Friday, August 26, 2016

Amirthi Forest & Zoological Park, Vellore

Amirthi Forest & Zoological Park, Vellore

Amirthi Forest is located at distance of 24 kms to the south of Vellore. This forest is rich in its variety of flora and fauna. Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlife sanctuary. A trek for a km leads one to a full view of seasonal waterfall. The area is lush with trees, herbal plants and different varieties of birds and animals. There is a small waterfall tucked away amidst the ravines and hills.

It is located under the Javadi Hills, Amirthi offers a reasonable getaway. There is a play park for kids. You can enjoy a good walk along the meandering path cut along the rock steps. Many wild animals can be spotted in the forest area, which are also a part of the Amirthi Zoo. However, hunting is banned in these jungles as it is a protected area.

Spread over 25 hectares, Amirthi Zoological Park is a popular getaway or picnic spot from Chennai. The area is lush with trees, herbal plants and different varieties of birds and animals.

Amirthi Zoological Park

Amirthi Zoological Park is a zoo in Vellore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was opened in 1967 and is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the Vellore city. The area of the park is 25 hectares and one can find beautiful water falls. Half of this jungle is cleared to serve as a tourist spot while the other half is developed as a wildlife sanctuary. A trek for a kilometre leads one to a full view of seasonal waterfall. The inflow of tourists is more only during the holidays.

Animals at the park include spotted deer, mongoose, hedgehog, foxes, reason monkeys, red headed parrots, love birds, tortoises, peacock, crocodiles, wild cats, eagles, ducks, pigeons, wild parrots, rabbits, and pythons. Many herbal and medicinal plants can be seen growing in the Park. A meditation hall and rest houses for stay are available at the Park premises. The Park is especially delightful for kids.

The Amirthi Zoological Park is widely considered as one of the best zoos-cum-nature parks in India. Spread across 25 hectares, tourists can expect to have a lot to do once they arrive. The zoo has been operational since 1967 (and is currently in the process of receiving a facelift). Considering its proximity to Vellore city, it is a hotspot for tourists from all over South India. The zoo was once a jungle; however, one half of it was cleared to form a tourist spot while the other half was developed into wildlife sanctuary.

Tourists can indulge in some adventure trekking which leads to a stunning view of a seasonal waterfall. The zoo is usually jam-packed with people during the holidays. The animals that one can spot in the park include the famous spotted deer, foxes, pythons and crocodiles, among others. There is also a sizeable bird population which can be found here. A picnic at the park, though cliché-sounding, is a great way to spend the day, because nothing screams rest and relaxation better. They have set up an Elephant lodge to care for the captive elephants here.

There are 2 rest houses and five members can stay in one dormitory. There is a meditating hall where one can have full concentration and be in serenity. The inflow of tourists is more only during the holidays. This zoological park has been recognized recently and so the state Government has taken initiative to develop this area. The entrance fees is only Rs.2/- per head. The Government earns Rs.6000/- per month and Rs.72, 000/- per year by this entrance fees.

The tribal people reside in this area. There is a range office at Amirthi headed by the forest ranger. There is also a hill tribe society at Nimmiyambattu near Amirthi. The main aim is to give employment opportunities to the hill tribals in that area.

Development & Expansion:

On September 13, 2013, Tamilnadu government announced that it has allocated 3.5 crore rupees for the development of Amirthi zoo. This development will include providing amenities such as resting places, drinking water facility, food joints, and pathways connecting waterfalls, information centres and watch towers. Tamilnadu Forest Department has planned to upgrade the mini zoo in Amirthi into a small zoo at a total cost of 19 crore rupees. Vellore district collector also informed that Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has approved the up gradation of Amirthi mini zoo.

Elephant Camps Amirthi forest in Vellore Forest division will be one of the probable sites in future hosting rejuvenation camps for temple elephants in the state.

Amirthi Falls

Amirthi Falls are located in the Vellore district of the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. It is a small cascade, which is seasonal in nature. These falls can be found at a distance of 25 kilometres from Vellore district. Amirthi falls lie amidst the Amirthi forests, along the Javvadhu Mountain. The origin of the perennial River Naganathi is from Mount Javvadhu. Agriculture is largely practiced amongst the locals residing in the area. Therefore, corn and paddy fields can be seen swaying in all the area of Amirthi. What makes the Amirthi falls even more interesting is the 1.5 kilometres trek to the cascade, from the point of entry.

Amirthi Falls are set amidst deep ravines and beautiful hills. Exotic flora and fauna graces the region. The monkey clan is especially found at the falls, for the entertainment of the onlookers. The post monsoon months of June to November are the best time to visit the Amirthi Falls.


Amirthi allures trekkers to explore trails that lead to her picturesque falls. Streams swirl over blunt boulders as Amirthi Falls reveals herself to visiting trekkers. Off the NH 4 that diverges onto NH 46 and near Arcot, the Amirthi Forest can be found about 25 kilometres away from Vellore. Drive on until you reach the famous MGR statue, from where you need to head left. The road splits again at the Women's Prison but Amirthi lies straight ahead. At this point, the roads are not maintained as well as they could be. However, the views on either side, of paddy and corn fields, are pristine. Finally, you are at the entrance.

Here you will find several shops as well as a small zoological park that locals flock to as a one-day getaway or picnic spot. If you are looking for a bit of leisure, this is perfect for your cause. But to get a slice of the real action at Amirthi, head a kilometre and a half inside. The path to the falls is ruddy and unpaved. This trail is extremely easy and is more of a rigorous nature walk than a trek. Trekking over red mud and stone slabs, you can check out the view from many points along the way.

Amirthi is a small waterfall nuzzled amidst dense tree growth, herbs and a large variety of birds and animals of this forest. The falls remain relatively lean for most of the year, even when you trek to them in the rain. In the vicinity is also a play pen, park for children as well as designated picnic spots. Peacocks strut about the hill range, putting on display their vibrant colours. If you are lucky, you may even spot an elephant ambling through the forest.

Travel Tips:

·              Avoid certain steep pockets of the zoo, especially the waterfall area.

·              Do not step too close to the cages.

·              Recommended time to visit: October – February

Additional Ticket Details:

·              INR 2 – 5 per person

·              For Van: INR 5

·              For Motorcycles: INR 3

·              For Cycles: INR 2

Public Transport:

·              Buses ply from Vellore Bus Stand.

Eat Outs near Amirthi Zoological Park:

·              Baby Restaurant

·              Palace Cafe

Other Places of Interest in Javadi Hills:

For brief details, please refer below link;