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Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) Wildlife Sanctuary/India

Introducing Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) Wildlife Sanctuary

One of three wildlife sanctuaries in the Western Ghats along the Tamil NaduKerala border, this cool, misty mountain park covers almost 1000 sq km of mostly teak forest and evergreen jungle. It’s home to elephants, gaurs, tigers, panthers, spotted deer, wild boars, bears, porcupines and civet cats, and the Nilgiri tahr – commonly known as the ibex – may also be spotted. The park also has a renowned medicinal plant garden and interpretive centre (check out the astrological medicine chart and beauty hints if you’re feeling travel-weary), and is home to the tribal group of Kada people, many of whom work here. The park’s elephant training centre can be visited on the guided vehicle tour.

The park reception centre (per person Rs 50, camera/video Rs 10/50; day visitors 6am-6pm) at Topslip, where trekking guides can be arranged and where there are several lodges, is about 35km southwest of Pollachi. While wildlife is often seen on the drive in, and you can wander around the reception centre surroundings, access to the inner forest is limited to tours (Rs 625 for a 25-seater bus, irrespective of numbers; one hour) or guided treks (Rs 100, maximum four people, four hours). Tours and treks run on demand. A day visit from Pollachi, using public transport, is feasible.