Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala India
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, and so receives comparatively less rainfall in comparison to other parts of Kerala. The vegetations of Chinnar primarily comprises of thorny scrub forest, dry deciduous forest, high sholas and wet grasslands, which supports a wide variety of wildlife.
Popularly regarded as the second habitat of the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary also shelters Asiatic Elephants, Tigers, Sambars, Bonnets, Spotted Deer, Macaques, Indian Bisons and spectacled Cobras to name a few. The sanctuary is also rich in its avifauna and attracts a wide variety of exotic and colorful birds including Woodpeckers, Peacocks, Little Cormorants, Darters and Black Eagles etc.
Located at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-known reserve that extends over an area of over 90 sq km. Recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984, it lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats. As a result, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during the months of October and November when Northeast monsoons are at work. Apart from being the habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel in India, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, elephant, bonnet macaques, gaur, Kraits, spotted deer, spectacled cobras, sambar, turtles, vipers, little cormorants, darters and black eagles. The place is also ideal for boating and trekking.
The sanctuary abounds in a variety of trees, including the unique thorny scrub forest with Xerophytic species. The flora of the sanctuary comprises dry deciduous forest, thorny scrub forests, high sholas and wet grasslands. It is, indeed, a reservoir of tranquil greenery ensconced the verdant valley.
Among the species of flora include Acacia arabica (Karivelam), Acacia leucofolia (Velvelam), Santalum album (Chandanam), Anogeissuslatifolia (Mazhukanjiram), Elaeocarpus recurvatus (Bhadraksham) and Strobilanthus kunthianus (Neelakurinji). The rippling topography with breathtaking spectacle of craggy rocks adds to the scenic grandeur of the sanctuary. Best Season to visit the sanctuary is from December to April. As far as accommodation is concerned, private lodges are available at Marayoor, Munnar and Udumalpetta. You can also find accommodation in the government guesthouses at Munnar and Udumalpetta.