The Anaimalai Hills (Malayalam: ആനമല, Tamil: ஆனைமலை) is a range of mountains in the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states of South India. The name "Anaimalai" derives from the Tamil/Malayalam word 'Anai' meaning elephant and 'Malai' meaning hill, thus Elephant Hill. The highest peak of the Anaimalai Hills is Anamudi, (2,695 meters (8,842 ft)), located in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is the highest peak in the Western ghats and South India. To the north, Palghat Gap divides the Western Ghats. The lower slopes of hills now have coffee and tea plantations as well as teak forests of great economic value.
Their geological formation is metamorphic gneiss, veined with felspar and quartz, and interspersed with reddish porphyrite. Twelve Major forest types are found in the area which are now fragmented by many coffee and tea plantations on the lower slopes and teak plantations higher up. Monsoon rains are heavy. Annual rainfall varies from 2,000 mm to 5,000 mm in the area.
The Anaimalai Hills are a trekking destination in the Western Ghats. The best time to visit this place is during November to mid May. SH-17 passes through the Anaimalai Hills, between Udumalapet and Munnar. The nearest town is Munnar. The nearest International Airport is in Cochin and Coimbatore.
^Singh, A.P.; Kumar, Niraj; Singh, B. (2006). "Nature of the crust along Kuppam–Palani geotransect (South India) from Gravity studies: Implications for Precambrian continental collision and delamination". Gondwana Research10: 41–7. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2005.11.013.
^Fabricius, Johann Philipp. (1972) J. P. Fabricius's Tamil and English dictionary, 4th ed., rev. and enl. Tranquebar: Evangelical Lutheran Mission Pub. House, retrieved 6/18/2007 anai (āṉai), an elephant
^Sajeev T.K. et al., Management of Forests in India for Biological Diversity and Forest Productivity- A New Perspective, WII-USDA Forest Service Collaborative Project Grant No. FG-In-780 (In-FS-120), Volume III (ACA) Anaimalai Conservation Area.
^Singh, M; Singh, M; Kumar, MA; Kumara, HN; Sharma, AK; Kaumanns, W (2002). "Distribution, population structure, and conservation of lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in the Anaimalai Hills, Western Ghats, India". American journal of primatology57 (2): 91–102. doi:10.1002/ajp.10037. PMID12111684.