Fodor's Expert Review Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary in the Annamalai Hills spreads 90 square km (35 square miles) across Tamil Nadu and Kerala is considered a better place to spot elephants and wild oxen (gaur) than Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also look out for leopards, spotted deer, the Nilgiri tahr, yellow-throated bulbuls (songbirds), grizzled giant squirrels, crocodiles, sambar deer, langurs and the bonnet macaque (both kinds of monkeys), and even an occasional tiger or a Manjampatti white (albino) bison. It's also a good place to trek: paths lead along the Pambar and Chinnar rivers and past the mighty Thoovanam waterfalls, which are most impressive during the monsoons. Buses take you into the park, but you can also opt to stay in three-bed tree houses or four-bed log houses by booking in advance with the forest department. Bookings can be made at Wildlife Warden's office in Munnar; it's about 90 minutes and 60 km (38 miles) from Munnar.