Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
Map showing the location of Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
Map showing the location of Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
Agasthyamalai BR
LocationKollam District, Thiruvananthapuram District, Pathanamthitta District, Kanyakumari District and Tirunelveli Districts
Nearest cityNagercoil, Thiruvananthapuram, Ambasamudram
Coordinates8°39′0″N 77°13′0″E / 8.65000°N 77.21667°E / 8.65000; 77.21667Coordinates: 8°39′0″N 77°13′0″E / 8.65000°N 77.21667°E / 8.65000; 77.21667
Area3,500.36 km2 (1,351.50 sq mi)
Governing bodyMinistry of Environment & Forests

Tamil Nadu Forest Department

Listed under UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve in India established in 2001, located in the southernmost end of the Western Ghats and includes 3,500.36 km2 (1,351.50 sq mi) of which 1828 km2 is in Kerala and 1672.36 km2 is in Tamil Nadu. It encompass the wildlife sanctuaries Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.[1][2]

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve became part of World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2016.[3]


ABR straddles the border of Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram Districts in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu, South India at the southern end of the Western Ghats. The Biosphere lies Between 8° 8' to 9° 10' North Latitude and 76° 52' to 77° 34' East Longitude. Central location is 8°39′N 77°13′E / 8.650°N 77.217°E / 8.650; 77.217 .

It is composed of Neyyar,[4] Peppara[5] and Shendurney[6] Wildlife Sanctuaries and their adjoining areas of Achencoil,[7] Thenmala, Konni,[8] Punalur, Thiruvananthapuram Divisions and Agasthyavanam Special Division in Kerala.[9] Inclusion of adjoining areas of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu has been approved. The reserve now covers parts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu and Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta Districts in Kerala.[2]

1868 m high Agastya Mala mountain
1868 m high Agastya Mala mountain


ABR includes the Indian Ecoregions of tropical wet evergreen forests,[10] South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, South Western Ghats montane rain forests and Shola. It is the habitat for 2,000 varieties of medicinal plants, of which at least 50 are rare and endangered species. Animals include the Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr. Agastyamalai is also home to the Kanikaran,[11][12] one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.[13] Ecotourism is popular in the area.

Thenmala Adventure Zone
Thenmala Adventure Zone

Kanikkarans are the Original tribal Settlers in Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.[14]


A local committee and a state level Biosphere Management Committee co-ordinate the activities of various departments in the ABR area and ensure the scientific management of the ABR according to guidelines of the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests.[15][16]


  1. ^ Kerala Forests & Wildlife Dept, Biosphere Reserves.Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
  2. ^ a b Tamil Nadu Forest Department (2007) retrieved 2 September 2007 AGASTHIYARMALAI BIOSPHERE RESERVE Archived 2008-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ UNESCO, World Network of Biosphere Reserves, Agasthyamalai. retrieved 19 March 2016 World Network Of Biosphere Reserves
  4. ^ Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary Archived 2007-05-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary Archived 2007-01-05 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Archived 2007-12-26 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Achencoil, Kerala". Archived from the original on 13 November 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2007.
  8. ^ Konni, Kerala
  10. ^ "Agasthyamala". The Hindu. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  11. ^ Anuradha, R. V., "Sharing with the Kanis, A case study from Kerala, India" "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Ministry of Forests and Environment-Report Ch10 Biodiversity/Kanis". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  13. ^ "Environment Ministry to soon declare Agastyamalai a biosphere reserve". The Hindu. 3 January 2006. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013.
  14. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Site
  15. ^ Kerala Forests & Wildlife Department
  16. ^ Wildlife Institute of India