Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
In the eastern parts of the high ranges of southern Western Ghats lies Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The south side of the sanctuary is covered by Eravikulam National park and the north side is by Indira Gandhi wildlife sanctuary.
The 90 km sq sanctuary is unique with its floral, ecological, geomorphologic and cultural significance. Chinnar is a unique thorny scrub forest with xerophyte species. This sanctuary is one among the 12 protected areas of Kerala.
An ideal place for trekking, Chinnar is located in the rainshadow region of Western Ghats and receives very less amount of rainfall every year. Due to this extensive variation of rainfall, Chinnar is blessed with a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorn scrub, riparian forest, shoals and grasslands. There is an extensive sandlewood forest nearby the sanctuary, which is an added attraction.
Chinnar has about 1000 species of flowering plants and a wide variety of medicinal plants. You can sight here 225 recorded species of birds and also the endangered species of Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. Other important mammals that you can see here are elephant, tiger, leopard, guar, sambar, spotted deer, Nilgiri Tahr etc.
Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is famous for its eco-tourism activities, jointly organized by Forest Department and the Ecodevelopment Committees of the local tribal communities. The eco-tourism facilities include river trekking, trekking to the cultural site, nature trail to the watch tower, a trek to the Thoovanam falls, interpretation activities and medicinal garden, tree house at Chinnar, trekking and camping at Vasyappara.
Chinnar is around 60 km away from Munnar and the nearest town is Marayur, which is around 16 km away from the sanctuary. You can make a visit to Marayur, which is the land of natural sandlewood and also dolmens (ancient burial chambers) and local sharkara (yellow sugar) making units.
Entry fee for Indians: Rs 10 per head per day (Rs 5 for children below 12 years and for bonafied students on tour)
Entry fee for foreigners: Rs 100 per head per day