Established in 1984 the Chimmini Wildlife sanctuary with an area of about 85.067 sq.km is located along the Western Ghats in Mukundapuram Taluk of Thrissur District of Kerala state in India.
The Chimmini Wildlife sanctuary along with the neighboring Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary forms a continuous protected area of 210 sq.km. It also lies just west of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, providing some habitat connectivity with the forests of that relatively large protected area and facilitates uninterrupted wildlife movements and increased diversity.
Moist deciduous forests take up more than half of Chimmony landscape, while tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests fill the rest.
The sanctuary lies on the Western slopes of the Nelliyampathy Hills and the dense tropical forests shelters several endemic and endangered species. The dam across the Chimmini River offers a breathtaking view. This picturesque picnic spot is a favorite haunt of the local people.
The altitude ranges from 40m to 1116 m. The highest peak in sanctuary is Punda peak (1116 m). The average temperature is 20 degrees which reaches to a 15 degree in winter and 30 degree in the peak summer.
Chimmony River originates at the western slopes of Nelliyampathy hills. Flowing through the sanctuary, it plays a vital role in shaping up forest life. Even the Sancturay is named after the river. Chimmony dam built across the Chimmony River, within the Sanctuary is a tourist attraction by itself. Getting on to its top, visitors enjoy panoramic view of the basin encircled by green hills. The artificial lake formed at the reservoir spans 10 sq. kilometers while reaching 20 metres of depth. The sanctuary also consists of the watershed areas of Kurumali River and Mupliam rivers.
The only human inhabitants close to Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary is about 200 people belonging to Malaya tribe. Many of them assist trekking and camping sites.
The forest department organizes trekking and bamboo rafting programs in and around the sanctuary. But the best of all experiences is the Moonlight Sonata, which involves rafting on full moon lights.
Flora and Fauna
The Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in Flora and Fauna. There are 39 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, and 31 species of fishes are reported from the sanctuary. About half of the large mammals found in Kerala are reported from Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary, especially some of the globally threatened species such as tiger (Panthera tigris), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Also large hawk cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides), broad-billed roller (Eurystomus orientalis) and ashy minivet (Pericrocotus divaricatus).
Other red-listed species found here include the Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) and the endemic primates-lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus), Nilgiri langur (Trachypithecus johnii) and slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus).
The sanctuary is an important bird area with 192 recorded avian species. Five Western Ghats endemic bird species occur here, including the grey-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus), Indian rufous babbler (Turdoides subrufus) and white-bellied blue-flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes). Other interesting species found here include-Ceylon frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger), Indian edible-nest swiftlet (Collocalia unicolor), Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus), Malabar whistling-thrush (Myiophonus horsfieldii) and Loten’s sunbird (Nectarinia lotenia) (Islam and Rahmani 2004). A recent survey recorded the presence of the lesser fish eagle (Ichthyophaga humilis), which until recently was only known from the foothills of the Himalayas.
The headquarters of the sanctuary is at Echippara which is 40 km away from City of Thrissur. The sanctuary also offers trekking paths for the adventure traveller. Accommodation can be arranged at the Inspection Bungalow, near the Chimmony Dam. Visit Permits can be obtained from:
The Wildlife Warden, Peechi Wildlife Division, Peechi 680653.
It comes under the Peechi Wild Life Division.