Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Indira Gandhi Widlife Sanctuary and National Park)
Welcome to Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Indira Gandhi Widlife Sanctuary and National Park)
Well off most tourists’ radar, Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a pristine 958-sq-km reserve of tropical jungle, shola forest and grassland rising to 2400m and spilling over the Western Ghats into Kerala between Kodaikanal and Coimbatore. Declared a tiger reserve in 2007, it’s home to all kinds of exotic endemic wildlife, much of it rare and endangered – including leopards and around 30 elusive tigers, though you're much more likely to see lion-tailed macaques, peacocks, langurs, spotted deer and elephants. The reserve’s bare-bones Reception & Interpretation Centre, plus basic park accommodation, is at Topslip, 35km southwest of Pollachi (which is 40km south of Coimbatore). Questions are best referred to the Pollachi Reception Office, where you're more likely to reach an English speaker.
Tiny tea-plantation town Valparai, on the reserve's fringes 65km south from Pollachi and with one outstanding heritage hotel, makes a more comfortable Anamalai base. Though it's surrounded by cultivated land, not jungle, you’re just as likely to spot wildlife here.