ANAMALAI HILLS Information
It is also called as Elephant Hills. It is a range of mountains in the Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu, located along the Western Ghats, lying between 10° 13' and 10° 31' N. and 76° 52' and 77° 23' E. It is also the tallest of the hills in South India that rises up to 8850 ft. The geological formation is of metamorphic gneiss, veined with feldspars and quartz, and interspersed with reddish porphyrites. The Lower slopes yield valuable teak and other timber. In some areas, coffee plantations are a common sight. The area was notified as Anaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary in 1974 and established in 1976.
There is a 30 Km wide gap [big break in the Western Ghat mountain range] between the Nilgiri Hills to the north and the Anamalai Hills to the South that straddles the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border and serves as a major communication route between them. Highways and Rail Transport connect Palghat with Coimbatore and Pollachi. This huge gap is called as Palghat Gap.
Attractions of Anamalai Hills : Monkey falls, Aliyar, the Crocodile Breeding Centre at Amaravati, Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary and National Park, Attakarai, Kulipatti, Manompally, Chinnar, Varagaliar, Manjampatty are some places the tourist can afford to miss.
INDIRA GANDHI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY and NATIONAL PARK : This was originally called as Anamalai Wild Life Sanctuary notified in the year 1974 and established in the year 1976. Later on renamed in honour of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s visit in 1961 . It is located at an altitude of 1400 meters at the Top Slip. The National Park is 108 sq.kms is the core area of the total 958 Sq. Kms sanctuary zone. Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Project Tiger Zone in the year 2008. Elephants, Gaur, Tiger, Panther, Sloth Bear, Pangolin, Black Headed Oriole, Green Pigeon and civet cat can be seen in this Sanctuary. Karian and Anaikunthi Sholas, Grass Hills, Waterfalls, Groves, Teak forests, Estates, Dams and Reservoirs add beauty to Anamalai Hills and attracts visitors in large numbers. Elephant Safari and Van services are available at the Top Slip to take the tourists around the Sanctuary.
How to Reach Anamalai Hills
Nearest Airport - Coimbatore [ 125 kms]
Rail Head : Nearest Railway Junction is POLLACHI and connections are available to Coimbatore and Dindugal from there.
Road : Regular bus services are available from Coimbatore and Palani to Pollachi and from Pollachi to Top Slip. Taxi Services are also available at a nominal fare.
Where to Stay
Many Lodges and Guest Houses are available in Top Slip and needs an advance booking for accommodation. Contact: Wildlife Warden Office, 178 Meenkarai Road, Pollachi en route to Anamalai. Ambuli Illam, with a restaurant facility, just 2Km from the reception center at Top Slip, is the best place to Stay.