Anamalais (Elephant Hills), located in the Western Ghats just south of the Palghat Gap, a global biodiversity hotspot spreads over 958 sq.km., was maintained as Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park since 1976. In 2007 it was declared as Anamalai Tiger Reserve and it plays an important role in the ecological security, environmental stability and economic well being of the region.
Anamalai Tiger Reserve falls witnin three taluks namely, Pollachi, Valparai and Udumalpet with six territorial ranges viz., Pollachi, Valparai, Ulandi, Manomboly, Udumalpet and Amaravathy. The forest tracts of Anamalais exhibiting a wide diversity in terrain, elevation and climate supports diverse vegetation of striking difference. Thus, the forest types form luxuriant tropical evergreen forests to thorn forests and scrub jungles are represented here.
The habitats found here are vast and varied and its richness in flora and fauna is extremely impressive. Lying adjacent to other wildlife sanctuaries like Parambikulam, Chinnar and Eravikulam in Kerala, the Anamalai Tiger Reserve is considered as one of the most promising sites for the long term insitu conservation of several rare, endemic and endangered species of plants and animals. It is one of the richest treasure houses of the biodiversity hotspot, the Western Ghats.
This protected area constitutes the most important watershed for the Coimbatore District. The agricultural economy of this district greatly depends on the health of this watershed. Major reservoirs like Parambikulam, Aliyar, Thirumoorthy, Upper Aliyar, Kadambarai, Sholayar, Neerar and Amaravathi are fed by the perennial rivers that originate from the sanctuary. Several hydroelectric power projects are functioning in and around the sanctuary.