Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful wildlife protected area located in Kerala’s Idukki district in South India. It is one among the twelve known wildlife sanctuaries that is declared as the Protected areas of Kerala. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a particularly known habitat of endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrels. Besides the park also supports a healthy population of tufted grey langur, star tortoise, slender loris, crocodile, wild elephant, tiger, leopard and spotted deer to name a few. There are also various species of insects and birds residing inside the park. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular repository of medicinal plants. The area has a flourishing ethnic cultural heritage and a diversified eco system.

Located on the eastern slopes of the prominent Western Ghats, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is dominated by dry deciduous forests, grasslands and high sholas. A vast stretch of Sandalwood forest close to the sanctuary is an added attraction. The park is spread over an area of 90 Square Kilometres that is glorified with diverse flora and fauna. The forest area of Chinnar was declared as Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1984. Since then it has become a favourite destination for adventure and animal lovers who visit the place for wildlife sighting and enjoying the eco-tourism activities.

 Attractions at the Park

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is well known for their amazing eco-tourism activity that is jointly organized by the Ecodevelopement committee and Chinnar Forest Department.

Thoovanam Falls is a spectacular waterfall located inside the sanctuary. This 100m natural fall adds to its wildlife and scenic beauty. A visit to the Thoovanam Falls is one of the most prime attractions for tourists visiting the sanctuary. There is also a trekking trail to Thoovanam Falls that is a favourite activity for trekkers. On the way of their trekking, adventure lovers can also sight birds and butterflies.

There is a watchtower located inside the sanctuary that offers panoramic views of the wilderness. There is also a nature’s trail to watch tower wherein tourists can walk ideally and spot some wild animals. While enjoying the nature walk along the Pamber and Chinnar river banks you can also spot the rare grizzled giant squirrel.

Visitors also look forward to camping at Vasyappara. The activity is particularly enjoyed by adventure enthusiasts who love to spend some time close to nature.

Tree house at Chinnar is another popular attraction inside the sanctuary. The tree top huts or ‘machans’ are located at Karakkad or Koottar and offer excellent staying options inside the wilderness. These tree houses are well furnished and equipped with solar power and water.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also an ideal destination for bird watching. The park has over 254 varied species of birds that includes the rare yellow throated bulbuls. Bird lovers, from far and wide, flock to this destination to catch a glimpse of the colourful birds in their natural habitat.

 Information about the Safari

Tourists can explore the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in open jeep safaris. Visitors can take their personal vehicle after getting it registered at the Forest Department’s Office. The open jeep safari gives you the feel of the place as you spot the wild animals in their own habitat.

 Duration:

The duration of the jeep safari varies between 4-5 hours.

 Timings:

The wildlife sanctuary is open on all days from 6am to 6pm.

 Entry Pass & Permits:

Visitors to Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary can obtain the gate pass from the office of the Forest Department after paying the prescribed entry fee. The entry fee to the sanctuary is different for national and International tourists.

 Dos and Don’ts Within the Park
  • Maintain silence within the park
  • Do not get too close to the animals
  • Do not try to feed the wild animals
  • Avoid wearing flashy colors and stick to neutral shades
 Things to Carry Along:
  • Some snacks and drinking water
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and cap/hat
  • Mosquito repellents
  • Binoculars
  • Cameras

 Safety Measures to be Followed

Remember your personal safety is in your hands. Do not get off from the vehicle at any point inside the park. Getting too close to wild animals can by dangerous so always maintain a safe distance inside the sanctuary.

 Best Time to Visit the Park

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is open all year round. The weather remains moderate in all seasons and the temperature varies between 18⁰C to 25⁰C. Unlike other wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary receives not more than two months of rain, each year. The most ideal to visit Chinnar is from the months of October to November.

 Nearby Destinations

Eravikulam National Park is a remarkable wildlife destination located close to the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The place is well known for its mesmerising beauty and diverse selection of flora and fauna. The Eravikulam National Park is home to rare Nilgiri Tahr among other animal, plants and insects species.

The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is a chosen destination for wild life enthusiasts from all parts of the world. The sanctuary is located amidst the Anaimalai Hills and is popular owing to its natural beauty and exotic wildlife.