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Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Chinnar is situated about 25 km away from Idukki. Chinnar is widely known for the "Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary". Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located 18 km north of Marayoor in Devikulam Taluk. Recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1984, the sanctuary is spread over an area of about 90 sq km in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats.
The Chinnar and Pambar rivers are the major lasting water resources in the sanctuary. The Pambar River originates in the Anaimudi Hills, traverses the Turner's Valley in Eravikulam National Park and flows down into the Sanctuary through the Taliar Valley between Kanthalloor and Marayoor Villages and eastwards through the sanctuary. The Pambar, Kabani and Bhavani are the only rivers of the 44 in Kerala that flow eastwards. It is joined by seasonal rivulets and a few continuing streams originating from sholas in the upper reaches. The spectacular Thoovanam water falls lie deep within the Sanctuary on the Pambar River. This breathtaking cascade is a major tourist attraction.
Due to its location, Chinnar gets comparatively less rainfall than other regions of Kerala.
The climate of Chinnar supports a unique thorny scrub forest of Xerophytic species. The flora here comprises of dry deciduous forest, high sholas and wet grasslands that supports a variety of wildlife. Marayoor sandal trees found here are known for their exotic fragrance and are very popular in India. Apart from being the second habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel in India, the Sanctuary is also home to elephants, Tigers, sambhar, Hanuman langur, bonnet, spotted deer, macaques, gaur, Kraits, spectacled cobras, turtles and many more like them. You can also spot a variety of birds including peacocks, woodpecker, little cormorants, darters and black eagles.
Wet Grasslands, dry deciduous forests, high shoals are a common feature of this Sanctuary. Among the other species of flora include Acacia arabica (Karivelam), Acacia leucofolia (Velvelam), Santalum album (Chandanam), Anogeissuslatifolia (Mazhukanjiram), Elaeocarpus recurvatus (Bhadraksham) and Strobilanthus kunthianus (Neelakurinji).
In the above mentioned flora, Albizia lathamii, a critically endangered species has been reported from the dry forests of Chinnar. It is a well known repository of medicinal plants.
The small and beautiful hills around Chinnar add to the beauty of the sanctuary and offer ideal conditions for trekking and rock climbing. One can also visit Devikulam backwaters in its vicinity and enjoy fishing and boating in the calm water of Devikulam.
The best times to visit the Sanctuary are almost throughout the year, except the months of October and November.
Nadukani: Nadukani is ideal for one day picnickers. The northern side is filled with blue hills vying to touch the sky. The excellent sight of the Muvattupuzha River, Moolamattam town, Malankara Lake and the Malankara reservoir etches in the memory for a long time. A two-storied pavilion provides ideal opportunity to enjoy the landscape.
Thumpachi Calveri: Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam is an ideal outing place in Idukki Valley of Kerala. It is situated about 35 km from Thodupuzha. It is a picturesque town on the banks of the Thodupuzha River. The place is perfect for meditation, relaxation and watching sunset.
Painav: Panav is a scenic beauty-trekking point through evergreen forest Cheruthoni.
Kalliyanathandu: Kalliyanathandu is 10 km from Idukki Valley. From this place one can have an aerial view of the Idukki reservoir, panoramic view of peaks and forests make this a splendid tourist spot. It is also an ideal place for mountain climbers and trekkers.
Cheruthoni: The area surrounds Iddukki arch dam and Cheruthoni dam. The Idduki Arch Dam is the solitary Arch Dam in India. The area is really a picturesque spot.
Moolamattom: The underground power house of Idukki Hydro Electric Project is situated here, 40 km away from Idukki. Visitors allowed to enter the Power Station with permission from Kerala State Electricity Board.
Thommankuthu Waterfalls: Thommankuthu Waterfalls is 38 km from Idukki. The waterfalls here unbox an enchanting sight. The area is highly picturesque.
How to get there:
Nearest Airport: Nearest airport is at Kochi 132 km away.
Nearest Railhead: The Nearest railway station is at Kottayam, 133 km.
By road: Chinnar is well connected by most part of the state and India by motor able road.
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