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Indira Gandhi National Park

Location: Tamil Nadu

Main Wildlife Attractions: Golden jackal, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Spotted deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Wild Boar, Ruddy Mongoose

Coverage Area: 958 sq.kms

Established: 1976

Best Time to Visit:December to April

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A National Park that covers an area of 108 sq km is incorporated within its premises. The Indira Gandhi National Park and Sanctuary is easily accessible from the Top Slip of the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats. In fact this wild life reserve was earlier known as the Anamalai Wild life Sanctuary. The Top Slip is the main tourist zone. The Sanctuary is truly an ecologist's delight. The hill forests and the amazing variety of animals that it is home to gives the biologist's an ideal scope to study the relation between organisms and their environment.

Any one will be amazed to know that as many as 800 species of South Indian Flora are to be found in the Indira Gandhi National Park and Sanctuary. Scientific names of some of the rare species are Combretum Ovalifolium, Dispyros nilagrica, Gymnopteris Contaimirans (Fern), Habebarai reriflora (Orchid), Polypodum pleroupus, Alsophila, Bulbophyllum, Lasianthus uenuloses, Angiopterris Erectra, Gnetum Ula, Impaliens Elegans, Lycopodium cernum, Ranunculus reniformis and Osmunda Regulis.

The forest cover is very dense and it is very thrilling and exciting to be exploring these dark dense forests. You will get a view of all those members of the animal kingdom that have made this wildlife reserve their home. It therefore goes without saying that the jeep and elephant safaris are thoroughly enjoyable.

The list of animals that you can sight at the Indira Gandhi National Park and Sanctuary are Tiger, Panther, Elephant, Gaur, Pangolin, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Wild boar, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Nilgiris Tahr, Civet Cat and Taddy Cat.

The collection of birds is equally astounding. No wonder it is often referred to as an ornithologist's paradise. Some of the feathered creatures are Racket Tailed Drongo, Black Headed Oriole, Paradise Fly-catcher, Whistling Thrush, Emerald Dove, Green pigeon, Tickell's Flower Pecker, Rufus Wood Pecker, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Black Eagle, Malabar pied Hornbill, Fiery Blue Bird and green billed Malkhoha. Many crocodiles are also to be seen at the Amaravati Reservoir of the Indira Gandhi National Park and Sanctuary.

Pollachi is the nearest important place that is well connected by rail and road. It is at a distance of about 35 km. Coimbatore is 75 km away. It is best not to arrange a trip to the Indira Gandhi National Park and Sanctuary in the monsoons.