Anaimalai Hills

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Western Ghats constitute a long mountain range along the western side of India. It became UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India.it is  is one of the world's ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants 508 bird species, 139 mammal species, and 179 amphibian species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats of India  

 

 Anaimalai Hills is a range of mountains in the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamilnadu, states of South India. It is believed that  name "Anaimalai" derives from the Tamil/Malayalam word 'Anai' meaning elephant and 'Malai' meaning Hill, so Elephant Hill. The highest peak of the Anaimalai Hills is Anamudi, (2,695 meters (8,842 ft)), located in the Idukki districtof Kerala. It is the highest peak in the Western ghats and South India. Towaeds north, Palghat Gap divides the Western Ghats. The lower slopes of hills now have and tea  and coffee plantations as well as teak forests of great economic value.

 

Anaimalai 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. It form a southern portion of the Western Ghats. The Anaimalai Hills are south of where the Western Ghats are broken by the Palghat 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. Towards east are the Palni Hills.

 Twelve Major forest types are found in the area which are now fragmented by many tea and coffee plantations on the lower slopes and teak plantations higher up. Usually Monsoon rains are heavy. Annual rainfall varies from 2,000 mm to 5,000 mm in the area.

 

Anaimalai Hills are Famous for their abundant wildlife. Parambikulam Wildlife SanctuaryEravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary,  Anamalas Tiger Reserve and the adjacent The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in these hills are well known for Eephants. Numerous wildlife species can be seen including gaur, elephants, 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., Birds seen include Pied hornbill, Drongo and Red Whiskered Bulbul

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

The Anaimalai Hills are a famous  trekking destination in the Western Ghats of south India. Famous touriust destinations are Athirapally & Vazhachal Ecotourism, Malakkappara, Valparai, Topslip, Anamudi, Parambikulam
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