Vallanadu Wildlife Sanctuary
In the 19C, hordes of blackbuck could be found all over the plains of Tamil Nadu, but human development, poaching and extensive agriculture had pushed the blackbuck to four main regions; Guindy (Chennai), Mudumalai (near Masinagudi), Point Calimere (Nagapattinam District) and Vallanadu, its southern-most extent. The Vallanadu Wildlife Sanctuary was created to protect these endangered wild antelope from extinction by providing a conducive environment for them to grow and breed. Spread across 165sq km on a hillock, the scrub forest of the sanctuary is a well-known haven for about 20 to 40 blackbuck along with various wild animals and birds. Both evergreen and deciduous trees can be found in this sanctuary, but the dry heat and drought-like conductions have stunted tree growth, making it easier for blackbuck to graze. A peacock farm has been included among other simulated natural habitats in the park. Apart from blackbuck, there are jungle cats, mongoose, spotted deer, hares and over 120 species of birds. During winter, the park is visited by several migratory bird species from other countries. The untamed splendor of the forest attracts a large number of tourists every year, who usually drive down to the sanctuary. While Tirunelveli town has more hotel options, there is a Government Circuit House and Tamil Nadu Tourist House at Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli. Contact the District Forest officer.
Vallanadu Wildlife Sanctuary is about 16km east of Tirunelveli on the Tirunelveli - Thoothukudi Road.
Vallanadu Village, Srivaikundam Taluk, Thoothukudi District 628252.
Guided Tours: District Forest Officer, Collectorate Complex, Tirunelveli, Kokirakulam-8 Phone: 0462-2500778.