Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
The sanctuary has six administrative ranges, Pollachi: Range Head Quarters at Anaimalai Farm: 109.72 kmē, Vaalpaarai: Water Falls: 171.50 kmē, Ulandy: Top Slip: 75.93 kmē, Amaravathi: Amaravathi Nagar: 172.50 kmē, Udumalpet: 290.18 kmē. IGWLS is adjacent to Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary to the west. Manjampatti Valley is a 110ą kmē drainage basin at the eastern end of the park.
Altitude ranges between 340m to 2513 m above sea level. There are 12 major peaks in this area, including:
2,483 metres (8,146 ft)
Mean annual rainfall is between 500mm in the south western fringes to 5000mm on the north east.
The IGWS has significant anthropological diversity with more than 4600 Adivasi people from six tribes of indigenous people living in 34 settlements. The tribes are the Kadars, Malasars, Malaimalasars, Pulaiyars, Muduvars and the Eravalars., .
Flora and Fauna
The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna typical of the South Western Ghats. There are over 2000 species plants of which about 400 species are of prime medicinal value.
Mammals in the Park include tiger, leopard, sloth bear, dhole or the Asiatic wild dog, golden jackal, leopard cat, jungle cat, rusty-spotted cat, elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, wild pig, nilgiri langur, common langur, bonnet macaque, lion-tailed macaque, common palm civet, Small Indian Civet, Common Mongoose, Striped-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Smooth Indian Otter, Slender Loris, Indian Giant Squirrel, Spiny Dormouse, Porcupine, Indian Pangolin, Giant Flying Squirrel and Three-striped Palm Squirrel.
IGWS is a Project Elephant sanctuary.
The Steering Committee of Project Tiger granted approval in principle to inclusion of Indira Gandhi WLS and NP and nine additional protected areas under Project Tiger.
Over 250 species of birds have been identified in the Park . Some of the most important groups include, cormorants, ducks, teal, darter, partridge, quail, jungle fowl, spurfowl, Indian peafowl, parakeets, hornbills, barbets, drongos, orioles, shrikes, warblers, flycatchers, woodpeckers, chloropsis, trogons, kingfishers, storks, egrets, fish eagle, hawk eagles, harriers, falcons, kites, owls and nightjars.
It is home to 15 of 16 species of birds endemic to the Western Ghats including: Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Rufous Babbler, Crimson-backed Sunbird, White-bellied Treepie, Grey-breasted Laughingthrush, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Shortwing, Malabar Parakeet, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bulbul, Broad-tailed Grassbird and Wynaad Laughingthrush there are unconfirmed reports of the 16th, the Nilgiri Laughingthrush found in the upper regions of the Anamalais around the estates of Vaalpaarai. If true, the sanctuary will be the first to be home to all the endemic species of Western Ghats birds.
Reptiles include toads, leaping frogs, torrent frogs, tree frogs, pythons, cobras, kraits, vipers, grass snakes, forest cane turtles, travancore tortoises, flapshells, star tortoises, flying lizards, chameleons and forest calotes.
315 species of butterflies belonging to five families have been identified in the Anaimalais. 44 are endemic to the Western Ghats.
The IGWLS is managed by the Wildlife Warden (Wildlife Warden Office, 178 Meenkarai Road, Pollachi, Ph: 04259-225356) and falls within the administrative control of the Coimbatore Forest Circle headed by the Conservator of Forests, Coimbatore.
Travel by road from Coimbatore to Pollachi (40 km) to the Wildlife Warden's Office for visitor permit and then by road to Top Slip (35 km), or to Udumalpet (40 km - Amaravathi and Udumalpet range), or to Vaalparai (65 km - Vaalparai and Manamboly range)
The ideal months to visit the Park are May to January. Entry time is between 6 am and 6 pm. The Park has a large tourist complex at Top Slip that houses many cottages, rooms, and dormitories for visitors. Visitors can get around the park by trekking and a safari van. .