A trek through the thick, dense tropical evergreen forests of the Ulaandy range is the best opportunity to explore the bio-diverse rich forests of Anamalais.

Duration : 2-6 hrs | Distance: 4-15kms | Level: Easy-Difficult | Wildlife Sighting | Birding | Butterflies, Frogs and Reptiles | Endemic flora and fauna

Trekking amidst this ecological paradise can be customized according to difficulty levels of the participants.  From moderate hikes to flat terrain treks such as Ambuli watch, Mt. Stuart and Kozhikamuthi, Topslip is an ideal place for beginners to kick-start their trekking habit.

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Guests from Mysore while on a trek to Ambuli Watchtower | Credits – Pravin Shanmughanandam

Trekking towards Mt. Stuart, offers you a rare opportunity to visit the an ancient forest department bungalow, named after a British plantation officer, Hugo Woods, whose tombstone bears the famous latin inscription that translates as “If you want to see a monument to remember me by, just look around”.

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Tombstone of Hugo Woods | Credits – Pravin Shanmughanandam

Woods was the principal author of the plan to preserve and regenerate the forests which were taken up the British in 1915 and his tombstone that marks the Kerala –TamilNadu border is a historical monument to be visited.

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Tombstone of Hugo Woods | Credits – Pravin Shanmughanandam

A trek to Kozhikamuthi will take you to the captive elephant camp where some of the best collection of kumki (trained) elephants are maintained. There are around 50 Malasar tribe families that live here at this particular camp. The Native Malasar tribes are one among the six indigenous tribes who live in the Anamalais and are skilled experts in working with these Asian elephants.

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Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp – Topslip | Credits -Pravin Shanmughanandam

Trekking amidst these bio-diverse rich forests, also maximises opportunities to sight wild animals like The Asian Elephant, Indian Gaur, Dhole (Wild dogs), Chital (Spotted Deer), Sambar, Muntjac (Barking Deer) and Giant Squirrel.

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Wild Elephant, Topslip | Credits – Keerthana Balaji

The Leopard is the most visible predator in this range while the sighting of a Tiger or a Sloth Bear is rare and occasional.

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Credits – Pravin Shanmughanandam

Our experienced naturalists along with the expert tribal guide will help you in the sighting of wildlife in these thick, dense jungles that require a heightened level of alertness and a keen sense of observation. During your trek, you will look for and interpret with the help of our Naturalists, the tell-tale signs of pug-marks, scat dropping, alarm calls and bird-calls that will transform your trekking experience into a wholesome one.

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A walk amidst the jungles

Apart from the wild animals mentioned above, there are four species of primates found here – the Common langur, Nilgiri langur, the Bonnet macaque and Lion-tailed macaque. The region is also one of richest birding tracts in the Western Ghats with over 250 species of recorded birds and is also first to be home to all 16 species of endemic birds of Western Ghats.

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Malabar Trogon taken at Topslip | Credits – Prakash Ramakrishnan

Sighting highlights in these forests include the endemic White-bellied Tree Pie, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Rufous Bellied Eagle, Malabar whistling thrush, Orange headed ground thrush, Oriental Bay Owl, Malabar and Great pied hornbills, SriLankan frogmouth and Malabar trogon.

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Wayanad Laughing Thrush | Credits – Prakash Ramakrishnan

For the expert, hard-core trekkers, routes like Pandaravaara – 8km and Kolumbumalai- 10 km will test your mettle and offer spectacular views after steep climbs.

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THE KOZHIKAMUTHI ELEPHANT CAMP


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