sanctuary. It is located at Devikulam Taluka of Idukki district in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary receives rainfall for only 48 days annually. Spreading on an area of about 90.422 square kilometers, the sanctuary provides habitat to endangered giant grizzled squirrel in India. There are xerophytic species in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The vegetation in the Park consists of Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands. Following species of plants are found in the thorny scrub forests: Acacia arabica (Karivelam), Acacia leucofolia (Velvelam), Acacia concinna (Cheevaka), Prosopis juliflora (Prosopis) and Opuntia dillenii (Kallimul). Dry Deciduous Vegetation consists of Terminialia arjuna (Nirmaruthu), Santalum album (Chandanam), Anogeissuslatifolia (Mazhukanjiram), Tamarindus Indica (Puli), Pongamia lanceolata (Ventheku), Emblic officianalis (Nelli), Tectona grandis (Teak), Cassia Fistula (Konna), Terminalia bellerica (Thanni), Dalbergia latifolia (Rosewood) etc
While walking through the Park you will feel that it is a dream world. There are a lot of beautiful butterflies flying about in the sanctuary. The animals residing in the Park are Elephants, Spotted Deer, Rabbit, Sambhar, Hanuman monkey and Peacocks.
Kuthumkal Waterfalls offer a breathtaking and stress relieving view of the water falling down from high mountains. Throughout the sanctuary many watch towers have been constructed to make it easier to look at the sanctuary. The park is open officially only between 7am and 6pm.
Here is a list of various Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks: