The bright yellow and black striped big cats have always been majestic if not astounding. Though their number seems to have taken a nosedive, the Tiger population is slowly taking an uphill drive lately. Thanks to Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Coimbatore has its fair share of spotting wild cats every time when someone decides to trek the top slip near Pollachi. If spotting the majestic tigers on a wildlife safari is on your wishlist, then keep reading to know about Anamalai Tiger reserve, how to go and what to do there in this complete tour guide.
How to reach Anamalai tiger reserve
Once called the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, the Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a protected area of 958.59 km2 tucked away near the Anaimalai hills of Pollachi and Valparai Taluks of Coimbatore. The blissful nature, pristine trees stands tall against the concrete worlds of Pollachi and Coimbatore. Roughly at 110 kms from Coimbatore, the wildlife park is what escaping into the wildlife truly feels like.
The protected area is huge, filled with indigineous flora and fauna, sprawling all over the place. The road to Anaimalai hills once was in a awry state, thanks to the constant digging up works and other construction works of god knows for what struck out the beauty and peaceful quotient from the Coimbatore to Pollachi highways.
The 80+ kms stretch stood as evidence of nature taking over the Kongu region, something that none really complained about but as always the havoc struck years back when they finally decided to expand the highways but thanks to which the traffic is down to a complete zero.
You can reach the Anaimalai reserve in less than 2 hours even when you don’t have to step on the gas hard. Perhaps a peaceful view of the Pollachi to Anaimalai Hill roads can help ease off the anxiety and excitement before you can step into the zone of the big wild cats. Sounds like a walk in the park, But is that really easy to venture into the wildlife? The forest department is here to present you with the toughest part.
Anamalai tiger reserve entry, timings and fee
Like any other wildlife sanctuaries of India, Officials run a tight ship here making sure the park is in its best shape. Only four wheelers are allowed into the premises citing the safety concerns. But don’t dwell on it as there are tonnes of private vehicles you can hire at the foothills.
Once the registration is complete you can pay the entry fee which is split into 3 categories as usual: Children, adults and foreigners and foreigners would be the last place you’d wish to be in as the prices shoot up the roof. Camera and other electronic devices to click a picture or record a video needs to be shelled out a few more extra bucks to be tucked away with you into the premises.
And once you get a green signal from the officials, then you can heave a sigh of relief and your much deserved drive into the wings of nature begins the moment you grace the start of the foothills. The long narrow road welcomes you with a big sign board of Anamalai Tiger Reserve hovering over you. There are warning sign boards at regular places reminding you to stay in seats and not to take away this safari for a fun ride in an amusement park.
Things to do in Anaimalai, safari & much more
The wow factor doesn’t just end with the jeep ride there are loads of fun activities and things up the sleeve waiting to get you off guard. Many of the activities are run by the forest department themselves. Most of the commonly accessed activities includes:
The most commonly yet ever refreshing activity of Anamalai tiger reserve forest. The trekking traces through the tall pristines trees and small streams of melodic water gushing down. Keep an eye out for the mischievous monkeys and for the unique trees and flowers gracing your way
There are elephant rides here for which you have to get your tickets upfront. Get a bird’s eye view of the lush green forest from the top of wild tuskers, a ride that you will never forget, but if you want to go easy on the tuskers and not inclined towards disrupting its space and tranquility by taming them for a ride, then just click a few good snaps of the beautiful animals and walk away as we got other fun things to be done here.
Time to unwind the wildlife photographer in you. Take out the DSLR camera for an excellent panoramic view of the Anaimalai hills and the places around you with enough scope to capture the blissful essence of the forest and the ambience that showers over you.
You can hire their vehicle for a brief tour inside the forest. The driver is well skilled to tame the toughest terrains of the forest but also a great guide to offer you insights into the forest and its history and also definitely about the wild animals.
For those who missed taking the ride on a tusker, here’s even a better shot at getting under the skin of the elephants to know what goes behind the scenes in everyday life of an elephant. You get to watch them get showered, fed and more up close and personal.
Bird watching and eco shops
There is a eco shop run by EDC selling souvenirs like caps, tshirts, lemongrass oil etc at the best deals. And if you are someone who gets bored easily doing the shopping part, you can always indulge in some bird watching here and catch a breathtaking view of some of the most exotic birds in the region.
Anamalai Tiger Reserve Accommodation
Anamalai Tiger reserve offers a hoard of rooms and places depending on the proximity to the topslip and number of people. The rooms start as low as 600/- and goes till 10k for the conference hall. There are even dormitories for a group stay if you wish to bunker with your friends.
Visit this site to book your room
Or if you are looking for the best resorts in Valparai, you can check out our 8 best resorts in valparai
Anamalai tiger reserve is as beautiful as it gets, the tranquility space near Coimbatore where you get to witness the wildlife up close and personal for a change and you let nature take the driver seat. If you want to squeeze in more spots to visit on your next trip, why not check out the tourist places in Valparai for a change?