Anaimalai Hills is a fabulous hill station located at a distance of 56 km from Pollachi in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu and along the border of Kerala. The range of mountains that form the southern portion of the Western Ghats at the height of 8,842 ft above sea level. Anaimalai peak is the tallest peak in South India. Lush green hills and their diverse collection of flora and fauna attract thousands of tourists to Anaimalai hills each year. The lower slopes of the mountains have coffee and tea plantations and more valuable teak and timber trees. It gets this name because of the gigantic number of wild elephants living in this region. Anaimalai hill contains Sholyar dam, one of the largest in Asia, and Parambikulam dam, one of India’s most significant water reservior.
Some of the Wildlife Sanctuary in this region :
- Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (National park in Tamil Nadu),
- Eravikulam National Park (Idukki district, Kerala),
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (State park in India) and
- Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
TopSlip, situated at the height of 800 ft above sea level on the Anaimalai hills, is the more picturesque locale in this region, at 37 km from Pollachi. Top slip is featured with calm altitude, pleasant climate, diverse flora and fauna species. It’s an ideal place for bird watching, elephant safari, and trekking.
Kolikamuthi Elephant Camp
It is the well-known elephant training spot in this region at a distance of 7 km from Topslip. There are nearly 50 tribal families at this camp to handle the elephants. Forest jeeps are the only transport facilities available to reach this spot. Visitors need to get special permission from the forest rangers of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary for visiting this camp.
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (IGWS)
Initially called Aanaimalai Wildlife Sanctuary, is a protected area located in the Anaimalai hills. This Sanctuary contains National Park at 108 sq km. In 1989, Karian Shola, Grass hills, and Manjampatty were recognized as National Park due to their unique habitat. In 2008, the IGWS was declared as a Project Tiger Reserve. The Sanctuary and the Park are under consideration by UNESCO as a part of the World Heritage site of the Western Ghats.
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is a protected area located in the Palakkad district of Kerala state.It is one of the most attractive places in the whole extend of the Western Ghats, nestled amidst the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills (Hill Station in Palakkad) of the Sungam range. In 2009, it was declared as Tiger Reserve with a total 643.66 Sq Km area, including a buffer zone of 252.77 Sq Km. Besides its rich biodiversity and diverse flora and fauna, it also remains the best spot for boating, wildlife safari, and exploring a dam. Kannimara Teak found in Parambikulam is one of the world’s largest teak trees with a circumference of 7.02 m and height of 39.98 m.
Thoonakkadavu Lake, situated next to Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, is formed by the Parambikulam Dam. The lake amidst the lush green forests is home to crocodiles; hence it is not safe for swimming. Visitors can also watch otters, which is a carnivorous mammal playing on the water bodies. By hiring a jungle jeep from the forest authorities, the remote area around the lake can be explored by visitors.
Arulmigu Masani Amman Temple
Arulmigu Masani Amman Temple, situated at 24 km from Pollachi. The main deity of the temple is Goddess Arulmigu Masani Amman. The deity is seen in sleeping posture, and it measures about 15 ft from head to foot. Some locals believe that crawling around the trident of Masani Amman will cure any illness. A must visit temple near by Anaimalai Hills.
Azhiyar Siddashram, situated at the foothills of Anamalai hills, is a famous Siddha Treatment Centre established in 1985. It is easily reachable and very close to the Azhiyar dam from Pollachi. Siddashram is well known among people for its powerful slogan ‘Vazhga Valamudan’.
The best time to visit Anaimalai Hills is from December to February, where the climate is cool, misty and the tea gardens start to glow after the rainy season.