The impeccable beauty of Chinnar, which is lulled peacefully in the valleys of the Western Ghats, is as captivating and intriguing as the hills. The Chinnar wild life sanctuary is a perfect place for the nature lovers to enjoy the mysteries of the nature. One can reach Chinnar check post in Tamil Nadu by passing through Nenmara, Kollangode and a small border hamlet called Govidapuram.
Chinnar was established in 1984 and is one of the most prominent wild life sanctuaries in the country. It, however, does not receive much rain fall, so the weather is generally hot and dry here. It is home to some rare species of flora and fauna. The Indian giant squirrel, star tortoise, wild elephants, and the white gaur are few remarkable and rare species of animals found in the sanctuary. Legend says that it was an English man who spotted the white gaur for the first time.
The log house
The log house at Surulipatti would be the ultimate dream destination of any travel enthusiast. One has to walk on foot for kilometres to reach this marvel hidden inside the lush green forests. A small wood cabin with a verandah, medium sized bedroom, and an attached bathroom, the log house attracts many visitors every year. This homestead has a strong wall built of hard rocks around it to keep away wild animals. The pristine brook which flows in front of the log house is in fact the border which separates Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Exquisite deer and rare species of birds would be your visitors at the log house.
Visitors can spend a night at the log house, but should vacate the next day by 10 in the morning.
The forest shrine
The temple at a tribal settlement called Kodanthoor, across the river, in Tamil Nadu is visited by many devotees, especially on Sundays when special poojas and prayers are offered. The mesmerizing nature creates a spiritual aura around the temple. The nature itself makes us bow in front of the divine as one has to crawl beneath a fallen tree to reach the shrine. The small makeshift shops erected on either sides of the path are a fine addition to the place’s rustic charm. These shops mostly sell toys, house hold items, and pooja material which is offered to the ‘Amman’ (deity). Barber shops are also common here as devotees shave their heads as an offering to the deity. There are no boundary walls around the shrine, and hundreds of devotees from different tribal settlements and also from places like Udumelpetta, Pollachi, Chinnar, Aaravathy, Kanthalloor, and Marayur visit the temple every week.
The aroma of piping hot, soft idlis accompanied by spicy chutney is irresistible. It is truly an incredible experience to relish this delicious breakfast while enjoying beautiful nature. It wouldn’t take much effort to discover the ‘secret’ recipe of this soft idli. The nature itself has made the perfect grinder to prepare the idli batter. Rice and dal are ground into fine batter in a small crater on the rock, using a grind stone, and this extremely ‘natural’ preparation must be reason why these idlis taste so good.
How to reach
One can reach Chinnar from Muvattupuzha by taking the NH 85 through Adimaly–Munnar. It is almost 49 km away from Muvattupauzha. The trekking to the log house in Surulipatti begins from the Chinnar wild life office. For booking and other information: 8301024187, 8547603199 (Munnar wild life office).