The largest sanctuary in Tamil Nadu

Annamalai Tiger Reserve

The forested Anamalai Hills contain one of Tamil Nadu’s most beautiful reserves.

The largest sanctuary in Tamil Nadu

The foothills are less than 300m in altitude, but the Annamalais then rise to a series of plateaus. The Topslip-Parambikulam Plateau ascends to the Valparai Plateau, in the heart of the plantations. The elevation range ensures an array of habitats. Dry thorn forests in the low foothills lead to mixed-deciduous and tropical semi-evergreen stretches. Above the Valparai Plateau lie grass-hills and dense evergreen forests. In this montane world several species of plants and animals have their closest kin only in the distant Himalaya.

The Inhabitants

The reserve’s inhabitants include Tiger, Leopard, Dhole, Elephant, Gaur, Nilgiri Tahr and wild boar. Primates include bonnet, and lion-tailed macaques, common, and nilgiri langur, and slender loris.

Over 300 bird species have been sighted. Anamalai also protects several rare, and endangered species of reptile and amphibians – such as Travancore cane turtle, Travancore tortoise and a host of snakes. Amongst the frogs are narrow mouthed, tree frogs – such as the Malabar gliding frog and the green tree frog.

The reserve has a very rich variety of butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and mantis’. In floral diversity over 2,000 species are found here, of which 400 are of medical importance.

Experiences

India’s largest teak and rosewood trees are known to occur in these stunningly beautiful forests. Writing in Records of Sport in Southern India (1952), General Douglas Hamilton said, “The views from this mountain are the grandest and most extensive I have ever beheld ….”.

Over half a century earlier, W T Hornaday wrote in Two Years in the Jungle (1885), “The Animallai Hills! How my nerves tingle and my pulse quickens as write the name!”

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)