Anamudi or Elephant’s forehead, is the highest peak not only in the Western Ghats but also the whole of South India. At a height of 2,695 metres, it was General Douglas Hamilton of Madras Army whose ascent was the first recorded in 1862. Situated in the midst of the Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi is a great location for trekkers and hikers.
A protected area, the park itself is divided into three regions – the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area of Rajamalai. The park is also home to an extremely rare species of ibex – Nilgiri Tahr. Other renowned fauna of the park include Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Wild Dog, Nilgiri Langur, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Indian Porcupine, etc.
Around 132 species of birds have been sited and recorded as well as 101 varieties of butterflies and 19 species of amphibians. The Park charges entry fee of Rs 15 per head per day for Indians and Rs 200 per head per day for foreigners. Special fees are also charged for vehicles and film shooting. The park best visited in the non-monsoon months from September to May.
Located in the same district as Anamudi – Idukki – are the popular destinations of Munnar and Thekkady. Munnar is located on the Kannan Devan Hills Village at the confluence of three mountain rivers – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. The summer capital for the British in South India, Munnar today has sprawling tea estates and is a very popular hill station. Thekkady is home to the Periyar National Park, spread across 777 sq km.
Wild elephants are what people come out here for. A cruise across the artificial lake formed by the construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam is great way to catch a glimpse of the pachyderms. The park offers few watch towers, inside the tiger reserve which can be reserved at the Forest Information Centre.
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