Anaimalai Hills

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Anamala / Anaimalai Hills
Elephant Hill
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.jpg
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Highest point
Peak Anamudi / Anaimudi (Kerala)
Elevation 2,695 m (8,842 ft)
Coordinates 10°10′16″N 77°03′48″E / 10.17111°N 77.06333°E / 10.17111; 77.06333[1]
Anaimalai Hills is located in Kerala
Anaimalai Hills
Location of Anamudi / Anaimudi Peak in Kerala
Country India
States Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Range coordinates 10°22′N 77°08′E / 10.37°N 77.13°E / 10.37; 77.13Coordinates: 10°22′N 77°08′E / 10.37°N 77.13°E / 10.37; 77.13
Parent range Western Ghats
Topo map (Terrain)
Age of rock Cenozoic
100 to 80 mya
Type of rock Fault[2]

The Anamala / Anaimalai Hills is a range of mountains in the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu states of South India. The name "Anamala / Anaimalai" derives from the Malayalam and Tamil word 'Ana' / 'Anai' meaning elephant[3] and 'Mala' / 'Malai' meaning hill, thus Elephant Hill. The highest peak of the Anamala / Anaimalai Hills is Anamudi / Anaimudi, (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, Palakkad 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.

The Western Ghats, Anamala / Anaimalai Sub-Cluster, including the Anamala / Anaimalai Hills, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.[4]


These hills are located between 10° 13' and 10° 31' N. and 76° 52' and 77° 23' E., central point: 10°22′N 77°07.5′E / 10.367°N 77.1250°E / 10.367; 77.1250. They form a southern portion of the Western Ghats. Anamala / Anaimalai Hills are south of where the Western Ghats are broken by the Palakkad Gap, which in turn is south of the Nilgiri Hills. They border the state of Kerala on the Southwest and the Cardamom Hills to the southeast. To the east are the Palni Hills.

Their geological formation is metamorphic gneiss, veined with felspar and quartz, and interspersed with reddish porphyrite.[5] 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.[6]


Anamala / Anaimalai Hills are known for their abundant wildlife. Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Anamala / Anaimalai Tiger Reserve and the adjacent The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in these hills are well known for elephants. Numerous wildlife species can be seen including elephants, gaur, water buffaloes, tigers, panthers, sloth bears, pangolins, black-headed orioles, crocodiles, green pigeons, civet cats, dhole, sambar and 31 groups of endangered lion-tailed macaques.,[7][8] Birds seen include pied hornbill, red whiskered bulbul and drongo.

A new frog species was found from the forest recently and named Beddomixalus bijui.[9]


Amaravathi Reservoir & Dam

There are several rivers in the area including: the Aliayar river, Apambar River, Chinnar River, Kaddambarrai River, the Neerar river, Mannambhally, Pambar River and Parambikulam River.[citation needed] There are several large dams are in the area including: Aliayar Dam, Amaravathi Dam, Kaddambarrai dam, Neerar Dam, Sholayar Dam (one of the biggest of its kind in Asia), Mannambhally Dam, and the largest capacity dam in India, the Parambikulam Dam.[citation needed]

Visitor information[edit]

The Anamala / 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 Anamala / Anaimalai Hills, between Udumalapet and Munnar. The nearest town is Munnar. The nearest International Airport is in Cochin and Coimbatore.


  1. ^ "Anamudi/Anaimudi, India". Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  2. ^ 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 Research 10: 41–7. doi:10.1016/ 
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ UNESCO, World Heritage sites, Tentative lists, Western Ghats sub cluster, Niligiris. retrieved 4/20/2007 World Heritage sites, Tentative lists
  5. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica ANAMALA HILLS
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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 Anamala / Anaimalai Hills, Western Ghats, India". American journal of primatology 57 (2): 91–102. doi:10.1002/ajp.10037. PMID 12111684. 
  8. ^ Kumara, H. N.; Kumar, M. Ananda; Sharma, A. K.; Sushma, H. S.; Singh, Mridula; Singh, Mewa (2004). "Diversity and management of wild mammals in tea gardens in the rainforest regions of the Western Ghats, India: A case study from a tea estate in the Anamala / Anaimalai Hills" (PDF). Current Science 87 (9): 1282–. 
  9. ^ Two novel genera and one new species of treefrog (Anura: Rhacophoridae) highlight cryptic diversity in the Western Ghats of India. Zootaxa 3640 (2): 177–189.

Further reading[edit]

  1. Anaimalais, the 'elephant mountains' Chapter One, Field Days: A Naturalist's Journey Through South and Southeast Asia By A. J. T. Johnsingh Contributor A. J. T. Johnsingh Published by Orient Blackswan, 2006 ISBN 81-7371-552-1, ISBN 978-81-7371-552-5, 339 pages
  2. British Library, India Office WD567, Hamilton, Douglas (1818–1892); Album of 17 drawings of views in the Anaimalai Hills (Cochin and Madras), pen-and-ink, 1863, European school| British school
  3. British Library, India Office WD568, Hamilton, Douglas (1818–1892); Album of 15 drawings of views in the Anaimalai Hills (Cochin and Madras), pen-and-ink, 1863, European school| British school