The forests in the Annamalai range are rich in flora and fauna
Nestled in the Annamalai ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy ranges of Kerala, Parambikulam has one of the largest populations of gaur. Originally a small area of reserve forest, the sanctuary expanded to its current size in 1962. Nourished by several rivers, including the Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy, it is dense with bamboo, sandalwood, rosewood and teak. You can still see the Kannimari teak tree, the largest in Asia. Two watchtowers at Anappadi and Zungam are used for wildlife spotting. You can take boat cruises in the Parambikulam Reservoir. Area: 285 sq. km in the Palakkad district. Wildlife: Elephant, sloth bear, chital, tiger, panther, viper, turtle and black eagle. How to get there: Road: Pollachi (48 km) in Tamil NaduRail: Palakkad (125 km)Air: Coimbatore (55 km) Best time to visit: Open throughout the year, but best avoided during the monsoons. Where to stay: At rest houses of the Forest Department, Thunakadavu, Thellikkal and Elathode, at the tree house at Thunakadavu. Contact: Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Thiruvananthapuram; Field Director Project Tiger, Kottayam, Kerala; or Divisional Forest Officer, Parambikulam, Thunakadavu.