Located in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats, the sanctuary occupies the forested region on either side of the Marayoor - Udumalped road Chinnar is a unique thorny scrub forest in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats. The Park is around 90 sq. kms in area and its rugged undulating terrain has held a special fascination for the adventure travelers.
It is the second habitat for the Giant Grizzled Squirrel, an endangered species in India. Unlike other forests of Kerala, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during October - November. The forest types comprise thorny scrub forests, dry deciduous forests, high shoals and wet grasslands. Elephants, Gaur, Panther, Spotted deer, Sambar, Giant Grizzled Squirrel, Hanuman monkey, Rabbit etc. inhabit the Chinnar wildlife forests. Chinnar being near the town of Munnar, good accommodation is easy to come by.
The Marayoor sandal forest and the beautiful Thoovanam waterfalls are located here. Chinnar National Park is an attractive tourist place in Kerala. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a biodiverse forest which is home to more than 580 species of fauna that includes 34 species of mammals and 29 species of snakes. Chinnar is 65 Km away from Munnar in Idukki district. Chinnar is spread over an area of 90.44 sq km and is one among the 12 wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala.
The sanctuary is home to more than 965 species of plants. The vegetation mainly comprises of wet grasslands and south Western Ghats rainforests. The sanctuary also hosts large sandalwood forest. Chinnar is an ideal place for bird watching. The sanctuary hosts over 245 varieties of birds that include yellow throated bulbuls. Panther, spotted deer, hanuman monkey, common langur, Indian elephant, Indian star tortoise, etc. are some of the animals that can be spotted here.
The Manjampatti white bison, a type of gaur, in the park. The Manjampatti white bison are notable for their distinctive ash-grey color. Commonly6 most gaurs have black color. Chinnar being located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike other sanctuaries in Kerala, Chinnar gets only less than two months of rainfall every year.