The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is 60 km from Munnar, located in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats of Kerala, extends over an area of over 90 sq km. Chinnar is a house of large number of plants and animals like rarest of the rare giant grizzled squirrel, which are said to be less than 200, around the world. Apart from it, this sanctuary is also shelter to tigers, spotted deer, Sambar, turtles, elephants, bonnet macaques, Peafowl, Bulbul, Flycatcher, Kingfisher, Drongo, Bushchats, Hoopoes, black eagles, vipers, Hanuman Monkey, Peacocks, little cormorants and darters. As one moves from Karimuthi to Chinnar you can see those birds and animals on either side of the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Chinnar gets much less rain than Kerala’s other wildlife sanctuaries. Recently reported the famous “white bison of Manjampatti” at Chinnar. With 225 species of birds, Chinnar is rich in avian diversity. The sanctuary is home to some of the highest peaks including Kottakombumalai (2144 mts), Vellaikalmalai (1863 mts) and Viriyottumalai (1845 mts). The extensive sandalwood forest at Marayoor is nearby an added attraction to the place.
The sanctuary abounds in a variety of trees, including the unique thorny scrub forest with Xerophytic species. The flora of the sanctuary comprises dry deciduous forest, thorny scrub forests, high sholas and wet grasslands. The undulated landscape with craggy rocks patches adds to the scenic grandeur of the sanctuary. Best Season to visit the sanctuary is from December to April. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also ideal for boating and trekking. The forest department does not offer any conducted safaris, however there are other options like the “river trekking programme” (from 6 to 11 AM & 3 to 6 PM, Rs. 50/person) and the “trek to thoovanam waterfall” (Rs. 35/person). Other options include the trek to the pre-historic dolmens. Bookings can be made for all these programmes from the checkpost or the Eravikulam wildlife sanctuary warden’s office.