Recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984, Chinnar spreads over an area of approximately 90 sq km. Located at about 60 km from Munnar at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district, Kerala, the Sanctuary is a well-known wildlife reserve. It is regarded as one of the unique protected areas in the whole of the Western Ghats due to its ecological, floral, geomorphologic and cultural significance.
The terrain is highly undulating with altitudes ranging from 500m at Chinnar to over 2300m at Nandala Malai. The sanctuary is situated in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats and as a result, Chinnar gets only about 48 days rain mostly during the north-east monsoons (October-December). The sanctuary is also flanking to Eravikulam National Park and Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu.
Due to the significant variation in altitude and rainfall, the sanctuary abounds in a variety of trees, including the unique thorny scrub forest with Xerophytes species. The flora of the sanctuary comprises dry deciduous forest, thorny scrub forests, riverine forests, high shoals and wet grasslands.
The riverine forests along Chinnar and Pambar support a healthy population of endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel. Chinnar has recorded the largest number of reptilian fauna in Kerala including the mugger crocodile. Chinnar is also the habitat for Elephant, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Panther, Sambar, Hanuman Langur, Rabbit and the famous and rare white bison. With a bird population of 225 species it is one of the richest areas of south India in avian diversity.
Visiting Thoovanam waterfalls, deep inside the Chinnar wilderness, will be a pleasant andserene experience. Trekking, boating, camping, bird safari and jungle safari are options open to visitors. The Forest Dept does not conduct any organized tours in the Sanctuary.
The Munnar- Udumalpet road passes through the sanctuary providing an easy access to the place. State transport buses provide regular services from the major neighboring cities. Another option is to hire a taxi or travel in your own four-wheeler. The nearest railhead is Ernakulam about 130 km from Munnar. The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport, about 150 km from Munnar
For further information contact:
Ecodevelopment Committee Office,
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary,
Kerala State - 685 620,
I N D I A