Anamalai Tiger Reserve Trekking Adventure

By Vacation India
billboard the Anamalai Tiger Reserve TAMIL NADU
A welcome billboard at the edge of the forest range of Udumalpet and the Anamalai Tiger Reserve TAMIL NADU, INDIA © Manu M Nair / Shutterstock

The various hiking adventures exist for visitors with different physical capability levels. Some include moderate-level treks with changing the elevation, while others are more comfortable strolls along the flat paths. Some excellent beginners’ excursions include Ambuli Watch, Kozhikammuthy, Mt. Stuart, and Topslip.

Duration: 2 to 6 hours | Distance: 4 to 15 kilometers | Difficulty: Easy to hard

Wildlife Sighting | Bird Watching | Butterflies, Frogs and Reptiles | Native Flora and Fauna

Trek Times and Duration – From 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Multiple Treks Available in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve
▪ Ambuli Watch — six kilometers long
▪ Kozhikammuthy — 12 kilometers long. This hike leads to a unique elephant camp that houses approximately 50 families from the Malasar tribe. These skilled tribespeople work extensively with Indian elephants and will show off their skills with the kumki (trained) elephants they house
▪ Mt. Stuart — 10 kilometers long. This trek does not climb the mountain but leads toward it over mostly flat ground. You will see a forest department cabin where Hugo Woods, British officer, once stayed and his tombstone that features the memorable epitaph “If you want to see a monument to remember me by, just look around.”
▪ Karian Shola — four kilometers long
▪ Kolambumalai — 10 kilometers long. This is the most rigorous track available suitable for active individuals. It includes steep ascents and descents with jaw-dropping vistas to reward you with.
All of these routes have these things in common:
▪ Beautiful landscapes
▪ Green forests and foliage
▪ Peaceful tranquility
▪ Thrilling suspense
What Each Trek Includes in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve
Every hike in the Anamali Tiger Reserve includes the possibility of exhilarating encounters with wildlife. Feel a chill down your spine when you spot Bengal tiger marks on a tree, massive spider webs stretching between the branches, or even a rare exotic turtles sunning itself on a rock.

We will carry our boxed lunches into the Tiger Reserve at Topslip to take a stroll under the trees for what is called Forest Bathing. This phrase is the new term for spending time in the forest for leisure purposes to release the stresses of the modern world and experience calm adventure. At the Anamali Tiger Reserve, you can enjoy this past time in a truly beautiful location.

web in the Anamalai tiger reserve

A large spider on its web in the Anamalai tiger reserve © Miranda Arun / Shutterstock

Group trekking tours include people from all over the world with diverse interests and background. What brings you together is your interest in nature and experiencing it up close. At this beautiful natural wildlife preserve, it all starts just a few steps inside the forest. Look up to see a playful pair of white-bellied tree pies flying from branch to branch. Walk a little farther to marvel at the size of a 200 year old mango tree, and, if you come in the right season, view a family group of elephants come to enjoy its ripe fruit.

Every hiking group has a trail guide, watcher, and guard who have experience and knowledge about the wilderness surrounding you. They listen to the sounds and keep their eyes peeled so they can point out any beasts or birds nearby. Because the jungle is so thick and filled with foliage, spotting a colorful bird or unique animal on your own could be quite challenging. These naturalists will also point out signs of animals such as scat, claw marks on trees, and even help you identify bird calls and other noises that can teach you about the forest.

Some of the different animals you can see on your adventures include the massive Asian elephant, native Indian guar or bison, chital or spotted deer, muntjac or barking deer, sambar, and giant squirrel. Occasionally, you may even be so lucky as to spot a leopard, tiger, or sloth bear.

Serpent Eagle Anamali Tiger Reserve

A Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela ) perched in a tree in Anamali Tiger Reserve © Yvdalmia / Shutterstock

Some of the most interesting animals you may see in this wilderness preserve include primates such as the Common and Nilgiri langurs and the Bonnet and Lion-tailed macaques. People interested in birdwatching will be pleased to know that this part of the Western Ghat Mountains is considered one of the most diverse ranges with more than 250 species of birds. Some of these feathered residents include the Wayanad Laughing thrush, Yellow-footed Green pigeon, Emerald dove, Rufous-bellied eagle, Oriental Bay owl, Great pied and Malabar hornbills, and the Malabar trogon among others.

Your local guide may call a halt to point out a tree scratched and scraped by a tiger’s claws eight feet up the trunk. Just imagining the fierce wildcat is enough to give you a thrill.

As you continue the journey through the dense jungles, your guide may stop you again. This time, the path is blocked by a gigantic spider web. Although difficult to see in the dim, greenish light, the strands of silk are as tough as guitar strings and no one wants to get wrapped up in that. Many of the spiders that live in this area have large, colorful females and much smaller males that co-habitate on one big web.

lion-tailed macaque the Anamalai tiger reserve

A lion-tailed macaque (Macaca Silenus) looking over the forest from a high tree in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve © Dirk M. de Boer / Shutterstock

You would surely have to be lucky to spot a critically endangered Cochin Forest Cane Turtle. No known individuals exist in captivity anywhere on Earth. These rare turtles have bright pink heads and pale pink legs, which make them highly unusual for any turtle that lives on land.

After trekking through the forest and seeing so many wondrous things, it is time to emerge from the shola forest to the upward slope of the hill country. At the top, the tour group pauses to gaze at Kerala on the other side of the state border.

The adventure through the Anamali Tiger Reserve ends with a rest and a snack at the tourist office near the entrance. Finally, the group loads into the vehicles for a trip back to the hotels or farm stay locations with plenty of tales and experiences to share with new friends.

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