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Chinnar National Park

Chinnar is a hillside near Marayoor in Idukki district. The area is a reserve of several animal species. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is an important sanctuary in Kerala. It is located 18 km from of Marayoor in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is a prominent reserve extending to an area of more than 90 sq km, and came to recognition as a world life sanctuary in 1984. The sanctuary lies in the Western Ghats in the rain shadow region and receives only 48 days rain annually during the months of October and November, that too when the northeast monsoons have set.

The altitudinal variation of the region that ranges from 500 to 2400 mts blesses it with a diverse variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is home to some of the highest peaks including Kottakombumalai (2144 mts), Vellaikalmalai (1863 mts) and Viriyottumalai (1845 mts). The wildlife sanctuary is located at easily approachable distances from the Eravikulam National Park and Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. mong the animals found in the sanctuary are elephant, giant grizzled squirrel, gaur, panther, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman monkey, rabbit etc. However, of particular interest during a tour to this the Chinnar National Park will be sightings of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel.

Chinnar National Park is situated in Devikulam taluk of Idukki district of Kerala. Chinnar has been the status of National Park in 1984. The altitude within the Chinnar National Park ranges from 500 to 2400 meters,the highest peak being Kottakombumalai (2144 m). The peak is an undulating area of forests and open grasslands. The wide variety of wildlife in Chinnar National Park includes animals lsuch as elephants, star tortoise, hanuman langurs, spectacted cobras, rabbits, bonnet macaques, sambhar, spotted deer, turtles, tigers, peacocks, Kraits, Gaur, leopards, White bisons etc.

There are several species of insects, birds and butterflies in Chinnar National Park. Birds like white browed bulbul, plum headed parakeet, white naped woodpecker, grey wagtail, purple rumped sunbird, green bee eater, white throated kingfisher, white bellied drongo, small minivet, greet imperial pigeon, little nightjar, grey heron, hawk are among the several species of birds that can be seen in Chinnar.

A bird tour to Chinnar is a better idea for a change of travelling. Take a guide along with you to identify the different species of birds. Most of the birds that are seen in Chinnar National Park are indigenous residents. Migratory birds usually do not come to Chinnar.

The Thkoovanam Falls on the Chinnar river within the National Park offers beautiful scenery.

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