Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best known tourist destinations in the Kerala region. It is located in the rain shadow region on the eastern slopes of Western Ghats, next to Tamil Nadu. This area is rich in ethnic cultural heritage and diverse in ecosystem. It is a unique thorn scrub forest with many xerophytic species. It is a giant grizzled squirrel habitat in danger of extinction of India. Unlike other sanctuaries in Kerala, it receives less than two months of rain each year. It is a well-known repository of medicinal plants and is compatible with a healthy population of star turtles, gaur, spotted deer, slender Ioris, wild elephants, leopards, tigers and many other animals, birds and insects.
The beautiful Sandalwood forest nearby is highly recommended for a visit. One can view herds of gaur and elephants strolling around casually in this area. Dry deciduous forests, high ranges and some grassland add to the diversity of the sanctuary. While making the journey from Karimuthi to Chinnar, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Hanuman Langur and peacocks can be spotted alongside the road.
It is one of the twelve wildlife sanctuaries among the protected areas of Kerala. The UNESCO World Heritage Community is considering the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, along with the Western Ghats and the Anamalai Sub-Cluster for selection as a world heritage site. There are some significant peaks located in the sanctuary, namely Kumarikkal Mala peak, Nanadala Malai, Kottakombu Malai, Vellaikal Malai and Viriyoottu Malai. The sanctuary receives its considerable share of water from Chinnar and Pambar rivers. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to the Thoovanam Waterfall, which lies on the Pambar River.
Inside the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, there are 11 tribal settlements, demarcated by temporary stone walls. This famous sanctuary is visited by many tourists, especially the nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It has been declared as a biodiversity hotspot due to its unique topography and abundance of flora and fauna.