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SANCTUARY SPOTLIGHT

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary


The Srivilliputhur Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu is famous for its squirrels — the grizzled giant squirrel to be specific as well as flying squirrels and other animals.

Area: The sanctuary covers 486 square kilometres and falls in the two districts of Virudhunagar and Madurai. It starts off in the plains and encompasses an area that rises to a height of 2010 meters.

The unique thing about this sanctuary is the fact that one has to cover it on foot. Guides are available on request from the Sanctuary office to accompany tourists on treks. There are no roads and therefore, no vehicles. The area was declared a sanctuary in 1988.

Flora and fauna: Apart from the grizzled giant squirrel that the sanctuary has taken its name from, the other animals that are easily viewed here are flying squirrels, tree shrews, elephants, lion-tailed macaques, the Nilgiri tahrs, mouse deer, barking deer, wild cats, palm civets, king cobras and many varieties of birds including the great Indian hornbill.

The sanctuary is a mix of dry deciduous forests and tropical evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, moist mixed deciduous forests and grassland.

How to get there:

Nearest airport: Madurai is about 75-80 km away from the sanctuary.

Nearest railway station: Srivilliputhur is 5 km from the sanctuary

There are a lot of buses from Madurai.

Accommodation: There are forest rest houses at Mudungiar, Pudupatti and Mudaliaroothu. There are also many private lodges near the sanctuary.

For more details contact: The Wildlife Warden, Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary, 118, North Veedi, Srivilliputhur, ph: 04563-260565.

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