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Anamalai Tiger Reserve Tourism And Travel Guide
25° C / 77° F
December to June
2 to 3 Days
Coimbatore International Airport (63 kms)
Pollachi Junction Railway Station (36 kms)
Abundant tropical evergreen jungles, undulating grasslands, teak plantations, bamboo groves and Shola forests are what make the Western Ghats, one of the most significant preserved wild regions of India considered for UNESCO Western Ghats World Heritage Site. The rugged terrains of the Anamalai Hills which are documented as one of the 25 international biological hotspots of wildlife preservation lie between the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south of India.
Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1974 to preserve the deforested teak jungles and other regions in which lived endemic animal species. Later renamed as Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in 1987, the sanctuary was listed under the Project Tiger Programme in 2007 and today is known as Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
Even if the big striped cat is hard to come by, you can see plenty of elephants, along with smaller mammals, monkeys and macaques, several species of birds and butterflies and rare types of wild orchids. Adding a human touch to the rugged wilderness are the small tribal hamlets in which live the indigenous tribes of the Anamalai. Little towns and hill stations like Valparai, Pollachi and Sethumadai around Anamalai are picturesque, touristy places well worthy of a visit, too!
If you would like a serene holiday getaway to the jungles of Anamalai, our travel and tourism guide will help you plan a good trip.
How to Reach
Anamalai Tiger Reserve is well connected to the major cities and towns in the neighbourhood. The Reserve does not have a railway station or an airport, but has a road leading up from Pollachi. The best way to reach Anamalai Tiger Reserve would be by train to Coimbatore and a trip by road the rest of the way.
The nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport that serves domestic flights to some Indian cities and international flights to Singapore, Colombo and Sharjah. You can get to the Reserve with a cab hired from the airport.
Coimbatore’s railway network is well connected with several major cities around the country. You could travel by train to Coimbatore and take a cab to Anamalai. Otherwise you could travel by train to Pollachi, which is the nearest railway station and travel a shorter distance by cab. Pollachi has trains chugging in from some cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy and Palakkad.
The ideal way to reach the Reserve by road would be to driving your own vehicle, or hiring a cab for a weekend trip. The landscape is quite pleasing and anybody would love a drive up the verdant hills. There are limited bus services from Pollachi to Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
The Reserve has safari trucks and jeeps that can be used for a tour inside the Reserve. There are trekking trips as well, so you can go exploring on foot.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Anamalai is lush and leafy enough to be visited any time of the year. There is an overall pleasing environment, but as you get the occasion to go trekking or riding an elephant in good seasons, the most ideal times are considered to be from December to June.
Summer ( March – May):
Summers are warm with occasional pre monsoon showers. You might get to see animals at waterholes or sunning themselves on the rocks after a cool winter. A great photographic time of the year, summer is peak tourist season in Anamalai.
Monsoon (June – November):
Monsoon rains are unpredictable, with both southwest and northeast monsoon rains ranging from the average to rather heavy showers. Treks and elephant safaris might be cancelled due to rains and though monsoon does turn the landscape most romantic, you might consider this lean tourist period.
Winter (December – February):
Winters are cool, pleasant months, made fresh and verdant by the monsoon. This is the best time for trekking and photography. Take a trip to the enchanting waterfalls, dams and hill stations that lie around Anamalai.
Things to Do
A day in the forest:
Spend a day of adventure in the forest going on bumpy forest tracks on safaris, or sway along an elephant’s back to watch more pachyderms. Put on your trekking shoes and stride through the hidden pathways, hoping to spot the stealthy tiger.
The legendary Teak of the Western Ghats:
Get amazed at the girth of the Parambikulam teak tree. The Mahavriksha Puraskar stands tall and stately, a living legend of the jungles.
Visit the Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp to spend an evening with the elephants. Watch them getting scrubbed down squeaky clean in the stream and fed huge balls of ragi, jaggery and salt.
Go trekking on the lush slopes of the Grass Hills near Valparai. The mountain streams meander by, the wild animals call from the distance and the beautiful butterflies flutter over the wild flowers. The Grass Hill trek is one of the best things that Anamalai has to offer.
Gentle cascades or roaring torrents, waterfalls have a magic about them. The Athirapilly, Charpa, Thirumoorthy, Vazhachal and Monkey Falls near Anamalai are some of nature’s own marvels.
You get to savour the authentic traditional tastes of the natives in places around Anamalai. There are customary South Indian meals and tiffins along with spicy scrumptious non veggie dishes that use chicken, crabs, quail and fish. A lot of spicy dishes are flavoured with black pepper than green chillies. The dishes up and about Anamalai, Valparai and Pollachi are traditional, regional eats that are as flavoursome as the vanilla and palm sugar of Pollachi.