A view of Sirumalai from the View Point
|Elevation||1,600 m (5,200 ft)|
|Translation||Small Hill (Tamil)|
|Location||Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Parent range||Eastern Ghats|
Sirumalai (Tamil: சிறுமலை) is a region of 60,000 acres (200 km2) situated 25 km (16 mi) from Dindigul and 90 km (56 mi) from Madurai,Tamil Nadu, India. There are many high hills in the area. Hillock International School is located in Sirumalai. Sirumalai is a dense forest region with a moderate climate throughout the year. With an altitude of 1600 metres above sea level, it contains diversified flora and fauna. The hill has 18 hairpin bends. On the 18th bend is a church and a view point of Dindigul city and the "Dindigul Rock Fort". The hill contains a small waterfall as well. The famous Sirumalai banana is slowly disappearing from disease, which scientists have been unable to prevent.
Man-made fires on the hills have destroyed medicinal plants and threatened the fauna habitat. Fires are often set to promote vegetation growth used for animal fodder, clear land for cultivation, or improve access to timber.
Mathamalai Annai Veilankanni Church is situated on top of one of the hills. Residents observe the festival for "Our Lady Of Good Health" annually in September, with a flag hoisted prior to the festival.
Sirumalai Lake contains a small lake that was artificially created in the year 2010.
In the region of sirumalai the Agasthiarpuram is a holy place where siddas (monks) have lived since ancient days. The area is surrounded with medicinal herbs and plants. At the top of the hill there is historic Shiva Lingam, which dates back at least 500 years.
The famous Lord Murugan temple (Vellimalai Murugan Temple) is located in the mountain which is away from 45 minutes climbing over the valley.
Flora and fauna
Much of the Sirumalai is covered by deciduous forests - the lower slopes by dry deciduous and the higher slopes and riverine valleys by moist and wet deciduous forests. Trees such as Terminalia , Shorea , Magnolia champaca are dominant in these hills. Other rare plants such as Lianas and Orchids also occur in the higher elevation evergreen tracts. Coffee estates form a major portion of present-day landscape. These Reserve Forests are protected under Tamil Nadu Forest Department.
A rich animal life including threatened animals such as Slender loris, Gaur, Sambar deer, Sloth bear, Asian palm civet, Indian hare, Jungle cat and Indian pangolin are to be seen in the wild. Birds such as Indian peafowl, Asian koel, Indian grey hornbill and even the endemic Blue-winged parakeet are found in these forests. Threatened reptiles such as the Python molurus, Indian star tortoise, and venomous snakes such as Indian cobra, Russell's viper, Common krait and the endemic Bamboo pit viper and the little-known striped coral snake Calliophis nigrescens are found here. Lizards such as the Bengal monitor, the Indian chameleon, the flying lizard or Draco dussumieri, Calotes calotes, Ophisops minor and Cnemaspis geckoes are to be seen here. Special mention must be made of the only endemic reptile of the hill - the Sirumalai Shieldtail Snake Uropeltis dindigalensis, that is reportedly not found anywhere else. Rare and endemic amphibians such as Hylarana, Indirana, Zakerana brevipalmata and the direct-developing bush frog Pseudophilautus wynaadensis occur here. A myriad forms of lesser-known Insects and Moths etc. are present.
Located in Sirumalai is Agathya Puram. Named after the prominent Agathya Siddhar. Located in Agathya Puram is Silver Hill, this is the tallest hill in Sirumalai. It is said that the peak of the Silver hill was made up of Silver but to avoid man's destruective actions during the Kali Yuga the hill was transformed via Alchemy in to stone by Agathya Siddhar, hence it got the name silver hill. The hills silver glitter can be still seen in the sun light. In the peak of this Silver hill is a 500-year-old Shiva Lingam, walk to top of the hill is about 30 – 45 minutes.The view from the silver Hill is breathtaking.
Agatthiyar SivaSakthi Sitthar Peedam
Agatthiyar SivaSakthi Sitthar peedam is an ashram located at the silver hill in Agathya Puram. Food is served daily (Annadanam), lodging is available at the ashram.The ashram aims to promote various voluntary campaigns such as cleaning of the hills.
- "Sirumalai Hills, a perfect getaway for weekend drive and for summer stay". The Times Of India. Madurai, India. 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "Hidden 100: Small hill, big attraction". The Hindu. Tamil Nadu, India. 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "Beauty Strikes". The Hindu. Tamil Nadu, India. 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- "Low profile heat buster". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2004-05-22. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "Location". hillockinternationalschool.com. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- J Arockiaraj (2012-10-06). "Diseases, low prices affect production of hill bananas". Times of India. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- "Forest fires affect Sirumalai Hills". The Hindu. Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India. 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sirumalai.|
- Images of Sirumalai
- About Sirumalai
- Sirumalai Map
- Ganesh, S. R.; M. Arumugam 2016. Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 7-24.