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| Last Updated:: 20/09/2023

Anaimalai Hill












The Anaimalai or Anamala Hills, also known as the Elephant mountains, are the range of mountains that form the southern portion of the Western Ghats and span the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India. Anai Peak (8,842 feet [2,695 metres]) lies at the extreme southwestern end of the range and is the highest peak in southern India. The name animala is derived from the Tamil word anai or ana, meaning elephant, and malai or mala, meaning hill — thus Elephant hill.








The lush green hills and the varied flora and fauna attract hundreds of tourists to Anaimalai each year. The undulating landscapes are wrapped with a sheet of tea and coffee plantations and covered with teak forests. Dense monsoon forests including rosewood, sandalwood, teak, and sago palms cover most of the region, which helps the coffee and tea plantations and teak plantations grow. The soils are mottled red and brown containing oxides of aluminum and iron and are used as building material mixed with mortar and in road construction. The Kadar, Maravar, and Pooliyar peoples inhabit the sparsely populated hills; their economy is based on hunting and gathering and on shifting cultivation.









The Anamala / Anaimalai hills are known for their abundant wildlife. Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, and Anamalai Tiger Reserve located among these hills are well known for elephants. Numerous wildlife species can be seen including elephants, gaur, 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 the pied hornbill, red whiskered bulbul and drongo.  Recently, a new frog species, Beddomixalus bijui, was found within the forest.









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






Arulmigu Masani Amman temple, often referred as Anaimalai Masani Amman temple, is a highly revered shrine situated at Anaimalai, in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The temple, nestled amid grassland interlaced with criss-cross pathways and rivulets against the backdrop of Anaimalai Hills, is about 24 km south-west of Pollachi. The deity is depicted with four hands; two placed on the ground and two raised above. Other deities worshipped include Neethi Kal (stone of justice) and Mahamuniappan. Legend has it that during Lord Ram wanderings in search of Sita, he stayed in Anaimalai in a graveyard.