Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is the largest of its kind in Tamil Nadu, and is packed with equal amounts of fun and adventure. Filled with varied flora and fauna, this large National Park, sprawling over 958 square kilometers of land is located in the Anaimalais, and it contains immense diversity in terms of the natural life inside. This National Park is also very crucial for agriculture as well as the supply of water, because most reservoirs are fed by the rivers which originate from within the park. There are many tribal communities which live within the National Park, such as the Malasar, Muduvar, Eravalar, Pulayar tribes, and many others. These tribes retain their cultural roots, while aiding with the conservation of the wildlife within Indira Gandhi National Park. Make sure you visit this beautiful haven of life-forms if you’re craving to be close to all things natural.

The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, earlier known as the Annamalai Wild Life Sanctuary, lies in the Western Ghats and runs contiguously with Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary and Eravikulam. It hosts the tiger, leopard, elephant and gaur as well as the Nilgiri langur, the lion-tailed macaque and many birds. With its flora fauna, the sanctuary is considered one of the most promising sites for long-term conversation of several rare, endemic and dendangered species of animals and plants. It boasts of over 2000 species of plants, of which about 400 are of medicinal value.

Travel Tips

Avoid visiting Indira Gandhi National Park during the monsoons. The best time to visit this place would be between June - September and November - December. The sanctuary is hut from 15 February to 15th Arpil.

The entry starts from 6.00 a.m and extends to 6.00 p.m. Thereafter, due to safety purposes, loitering by tourists is not allowed.

Make sure you carry sturdy shoes as well as comfortable clothes conducive for wildlife exploration. Carrying bottles of water is advisable while going off on safaris and treks. There aren’t many places where you can stop to quench your thirst on some of these trips.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Hot
  • 39° Max
  • 31° Min
  • 6.1 mm
  • Light cottons
Things to do

The diverse flora and fauna within the National Park is in itself, quite overwhelming, and warrants several visits, if you’re passionate about nature and wildlife. The location of this natural park has lead to a very vast range of flora in the region. From tropical wet evergreen forests to dry savannah forests, the Indira Gandhi National Park contains about 2000 species in terms of floral diversity. There are about 100 species of orchids alone. If you love observing pant life, then this is the place for you. The staggering diversity of plants and landscape alone will leave you feeling awed.

The National Park, contains within its grounds and equally staggering diversity in terms of fauna. Animals living within Indira Gandhi National Park include tigers, gaurs, Sambars, Wild dogs, the sloth bear, the Indian flying fox squirrel, the Indian Pangolin, baking deer, the common otter, and many others. There are about 300 species of birds which live in the forests here, including the Great Pied Hornbill, the Frogmouth, the Red Winged Crested Cuckoo, Hill Mynas, Drongos and many others. This is a treat for any wild-life or an avid bird-watcher. Rare Reptiles such as the Travancore Cane Turtles, the Marsh Crocodiles, the Common Wolf Snake and the Water Snake too, are found here.

Make sure you pay a visit to the Medicinal Plants Conservation Area. It is highly educational and very informative when it comes to knowing more about the trees and plants around you. You’ll be astounded by the medicinal properties of some of the trees in the park. The Elephant Camp at Chinnar too, is definitely worth a visit, or two. There are trained elephants you can interact with, and the elephant rides are always thrilling, and is a wonderful experience. The Crocodile farm at Amaravathi Dam too, is spectacular. For reptile enthusiasts, this is a brilliant experience, because they get to watch highly trained professionals handling the formidable reptiles.

Monkey Falls too, is definitely a spot one must go to. The view is spectacular, and calming at the same time. And if you want to know more about the cultural diversity within the National Park, go down to Manjapatty Valley. This area is not just a prime location to watch and interact with elephants at their best, the Dhallinji and Manjampatti tribals live here, and it is truly enriching to see how they help with the management of the elephants, and how their natural inclination to the animals around the area enriches the conservation efforts in the forests.

There are also several trekking routes here which one can take. One of the shorter ones happens to the the Top Slip – Karianshola – Pandarvarai - Top Slip trekking route. This route in about 12 kilometers long and the trek lasts for about 5 hours. It is especially rewarding for those who want to engage in animal watching and bird watching. Another trekking route is the Monkey Fall route. It is best to consult the guides and the professionals about which routes are the best suited to your stamina, and the time of the year when you visit.

Getting Around

Coach safaries and nature walks and forest treks are conduted from the reception centre. Travellers will not get any private vehicles there. Walking is an excellent way to explore the sanctuary at a leisurely pace. The cool weather and picturesque landscape make for delightful walks. It is complusory for hikers to be accompanied by guide. If there are more than four in your group, you will need to hire one more guide.

The treks have to be booked at the reception centre and can be planned for early mornigns or afternoon.

Bus rides into the sanctuary leave in the mornings and afternoons from the reception centre.

Places to Stay

There are a number of forest rest houses in the sanctuary; some of them have hot water ad provision for meals.

How to Reach

  • Since this national park falls in the Coimbatore district, the closest airport is the one at Coimbatore itself. It is about 76 kilometers from the National Park. From the airport, there is transport available by road.
  • The nearest railways station is the one at Pollachi. It is about 35 kilometers away from Indira Gandhi National Park, and cars and buses ply to and fro at regular intervals.
  • There is regular bus service from Pollachi to the national park, and for those who wish to travel more comfortably, cars can be booked or hired. The cities around the national park too, have transport by road to this famous national park. Buses ply from these locations to Top-Slip.

Surrounding Attractions

The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerela is next door to the Indira Gandhi National Park. If you’re in the mood for some more wildlife exploration, then do pay this sanctuary a visit. It will be well worth it.

Emergency No.

Chief Conservator - 04259-225356

Reception Centre-Pallachi 04259-238360