Chimmony wildlife sanctuary (also Chimminy))is one of the 25 bio-diversity hotspots on earth.
Located at eastern Thrissur District, it shelters several endemic and endangered species within 86 square kilometres bound.
Chimmony joins Peechi-Vazhani and Parambikulam wildlife sanctuaries to form a contiguous biosphere of 210 Sq. Kms. Habitat continuity 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.
Starting from 40 m altitude, eastward slant escalates to hit zenith at Punda peak, 1116 m from sea level.
Temperature reaches to a low 15 Centigrade in January.
Hovering in the low 20
degrees usually, it raises to about 30 degrees plus in peak summer of
April and May.
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.
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.
A dam is constructed across the river, within the Sanctuary. Chimmony dam 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.
Chimmony , blessed with numerous tiny creaks, also benefits from Kunumali and Mupliyam Rivers flowing through it.
Chimmony rain forests along the inclines of Nelliyampathy hills form natural habitat to leopard, tiger, elephant, bear, bison, great squirrel, sambar, and deer and many more.
However, sighting tigers and leopards during sanctuary visits is not usual.
The forests of Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary, teeming with 39 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians and 31 species of fish attract nature lovers and wildlife admirers alike.
Chimmony woods are described as an important bird area. Bird lovers joyfully watch grey headed bulbul, Indian rufous babbler, lesser fish eagle and several other interesting birds.
Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary is also notable for the rich butterfly population. About 100 species of butterflies brings in vibrancy and a touch of colour. Chimmony forests are home to the rare Atlas Moth, which is considered as world’s largest moth.
Wildlife photographers take a visit to here seriously, while trekkers find delight in making new paths where nobody ever blazed trails.
What visitors find appealing is the freshness of less explored terrains of Chimmony which still remains a local secret. Journey through rocks and rivulets may at once appear challenging and exciting.
Even after enduring a period of haphazard human activity, still there is much left in Chimmony. Thankfully, the wild days of indiscriminate logging are over and Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary is in better hands.
Sightseeing and organised tours at Chimmony wildlife sanctuary
Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary has a raft of activities to keep visitors busy.
Visitors can chose short or full day Bamboo rafting trips. Or else, can opt for the more romantic version of rafting in moonlit waters.
Guided bird watching trips are popular among bird lovers. If you are lucky, may spot 50-70 species in a full day trip. Half day programs are also offered.
Similarly, there are shorter guided walks to spot butterflies. Relaxed walking along blossom trails leads to spotting a couple of scores of butterflies.
Certain areas within the sanctuary are rich in Orchids. Orchid walks, conducted here provide insight to a world of flowers and colors. While enjoying it all, you may come across several endangered ones.
Treks are a big deal in any Chimmony visit. Taking it into account, different types of treks are organised.
Children’s nature walks are designed to boost youngsters’ awareness about eco systems. Treks for adults are designed to accommodate varying levels of adventure, excitement and exertion. So we find treks categorized as light, moderate and heavy.
Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary can be visited for a day or for a few days. Hands on exploration which include treks and camping may require you to hang around here for some days.
The Inspection Bungalow (IB) near Chimmony dam provides accommodation. Booking need to be done in advance. The contact details are-
The Wildlife Warden, Peechi Wildlife Division Office, Peechi 680653
Ph: 91 487 2699017
Assistant Wild Life Warden, Office of the Asst: Wild Life Warden,
Chimmony Wild Life Sanctuary, Chimmony Dam P.O
Ph: 91 480 3209234
Thottupara Eco Lodge
Eco Lodge has 5 conventional huts and 2 tree top living spaces (Machans). They come with Kitchen and dining space. Naturalist residing at the Eco Lodge can help in better experiencing the Butterfly garden and Orchidarium in the vicinity.
Anaporu Eco Retreat
It is located in an area frequented by animals. The outdoor settings of 5 thatched roof Swiss style tents are protected by trenches for protection from elephants. Basic facilities are available.
Mulapara Eco Retreat
Here, adventure seekers can settle into one of the three alpine tents near Chimmony Reservoir. Camps are limited to six guests and usually for a day or two. Camping here comes in conjunction with some serious trekking.
Facility here is limited to catering for Nature Camps. Some companies also rent here for staff training.
How to reach Chimmony wildlife sanctuary
Chimmony wildlife sanctuary a.k.a Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary) is about 35 Kms from Thrissur Town. Echippara, nearly 40 kms from Thrissur town, is the Sanctuary head quarter.
By traveling through Thrissur – Cochin highway, Amballoor can be reached.
From there take the deviation.
passing through Varandarappilly and Palappilly, the journey ends at
Chimmony dam, which is about 24 Kms from Amballoor.
Also, there are buses from Thrissur North Bus stand (locally called - Vadakke stand), servicing near to Chimmony Dam.
Location : Central Kerala
District : Thrissur
Nearest towns : Amballur at 24 kms and Thrissur at 35 kms.
Bus Station : Thrissur Bus Station (North stand – Vadakke Stand) at 35 Kms.
Taxi/ Auto-rikshaw Hire : Thrissur Town at 35 Kms.
Railway Station : Thrissur Railway Station at 35 Kms.
Air port : Cochin Int’l Airport (COK) at 60 Kms
Food Options : No restaurants near the Sanctuary. IB provides food to staying guests. Restaurants at Thrissur, a few at Amballoor.
Accommodation Options : IB near Chimmony dam. Huts and tents at Thottupara, Anaporu and Mulapara. All of them need booking in advance.
Best time to visit : September till March.
Nearby Attractions : Thrissur Town (food & shopping), Guruvayoor Temple, Anakkotta (Elephant Park), Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls and Peechi -Vazhani Sanctuary.
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