Anamalai Hills, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Anamalai hills is a range of mountains located in South India, in the district of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The hills lie between 10° 13’ and 10° 31’ N, and also between 76° 52’ and 77° 23’. The highest peak of Anamalai hills, also the highest peak in the whole Western ghats and South India, is the Anamudi, which is located in the district of Idukki in Kerala. The forest area covers about 600 square miles of the Anamalai Hills. The forest of the hills is home for many number animals like elephants, tigers, deer, and crocodiles, and also a wide variety of rare birds. The wildlife in the area I another reason which makes this place more beautiful. Anamalai is great choice of place for trekkers with great trekking spots. The place also brings out the ancient culture and history of the forest via stone curvature, antique inscriptions and artistic excellence. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, is considering to select the Anamalai Hills as World Heritage Site.

The nearest airport from Anamalai, is located at Coimbatore. If you are travellinf via train depart at Pollachi station, which is the nearest railway station from the hills. From here trains are available to both Coimbatore and Dindigul. The nearest town to hills is the Pollachi town, and regular buses are available from Coimbatore and Palani to Pollachi. The most suitable time to visit the Anamalai Hills is during the months of from November to May.

There are many places which mkes Anamalai hills a famous tourist, the first and most important one among them is Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary; also known as Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, which is very famous all around the world, for its exhibition of wide varieties of wild life. The wildlife sanctuary was named after the late Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. The sanctuary holds many varieties and rare species of birds like tree pie, black headed oriole, and rocket tailed drongo. It is also home for wide varieties of animals such as tigers, civet cats, elephants, panthers spotted deer and also wild boars. The wildlife sanctuary also provides facilities for trekking, jungle safaris and other adventurous activities.  The sanctuary acts as the core of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The wildlife sanctuary covers about 958 km2 of the whole Anamalai hills.  The spot is located about 90 km from Coimbatore and is also easily accessible from Pollachi. Recently the wildlife sanctuary has been integrated to Anamalai Tigre Reserve. Situated very next to the Anamali, Wildlife Sanctuary is a trendy tourist spot, the Thoonakadavu Lake, and is originated from the Parambikulam dam. The lake provides a great scenery of lush forest and the mountains covered in greenery. Another major attraction of this spot is the playful otters which can be found on the surface of the lake. Swimming is prohibited in the lake, as there are crocodiles living near to the lake.

Parambikulam Sanctuary, shares the boarder of Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, and extends to about 258 km2. The sanctuary was inaugurated in the year 1973. The sanctuary is one of the most leading wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, and is situated to the south of the Palghat Gap. The sanctuary is a great example of the natural beauty of Anamalai Hills. The forest area in the sanctuary comprises rosewood, sandal wood, bamboo, and also teak. The wildlife in the sanctuary includes wild dogs, langurs, elephants, tigers, barking deer, spotted deer, macaques, sloth bears and leopards. The sanctuary also provides the visitors with the facility of wildlife safari, and also dam visits. The sanctuary is in consideration to be selected as World Heritage Site by UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Another one of the popular regions in the Anamalai Hills is the Kolikamuthi Elephant Camp, which is better known as the Elephant Training Centre. The elephant camp accomadates about 50 Malisar tribal families in the Camp. This tribes are well known for their skills in training Asian elephants. The tourists are allowed to travel through the camp via forest jeep, which is provided by the forest department authorities. In order to visit the camp, tourist must get special permission from the forest ranfers at the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Anamalai hills is a shrine for natural lovers, with mesmerizing views and breath taking sceneries. The other interesting tourist spots in Anamalai includes, the Varagaliar Elephant Camps, which holds 21 domestic elephants which are specially trained. Tourists are not usually permitted inside the camp as the elephants might get disturbed in the presence of strangers. The Mt. Stuart Block, a fantastic spot to view bears in the forest. The place is located about 3 km away from the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. This area also contains the tomb of Hugo Woods, one of the British officers who worked at the forest during the colonial rule. He was the one who kept in check that teak plantation.