Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Munnar

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Munnar

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and its history
 

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the twelve wildlife sanctuaries classified under most protected areas by the Government of Kerala. The sanctuary was begun mainly to protect exotic species of a grizzled giant squirrel which is especially found in this region.  The sanctuary was declared as a protected area in August 1984 and is spread through Marayur and Kanthaloor Panchayats of Devikulam Taluk in Idukki. With the scenic Thoovanam waterfall and the watchtower which gives a panoramic view of the whole sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary is indeed a heaven on earth. There is an interpretation center at Karimutty, two eco shops, one at Chinnar and another one at Alampetty, and an inspection bungalow, dormitory, and Cafeteria at Chinnar check post.

 

So what makes Chinnar so rich and exotic? And why is there a boom to visit the place in spite of its dry topography filled with thorn bushes? The answer is pretty simple. The sanctuary is a wonderland of exotic species like grizzled giant squirrel and star tortoise, which are near to the phase of extinction. It is also the home for about 28 mammal species including tiger, leopard, spotted deer, rusty-spotted cat, Nilgiri Tahr, Bonnet Macaque, Common Langur, Sambar deer, Bengal tiger, gaur, and Indian elephant. About 225 bird species including the yellow-throated bulbul can be spotted in the forest. Apart from that about 52 reptile species, with about 29 species of snakes, Indian star tortoise, and mugger crocodiles can be seen here. About 14 species of fish are seen in the Chinnar and Pambar rivers which include the Garra mullya, river-carp Baril, and giant danio. Apart from the 15 amphibian species and 156 species of butterflies, about 101 species of spiders were reported to be found in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the few places were albino bison can be spotted. The sanctuary provides a plethora of biodiversity and is an abode to a number of species. The sanctuary, with its rich ethnic culture, is blanketed with a number of rare medicinal plants and about 963 species of flowering plants. For many years, the tribals and animals of this area have lived in hand to hand. The tribal culture over this area adds richness to its heritage. There are about 11 tribal settlements which are separated with stone walls. The main tribals are the muthuvas and the Pulayars. The tribals survive by cultivating small patches of lands with crops such as maize, ragi, and lemongrass and by selling collected goods from the forest in weekly markets.

 

How to reach Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the best time to visit Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
 

If to go by road, it is possible to take a local bus to Pollachi or Cochin and leave to Chinnar wildlife sanctuary by cab.

If you are coming from outside Kerala can choose Pollachi, Aluva or Ernakulam Railway station are the nearest railway stations of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The distance from Pollachi railway station 65 kilometers, Aluva railway station 212 kilometers, and Ernakulam railway station 230 kilometers to Chinnar. Road journeys are the best ways to reach the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary from this railway station.

There are two airports near to Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary. Cochin International (Nedumbassery) Airport at a distance of 208 kilometers and Coimbatore Airport at a distance of 115 kilometers away from Chinnar. From Airport roadways to reach to Chinnar wildlife sanctuary. 

Best time to visit the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is from October to February when the temperature is about 20 to 23 degree.
 

Rivers flow through Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary.
 

There are two rivers which are perennial water resources of this sanctuary. The Chinnar and the Pambar. These rivers provide life to sustain the rich wildlife and biodiversity of this area. The Chinnar originates near the Kumarikal Malai and flows about 18 kilometers just to emerge as River Amaravathy in Tamil Nadu whereas the Pambar river originates in the Anamudi hills and is joined by a few streams that join it. It passes the Turners Valley in Eravikulam National Park and then emerges to Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary through the Taliar Valley between Kanthalloor and Marayur. 
 

Chinnar wildlife sanctuary Waterfalls- Thoovanam Waterfalls
 

The Thoovanam waterfall is a major tourist attraction and lies deep in the sanctuary within the Pambar river. 

 

Boundaries of Chinnar wildlife sanctuary
 

It shares a 30 km boundary with the Anamalai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu  in the North and east . The sanctuary is bordered by the Eravkulam National Park on its west.  It is bordered by the Reserve Forests of Marayoor Sandal Division in the South , which is a part of Kurinjimala Sanctuary.The sanctuary provides ecological connectivity between the Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Eravikulam National Park.

 

 

Where to buy forest products from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary?

 

The Karimutty turtle eco shop, in the shape of a star tortoise is a well-known place to buy forest products which the tribals collect on a daily bases.  We can choose from a variety of products like sandalwood oil, red sandalwood, ayurvedic massage oil specially prepared by the tribals with exotic plants, handicraft items with dried shells and leaves, lemongrass oil and eucalyptus oil. You can also access a weekly magazine issued by the forest department of Kerala. Apart from this shop, they have weekly markets where permitted forest products are sold on wholesale and retail prices. While proceeding 4 km to the direction of Tamil Nadu, there is a temple called the Kattlai Mariyamman Kovil where weekly poojas are held and are well maintained by the tribals. Forest products can be accessed from the weekly market that is held here once a week. There are three provisional stores for the three kudis of tribals which are maintained by the forest department. 

 

Where to stay in Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary?

 

Who wouldn’t like to have accommodation in the woods, to sleep with the sound of the forests, the creaking of insects, and to wake up to a beautiful sunrise in the forest? The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary provides customized accommodation inside the forests with a number of log houses located at different parts of the forest along with experienced tourist guides, watchers cooks and guides waiting to provide their services for you.  The Thoovanam log house, Churulipetty log house, Jellimala log house, Kootar log house, Pambar log house, Periyakomb log house, Squirrel house, Karakkad tree house, and Vasyapura Ethnic mud house, etc are provided so that the nature lover in you can lure the purest experience of staying in a forest and accessing the services with great ease.

 

Thoovanam log house
 

Near to the waterfalls, facing the deep forest is the Thoovanam log house which is completely solar electrified. The log house was built to assure a comfortable and affordable stay for tourists on their visit to Chinnar. In order to get a stay here, it is required to report at the Alampetty eco- shop at 3:00 PM. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these.  There will be experienced watchers, cooks, guides to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. For the traveler searching for the true spirit of forest accommodation, this will be a dream come true!
 

Churulipetty log house
 

This fully equipped log house is located at the Chinnar valley in the forest. The forest can accommodate about 2 people. In order to get accommodation here, it is required to report at the Chinnar Check Post. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person. Services of experienced watchers, cooks, field guides would be provided along with complimentary food and refreshments. This cute log house with great privacy is a paradise for honeymoon couples who long to make sweet memories in the woods.
 

Jellimala Log house
 

This is a solar electrified and fully equipped log house in the deep forests with all facilities for a comfortable stay. Report at 2 pm at Alampetty eco-shop from where you will be taken to Jellimala log house. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these.Watchers, cooks, guides to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. The log house which is well equipped with facilities is the best solution for travelers who prioritize comfort while traveling.
 

Kootar log house
 

Stay at a fully equipped log house at Chinnar valley in the deep forests. The log house with forest ambiance can accommodate two people. Reporting time is at 2 pm at Chinnar check post. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these.  With experienced watchers, cooks, guides are there to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. The Kootar log house, well known as the ‘small mansion’ is the perfect accommodation spot for single travelers and honeymoon couples.
 

 Pambar log house
 

The Pambar log house at Chinnar valley is a cute hovel in the deep forests. The log house with forest ambiance can accommodate two people. Report at 2 pm at Chinnar check post from where you will be taken to this log house. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these. Leave your worries about getting lost in the woods and missing good food! As the watchers, cooks, and guides provide the best of their services for the guests along with the mouthwatering complimentary food. The Pambar log house is a small isolated log house which is perfect to satiate your travel dreams

 

Periyakomb log house
 

The Periyakomb log house is a fully equipped log house at Chinnar valley in the deep forests. The log house with forest ambiance can accommodate two people. Reporting time is at 2 pm at Chinnar check post. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these.  There will be experienced watchers, cooks, guides to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. Enjoy a perfect stay with the chirping of birds, the hushing of wind and splash of drizzles!

 

Squirrel house

 

As the name suggests, this cute house is surrounded by small animals like squirrels and small birds. Reporting time is at 2 pm at Alampetty eco-shop from where you will be taken to the house. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these.  There will be experienced watchers, cooks, guides to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. Be your best and enjoy the true spirit of forest living at the squirrel house! 
 

Karakkad tree house
 

Tree top huts (machans) are built and furnished in a well-protected manner at two sites and provide good ariel view of surrounding forests. Water and solar power is available. Report before 2 pm at Chinnar check post. The price is Rs 3000/- for two Indians and Rs 4000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these. Experienced watchers, cooks, guides to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. Karakkad treehouse has a legacy of being one of the finest even before the tree house trend started in Kerala. The breathtaking aerial view provides a visual feast for the eyes by presenting the forest with all its glory!
 

 Vasyapara Ethnic mud house
 

Stay at ethnic hut built-in tribal style at Vasiyappara. Trekking through the scrub forest and jungles leading to Vashyappara Ethnic hut near a swamp is a pleasant experience.  The reporting time is at 3 PM at Chinnar Check post from where you will be taken to Vasyapura. The price is Rs 4000/- for two Indians and Rs 5000/- for two foreigners. Rs 1000/- will be charged per extra person other than these.  There will be experienced watchers, cooks, guides to provide their services for the guests along with complimentary food and refreshments. Ethnic mud houses are precious natural dwellings. With the fine natural cooling from the mud walls and the herbal smell from the woods around, this place is nature’s therapy for rejuvenation.
 

April 22, 2020 by Admin

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