Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) is located 18 km north of Marayoor in the Marayoor and Kanthalloor Panchayats of Devikulam Taluk in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is one of twelve Wildlife Sanctuaries among the Protected areas of Kerala.A unique thorny scrub forest with xerophyte species, Chinnar is the habitat for the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India. Their total number here would be less than 200. Located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike other sanctuaries in Kerala, Chinnar gets only less than two months of rain every year. Rich in wildlife, the mixed deciduous forests here are ideal for trekking.
34 species of Mammals live here, including many Panthers and Spotted deer, 50 -60 Indian Elephants, Gaur, Tigers, Sambar Deer, Common langur, Bonnet Macaque, Hanuman monkey, threatened Nilgiri Tahr, vulnerable Rusty-spotted Cats and about 240 of the only vulnerable Grizzled Giant Squirrels in Kerala. 245 species of birds including Yellow-throated Bulbuls.
52 species of reptiles including 29 species of snakes, Indian Star Tortoise and the largest population of vulnerable Mugger Crocodiles in Kerala live in the Sanctuary. Most common of the 42 species of fishes observed in the Chinnar and Pambar rivers are Garra mullya minnows, River-carp baril,Giant Danio and the endangered
An extensive Sandalwood forest nearby is an added attraction at Chinnar. This is also an ideal place for watching herds of gaur and elephants amble past. Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and some grasslands add to the diversity of the sanctuary. As one travels from Karimuthi to Chinnar, elephants, spotted deer, sambar, hanuman langur and even peacocks can be spotted on either side of the road.