TopSlip – Ever green Panoramic Wildlife Sanctuary by Indira Gandhi National Park
The 958 km2 “TopSlip” is one of the ever green location in southern India. It’s part “Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary (IGWS) ” and “Indira Gandhi National Park (IGNP)” which is located in Western Ghats. The area around this panoramic mountain is called “Anamalai” or “ Elephant Hills”. TopSlip is at an altitude of 800 meters and it’s in the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu states. Separated from the Nilgiri Hills by the Palghat Gap on the north, the Park is contiguous to the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) to its west and to the Eravikulam National Park (Kerala) and Chinnar WLS to its south Indira Gandhi national park – a place known for its great swathes of forests and wildlife – birds, butterflies, elephants, sloth bears, leopards, tigers, panthers, gaurs (Indian Bison), dholes (wild dogs), king cobra and the lion-tailed macaques in their natural habitat – all within an area known as TopSlip. Further it’s heaven for the bird watchers, botanist, trekkers , hikers and natural lovers.
Meaning behind TopSlip
The name topslip comes from the practice carried out in 19th century, of sliding logs of teak timber down the hills that took place in this area. TopSlip is a little hamlet in the Annamalai hills where teak was introduced during the British Raj. In the colonial days, the harvested timber used to be ‘slipped’ to the plains from the hills through a narrow canal – hence the reason for its name
Topslip Location Atmosphere
TopSlip is a tiny village where you get all tourism information, it has a reception and information center, guest lodging, a canteen run by a co-operative, a ration shop and the Forest Department’s office. Since this is a restricted zone, elephant safaris and jeep rides into the sanctuary are organized by the Forest Department at a nominal cost. One could also take a walk into the jungle with the permission of the Forest Department who send a tribal guide to accompany you.
IGNP is an Indomalayan Malabar Rain forest and the Tropical Humid biome comprises primarily of wet evergreen, sub-tropical evergreen, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, semi-evergreen and montane-shola grasslands. The terrain here is thickly wooded hills, plateaus, deep valleys and rolling grasslands. Altitude ranges from 340m to 2,510m and annual rainfall varies between 800 mm to 4500 mm . Both southwest and northeast monsoons occur here. Topslip is drained by several perennial and semi-perennial river systems like the Kallar and Sholaiar rivers and contains man-made reservoirs such as Aliyar and Thirumurthy. The main geological formations in the area are hornblende-biotite and garnetiferous biotite gneissus, charnockites and plagiodase porphyry dykes. Soil on the slopes consists of sandy loam.
Top slip has plenty of awesome government lodges, wooden hosuses and rest houses, which require prior permission from the Department of Forestry in Pollachi (Wildlife Warden Office, 178 Meenkarai Road, Pollachi (near by railway station), Ph: 04259-225356) and these are very convenient for over night stay. Even though food is served in the canteen. Better you can bring some snaks and crackers. While require permission you can choose the type of the accommodation as per your convenient (Mt. Stuart Rest house ,Horn-bill, Tree-top hut, Chital house, Bison house, Ambuli Illam). There are Forest Rest Houses at Top slip Varagaliar, Amaravathi, Sethumadai. The Ambuli Illam Guesthouse, at Top slip, 2km from the reception center, is the best place to stay. It has a restaurant. The Public Works Department (PWD) Rest houses at Udumalpet and Amaravathi, Electricity Board (TNEB) Rest House at Attakatti. Accommodation is usually limited to only one or two nights at a location. Alternatively, one could stay at Pollachi or Coimbatore where there are several places to stay and do day trips to Top Slip. Sakthi Hotel , Coimbatore Rd, Pollachi has rooms for INR 370- INR 750. with A/C ( Tel: 04259 2223060). Hotels like City Tower and Surya International have been recommended at Coimbatore. On the way to the “Top Slip” you need to give your documents and/or application forms in forest check-post. Approximate one hour journey will bring you the IGNP reception centre.