CHINNAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (CWS) is located 18 km north of Marayoor
on SH 17 in the
Kanthalloor panchayats of
Idukki district of
Kerala state in South
India . It is one of
twelve wildlife sanctuaries among the protected areas of
It is under the jurisdiction of and contiguous with Eravikulam
National Park to the south. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is to the
north and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary is to the east. It forms an
integral part of the 1,187 km2 (458 sq mi) block of protected forests
straddling the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in the
Anaimalai Hills . The
Western Ghats , Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including all of Chinnar
Wildlife Sanctuary, is under consideration by the
Heritage Committee for selection as a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site .
* 1 Geography
* 2 Settlements and crops
* 3 Fauna
* 4 Flora
* 5 Regional Cooperation
* 6 Gallery
* 7 References
* 8 External links
CWS is located between latitude 10º15' - 10º21' N and longitude
77º5' - 77º16' E. The
Munnar – Udumalpet road SH 17 passes
through the sanctuary for 16 km and divides it into nearly equal
portions. Average annual rainfall is only 500 mm, spread over about 48
days, because it is in the rain shadow region of the southern Western
The altitude ranges from 400 meters (1,300 ft) at east end of the
Chinnar River to 2,522 meters (8,274 ft) at
Kumarikkal Mala peak.
Other major peaks in the sanctuary are Nandala Malai 2,372 meters
(7,782 ft), Kottakombu malai (2,144 meters (7,034 ft)), Vellaikal
malai (1,863 meters (6,112 ft)) and Viriyoottu malai 1,845 meters
(6,053 ft). In contrast,
Anamudi peak 2,695 metres (8,842 ft), located
23 kilometers (14 mi) away in the adjacent Eravikulam National Park,
is the highest peak in South India.
The Chinnar and Pambar rivers are the major perennial water resources
in the sanctuary. The Chinnar originates near Kumarikal Malai, follows
the interstate boundary along the northwest edge of the sanctuary for
18 km and becomes the
Amaravati River in Tamil Nadu.
Pambar River originates in the Anaimudi Hills and is joined by
seasonal rivulets and a few perennial streams originating from sholas
in the upper reaches. It traverses the Turner’s Valley in Eravikulam
National Park and flows down into the sanctuary through the Taliar
Marayoor villages and eastwards through
the sanctuary. It joins the
Chinnar River at Koottar. The Thoovanam
water falls lie deep within the sanctuary on the Pambar River. This
cascade is a major tourist attraction. The Chinnar, Pambar, Kabani and
Bhavani are the only rivers of the 44 in
Kerala that flow eastwards.
SETTLEMENTS AND CROPS
There are 11 tribal settlements inside the Chinnar WLS, each is well
demarcated by temporary stone walls. The main inhabitants are Muthuvas
and Pulayars . Cultivation of maize , ragi and lemongrass is practiced
in the settlements. The Mudhuvas carry out small scale ganja
cultivation for their religious purposes.
Albino gaur or Manjampatti white bison. Albino bisons are very
rare; this photograph is taken from Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
34 species of mammals live here, including many panthers and spotted
deer , 50 -60 Indian elephants , gaur , tigers , sambar deer , common
langur , bonnet macaque , Hanuman monkey , threatened
Nilgiri tahr ,
vulnerable rusty-spotted cats and about 240 of the only vulnerable
grizzled giant squirrels in Kerala. 245 species of birds including
yellow-throated bulbuls . 52 species of reptiles including 29 species
Indian star tortoise
Indian star tortoise and the largest population of
vulnerable mugger crocodiles in
Kerala live in the sanctuary. Most
common of the 42 species of fishes observed in the Chinnar and Pambar
Garra mullya minnows, river-carp baril , giant danio and
the endangered hill stream game fish Deccan mahseer . 22 amphibian
species live in the sanctuary. There are 156 species of butterflies .
Recently, 101 species of spiders were discovered here.
View of Chinnar montane rain forest
There are 965 species of flowering plants in the sanctuary Ecoregions
of the sanctuary comprise mostly grassland and wet grasslands
vegetation and some South
Western Ghats montane rain forests and high
shola at the higher western elevations. South
Western Ghats moist
deciduous forests at mid elevations give way to dry deciduous forests
and thorny scrub forests in the lower dryer eastern edges of the
valley. The major xerophyticspecies in the throny scrub forests are
Acacia arabica , Acacia leucofolia,
Acacia concinna , Prosporis
Opuntia stricta .
Marayoor sandalwood forest is located here.
Senior officials of the
Ministry of Environment and Forests (India)
Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) ,
Principal Chief Conservators of Forests of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra
Pradesh and Karnataka, together with other senior forest officials of
these states and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, met at
Thiruvananthapuram on November 3 and 4, 2006 and resolved several
mutual issues concerning conservation and protection of forests and
wildlife of the region.
A regular conference of the forest ministers and forest officials of
the southern states is held once a year, in rotation in each state.
Information board at Chinnar Checkpost
Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department (2004). "The Sanctuaries
and National Parks in Kerala". Govt. of Kerala. Archived from the
original on December 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
* ^ A B Eco-Informatics Centre, Conservation Database. "Chinnar
Wildlife Sanctuary". ATREE . Retrieved 2009-01-02.
* ^ UNESCO, World Heritage sites, Tentative lists, Western Ghats
sub cluster, Niligiris. retrieved 4/20/2007 World