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#1 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 4 km from Tirunelveli Railway Station, Nellaiappar Temple is a popular Hindu Temple situated on the banks of river Thamirabarani in Tirunelveli. This is one of the largest temples in Tamil Nadu and also one of the best places to visit in Tirunelveli.

Sri Nellaiappar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to the history, both the gopurams were built by Pandiyas and the sanctums of the temple were constructed by Nindraseer Nedumaran who ruled in the 7th century CE. This is one of the Pancha Sabha temples (Copper) that are revered as the five Cosmic Dance halls of Lord Shiva. The other four are Chidambaram with gold, Madurai with silver, Tiruvalankadu with ruby and Kutralam with images.

Nellaiappar Temple is spread over an area of 14 acres and is one of the biggest temples in Pandiya Naadu. The temple complex consists of two temples, one for Lord Shiva and the other one for Kanthimathi Amman. Lord Shiva is named as Nellaiappar in this temple. Chain Mandapam .....

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#2 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 1 km from Tirunelveli Railway Station, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is an ancient and well known Vishnu temple lies on the banks of Thamirabarani River at Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. It is considered as one of the oldest temples in South India and also one of the top Places to visit in Tirunelveli.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The main deity of the temple is Veeraraghavan and the Ustava Moorthy is Sri Varadharaja Perumal, after whom the temple is named. According to the history, king Krishnavarma was ruling this region. Once he found an idol made of blue stone while bathing in Thamirabarani River. He built a temple installing the deity and named him Varadaraja Perumal. Deeply plunged in the worship of the Lord, the king was not prepared militarily to face the invasion on his land. He prayed to the Lord to protect him, his subjects and his land. Responding to the prayers of the king, Lord came to the battlefield in his form, fought and drove the enemies back. .....

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#3 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 4 km from Tirunelveli Railway Station, Sri Rajagopala Swamy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated in Palayamkottai area of Tirunelveli in Tamilnadu state. Also known as Sri Vedanarayana Temple, this is one of the oldest temples in South India and also one of the best places to visit in Tirunelveli.

This temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is worshipped as Rajagopala Swamy and Vedanarayan Perumal. This east facing temple dates back to the Pandiya period. According to legend, the demons were giving lot of troubles to Indira, the king of Devas. Once, Arjuna went to Indra's kingdom, he asked Arjuna to defeat and kill them and free him. Arjuna destroyed them by using his Pasupathastra. Pleased Indra gifted the Gopala Swamy idol which he was worshipping. Few days later, Lord Krishna appeared in the dream of Arjuna and asked him to leave the idol in Ganga which Arjuna did. The Pandiya king Sripathy got the idol while bathing in Ganga, brought it to this place, installed .....

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#4 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 10 km from Tirunelveli, Sri Venkatachalapathy Temple is situated atop Swetha Varaha hill in Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram village on the banks of Thamirabarani River in Tirunelveli district. Also known as Thirunankovil Temple, the temple is revered as 'Then Thirupathi' and visiting this temple is considered equivalent to visiting Tirupathi.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Srinivasa, a form of Lord Vishnu. According to the legend, Sage Pylor, one of the disciples of Maharishi Vyasa was meditated here on the banks of the Thamirabarani River. Mahavishnu, satisfied by his penance, appeared before him as Lord Srinivasa and blessed him. At the request of Sage Pylor, the deity agreed to be present at the place permanently. The sage is responsible for the building of the temple initially. The current structure of temple itself was constructed by Venkatappa Nayak about 700 years ago.

This east facing temple is built as a 'maada kovil' with the main shrine on the elevated .....

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#5 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 1 km from Mela Thiruvenkatanathapuram Temple and 9 km from Tirunelveli, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is an ancient temple situated on the banks of the Thamirabarani River in Keezha Tiruvenkatanathapuram or Keezha Tirupathi.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Varadaraja Perumal. It was built by King Verapandian in the 12th century AD. Due to the abundant presence of Red Soil around the temple, this place got the name Sengani, where Sen meaning Red and Kani meaning Land in Tamil. The name later changed to Sangani. The Kubera vassal, the main entrance of the temple is constructed on the northern side of the shrine. This is followed by Maha mandapam, Artha mandapam and Garbhagriha.

The presiding deity Sri Varadaraja Perumal stands in the center with Sridevi to the right and Bhudevi to the left in the sanctum sanctorum. He has 'chakra and dhana rekha' in his right hands and 'sankhu and kadayutham' in his lefts hands. The lord was placed in .....

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Museum

#6 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 1.5 km from Tirunelveli Railway Station, District Science Centre is a museum situated on the banks of Thamirabarani River at Palayamkottai of Tirunelveli town in Tamilnadu state. It is part of the National Council of Science Museums and is among the 124 science centers in India.

The District Science Centre was opened to the public on 27th February 1987 with a gallery on 'Treasures from Ocean' and a Science Park. Soon the Centre became one of the most popular centers in NCSM network with the spontaneous support of the local community. The Centre aim is to popularize science and technology among public and to supplement science education in schools and colleges to foster a spirit of scientific enquiry among the students.

At present, the Centre has four galleries on the topics 'Fun Science', 'Popular Science', 'Electronics' and a 'New Wing of Electronics'. It has a well-equipped planetarium and a sky observatory, where one could enjoy the view of heavenly bodies .....

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Waterfall

#7 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 16 km from Papanasam and 45 km from Tirunelveli, Manimuthar Dam is an artificial dam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. This is one of the largest dams in Tirunelveli district and also one of the top places to visit in Tirunelveli.

Situated at the foothills of the scenic Podhigai Hills, Manimuthar Dam was built across the Manimuthar River just three km above its confluence with Thamirabarani River in 1957. The maximum storage capacity of the dam is 118 feet. The river Manimuthar is the major tributary of Thamirabarani. The Dam is an ideal picnic spot blessed with beautiful garden and peaceful atmosphere. Boating in this picturesque dam is one of the most memorable things to do in Tirunelveli.

About 6 km from Manimuthar Dam is Manimuthar Falls which is created by the waters of Manimuthar River. This natural waterfall cascades down from a height of 25 feet into a pond. The pond is 90 feet in deep and is very dangerous. The water is so fresh and less crowded .....

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#8 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 15 km from Ambasamudram and 47 km from Tirunelveli, Papanasam is a small town in Ambasamudram Taluk of Tirunelveli district in Tamilnadu. It is one of the popular picnic spots in Tirunelveli.

Papanasam has a famous temple called the Papanasam Sivan Temple which lies on the banks of Thamirabarani River. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati who are worshipped as Papanasanathar and Ulagammai respectively. This is the place where Saint Agasthiyar got the Kalyana dharshan of Lord Shiva and Parvati along with his wife Lopamudra.

The Shiva lingam of the temple is completely made up of Rudraksha. Of the nine Kailash Kshetras - Nava Kailash, Papanasam is the first place and is attributed to Sun God. Hence, the place is known as Surya Kshetra and Surya Kailash. Devotees strongly believe that Lord Shiva in this temple is most powerful and cures all kind of diseases. The temple is famous .....

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Waterfall

#9 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 4 km from Papanasam and 51 km from Tirunelveli, Papanasam Falls, also known as Agasthiyar Falls is a stunning waterfall located near the town of Papanasam in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Located in the Western Ghats, Papanasam Falls is a prominent tourist destination in Tamil Nadu and is usually frequented by devotees of the Papanasanathar Temple.

Formed over Thamirabarani River, Papanasam Falls drop down from a height of 120 m. The river Thamirabarani, which flows from the Western Ghats of the Podhigai Hills, reaches the plains at Papanasam. This is highly revered by the locals both for their immense beauty and religious significance. Papanasam means absolution of sins and it is an important pilgrim center where people take bath in the sacred water to relieve themselves from sins.

Agasthiyar Temple is situated near the falls. According to legend, during the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati, all the Gods and Goddesses from Heaven had gone .....

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Waterfall

#10 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 5 km from Panagudi Railway Station, 32 km from Nagercoil and 57 km from Tirunelveli, Kuthirapanjan Falls is a mesmerizing waterfall situated near Panagudi town in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu.

Also known as Panagudi Falls, Kuthirapanjan Waterfalls is a seasonal waterfall formed over Hanuman River, a tributary to the famous Thamirabarani River. The height of the falls is about 150 feet. It is situated in Western Ghats surrounded by mountain ranges and is the heart of the Mahendragiri hills.

The falls can be accessed from the town of Panagudi and is the main attraction of Panagudi. There are also three churches in Panagudi namely Hosannah Church, St. Joseph Church and Annai Velankanni Church. It is surrounded by a chain of mountains, windmills along with the mountains offer a lovely view.

Visitors have to trek 2 km through a well laid path amidst thick forests from the parking area to reach the falls.

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#11 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 12 km from Papanasam and 47 km from Tirunelveli, Sri Sivasailanathar Paramakalyani Temple is a 500 year old Saivaite temple situated on the banks of River Gadana at Sivasailam in Tamilnadu. Popularly called as Sivasailam Temple, this is one of the famous Shiva temples near Tirunelveli.

The Sivasailam Temple is dedicated to Lord Sivasailanathar and Goddess Parvati. Built by Pandiyas, the temple is surrounded by Velli malai, Mulli malai and Podhigai hills. It is believed that the Shiva Lingam in the sanctum is swayambhu lingam. At the back of the statue, there are lines that appear like hair, so he is also called Sadaiappar. This can be seen through a hole while strolling around the sanctum sanctorum. This is visible only when the Archakar gives Aarathi at the back of the lingam.

The temple is huge with many mandapams and carved pillars. The principle gopuram has five stories and is embellished with numerous statues. The specialty of the temple is the huge .....

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#12 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 16 km from Ambasamudram and 30 km from Tirunelveli, Narubunatha Swamy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated at Thirupudaimaruthur near Veeravanallur in Ambasamudram Taluk of Tirunelveli district, Tamilnadu. Situated at the merging place of Gadana River & Thamirabarani River, this temple is one of the oldest temples in Tirunelveli region.

Also known as Thirupudaimaruthur Temple, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is more than 1200 years old. Maravarman, the king of Madurai and his son had built a small temple in 650 BCE. After that, Pandiyas, Vijayanagara Kings and Kalakkad Kings expanded the temple. The sanctum sanctorum has a huge Shiva lingam, which is known as Pudaar Jeeneshwarar or Narumbunathar. The Shiva lingam leans slightly towards the left side and has marks of scratches made by deer and sickle cut.

According to the legend, the region was under the rule of Maravarman then. He came to this place dense with Marudha trees for hunting. He .....

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#13 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 13 km from Tirunelveli, Venkatachalapathy Temple is a Hindu temple situated at Krishnapuram village in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Popularly called as Krishnapuram Temple, this is one of the best pilgrimage places to visit in Tirunelveli.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. According to the inscriptions in the temple, the temple was built by Krishnappa Nayak (1563-72), the son of Viswanatha Nayak, the founder of Madurai Nayak dynasty. Krishnappa is attributed to the construction of the precincts around the temple and the soaring temple tower. The copper plates from Sadasiva Raya indicate grants to light lamps perpetually and lay gardens. The village was originally named Thiruvenkatapuram and got changed to Krishnapuram during the rule of Krishnappa Nayak.

Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple occupies an area of 1.8 acres and is surrounded by a granite wall. The five tiered rajagopuram is 110 feet tall. The sanctum houses .....

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#14 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 16 km from Thirumalpuram and 56 km from Tirunelveli, Sri Sankaranarayana Swamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple situated at Sankarankovil in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. It is one of the top pilgrimage places to visit in Tirunelveli region and also one of the popular temples in Tamilnadu.

The temple is dedicated to Sankaranarayanar, who is the combined manifestation of Shiva and Vishnu. This temple was built by Ukkira Pandiya Thevar in the 11th century AD. This temple also called as Avudaiamman Kovil or Davasu Kovil. According to mythology, once the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva quarreled with each other to determine whose god is powerful. Then Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar to mark his devotees to understand that both Hari and Shiva are one and the same. So it is held sacred by Saivites and Vaishnavites as well. Hence this temple depicts the concept of Hari and Haran being one God.

The temple of Sankaranarayana is situated on 4.5 acre .....

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#15 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 45 km from Nagercoil, 46 km from Tirunelveli and 49 km from Kanyakumari, Thirukkurungudi is a holy place for Hindus situated on the banks of Nambi River at the foot hills of Mahendragiri in Tamilnadu.

There are five Nambis in this Kshetram. They are Ninra Nambi (Standing posture), Irundha Nambi (Sitting posture), Kidandha Nambi (Sleeping posture), Thiruparkadal Nambi and Thirumalai Nambi. Of these, Ninra Nambi Temple is the main temple and is located in the center of the town flanked by four big Mada Veethis. The Nambi Rayar Temple or Thirukkurungudi Temple is 1300 years old. It is also called as Vaamana Kshetram and is one among the 108 divya desams of Lord Vishnu.

According to the legend, Goddess Bhudevi was abducted by the demon Hiranyaksha and hid her deep under the ocean. All the deities and sages prayed to Lord Vishnu to retrieve Mother Earth from the demon. Lord Vishnu transformed into a wild boar and plunged into deep under the ocean. Lord Varaha had .....

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#16 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 12 km from Papanasam and 61 km from Tirunelveli, Arulmigu Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple is situated between Papanasam and Karaiyar Dam in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Located on the bank of River Thamirabarani, this is one of the 6 important Sastha Temples in South India.

The presiding deity of the temple is Mahalinga Swamy. Lord Dharma Sastha appears with his left leg bent and the right hanging down. Sorimuthu Ayyanar is a kuladevata for many families in the area. Families that are not aware of their kuladevata are also welcome here. As it is the first Ayyappan temple, people who resolve to begin the Sabarimala yatra, come here to wear their mala. The name of the temple is derived from 'Pon Soriyum Muthiar', which means the Lord who pours down golden rain on the plateau.

Here, Muthianar is worshipped along with his two consorts - Pushkala and Poorna. Ayyappa's lieutenants, Sangili Bhootham, Thoosi Madan, Thulasi Madan, Pechi, Isakki and Pattavarayan are .....

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#17 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 29 km from Tirunelveli and 39 km from Thoothukudi, Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal Temple is an ancient temple situated at Srivaikuntam in Thoothukudi district of Tamilnadu. Located on the banks of the river Thamirabarani, this is one of the 108 divya desams of Lord Vishnu and the first of the Navatirupathis.

Also called Srivaikuntam Temple and Kallapiran Temple, Sri Vaikuntanatha Perumal Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Vaikuntanathar. It is believed that this temple was used as a fort in the fight between the legendary freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman and the British in the 1800s. The temple is classified as a Navatirupathi, the nine temples revered by Nammazhwar located on the banks of Thamirabarani River. This is the first in the series of these nine Tirupathi Temples.

There are many legends associated with this temple. According to one legend, Somuka, a demon stole the four Vedas from Lord Brahma. Brahma was helpless and he did severe .....

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#18 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 1 km from Sri Vaikuntanatha Swamy Temple, 30 km from Tirunelveli and 39 km from Thoothukudi, Sri Kailasanathar Temple is another important Hindu temple situated in Srivaikuntam town of Tamilnadu.

Sri Kailasanathar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the 6th Nava Kailasam temple which is dedicated to Planet Saturn. The temple is originally believed to be built by the Pandiya king, Chandrakula Pandiya. He built the central shrine and vimana of the temple. Veerappa Nayak (1609-23 AD), a ruler of Madurai Nayak dynasty built the Yagasala, flag staff and Sandana Sababathy hall.

According to the legend, Sage Romasa wanted to install the Shivalingas on the banks of the Thamirabarani. So, he asked his guru Agasthiya about this, who advised to throw flowers used for Shiva puja on the river and do the installations wherever the flowers reached the shores. Based on his advice, sage Romasa threw lotus flowers, nine of these flowers reached the bank. One lotus flower .....

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#19 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 21 km from Sankarankovil, 22 km from Kovilpatti, 53 km from Tirunelveli and 88 km from Thoothukudi, Kalugumalai is a panchayat town in Kovilpatti Taluk of Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu. This is one of the popular heritage places to visit near Tirunelveli.

The village got its name from the hill Kalugumalai which means Hill of the vulture. Earlier it was known as Araimalai or Thirumalai. It is believed to be an important Jain settlement where Lord Mahavir used to preach and be worshipped. Divided into two parts namely Kazhugumalai and South Kazhugumalai, it was also served as a trade route in ancient times.

Kalugumalai is famous for the rock cut Kalugasalamoorthy Temple, monolithic Vettuvan Koil and Kalugumalai Jain Beds. Kalugumalai Jaina Abode has many relief sculptures dating to 8th-9th century AD, including the rock cut image of Bhagawan Parshwanatha flanked by two Yakshis, as well as many other rock cut images of other tirthankaras. There are approximately .....

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#20 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 3 km from Cheranmahadevi Railway Station and 22 km from Tirunelveli, Bhaktavatsala Perumal Temple is an ancient temple situated in the small village called Cheranmahadevi of Tamilnadu. It is architecturally beautiful and has so many excellent sculptures. The site is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1921. It can be considered as one of the best heritage sites in Tamil Nadu state.

Bhaktavatsala Perumal temple is located in the outskirts of Cheranmahadevi amidst paddy fields on the bank of Thamirabarani River. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple was built by Pandiyas in the 12th century AD. The temple contains late Chola and Pandiya inscriptions. Out of the 108 divya desams, it lies in the 17th place. This place is also called as Sapthamirtha Kshetram.

The temple complex is big and houses two shrines. The smaller shrine is dedicated Bala Krishnan. It is a very attractive sculpture. The bigger .....

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Hill Station

#21 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 23 km from Manimuthar and 63 from Tirunelveli, Manjolai is a small hill station in Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu. Manjolai is set deep in the Western Ghats within the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.

Situated at an altitude of 1162 m, Manjolai is a perfect summer resort located near Upper Kodaiyar. This is famous for its tea estates and plantations. Various varieties of tea are grown in the estates. Due to its scenic beauty, climate and calm atmosphere, this place is compared with Udhagamandalam (Ooty). The serenity of this place provides people with peace of mind and relaxation.

Tourist attractions in Manjolai are Upper Kodaiyar Dam and a windy viewpoint called Kuthiravetti. Kuthiravetti viewpoint is located after the Nalumukku and Ooth Estate. From this viewpoint one can view the lush green forests of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Papanasam Dam and Manimuthar Dam. Other important tourist spots near Manjolai are the Kakkachi and Nalumukku. .....

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Wildlife

#22 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 31 km from Tirunelveli, Koonthankulam or Kunthankulam Bird Sanctuary is a protected area located in Koonthankulam village in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli district. This is the largest reserve for breeding water birds in South India and also one of the popular places to visit in Tirunelveli for bird lovers.

Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary consists of Koonthankulam and Kadankulam irrigation tanks and is spread over an area of 1.29 sq. km. It is declared as a sanctuary in 1994. This sanctuary is actively protected and managed by the Koonthankulam village community. This sanctuary is an important Bird site in Tamilnadu and it attracts more than one lakh birds annually. The tourists visit the place in pursuit of seeing painted stork which is the major attraction of this place.

The Babul plantation in Koonthankulam is the main breeding ground for several birds. The sanctuary is visited by more than 43 types of water birds both resident and migratory every year especially .....

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Wildlife

#23 of 23 Places to Visit in Tirunelveli

At a distance of 12 km from Papanasam, 58 km from Kalakkad, and 60 km from Tirunelveli, Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is located in the Southern Western Ghats in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. This is the second largest protected area in Tamil Nadu State Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and also one of the best Tirunelveli Tourist Places.

The Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve was created in the year 1988 by combining Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 kmē) and Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 kmē), both established in 1962. This sanctuary covers an area of around 817 sq. km, out of which 459 sq. km falls under the core zone and remaining 358 sq. km comes under the buffer zone. Nestled between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Agastya Malai Hill Range forms the core area of the sanctuary and is part of one of the world's 18 biodiversity hotspots. It is also under consideration by the UNESCO as a world heritage site.

The Reserve is home to a wide .....

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