Located 60 km eastwards of Munnar, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected wildlife area in the lofty Western Ghats. Spread in an area of 90 sq km of land, this wildlife sanctuary is home to a decent population of Elephants, Deer, Leopards and endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel. A bio-diversity hotspot, this reserve is home to more than 580 fauna species including 20 species of snakes, 152 species of butterflies and 34 species of mammals. Other animals that can be spotted here include spotted deer, Manjampatti white bison, hanuman monkey, Indian star tortoise, threatened Nilgiri Tahr, tigers, Bonnet Macaque, Indian elephant and common langur.
One of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, it is called home by as many as 245 species birds including throated bulbuls and peacocks. Chinnar and Pambar Rivers have around 42 types of fishes. The sanctuary also has more than 965 species of flora and also comprise of a huge sandalwood forest. Chinnar Reserved Forest was made a protected area in the year 1984. The stunning Thoovanam waterfall fall in the vicinity of the sanctuary and forms a popular sight. Rise up the watchtower to enjoy a lovely view of the sanctuary.
As many as 11 tribal communities, Mutuvas and Pulayars, being the prime ones, live in the demarcated areas within the Chinnar sanctuary. It is also believed to be one of the places in the world that has Dolmens. These are tombs made up of stones that are made during Neolithic period. Probably these dolmens belong to the Adi Chera royal dynasty. The sanctuary is also popular for trekking and camping.
Best time to visit: December-April
Entry fee: INR 10 (Indians)
INR 5 (for children below 12 years and for bonafied students on tour)
INR 100 (Foreigners)
INR 150 (Video camera)
INR 25 (Camera)
Timings: 06:00 AM – 06:00 PM (Open on all days)