Part of tine gastnyamaia biosphere reserve, this sanctuary, located in the southern Western Ghats, derives its name from an endemic tree species, locally known aschenkurinji. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984, the region is unique for its blo-diversity, remains of a Stone Age culture, and an important ecotourism resource, Thenmala.
Located on the north of Kulathupuzha valley, and bounded by the Hestern Ghats on the east, the sanctuary, spread over 100 sq km, encompasses large tracts of tropical evergreen forests. The area is generally hilly, and at 1,550 m, Alvarkurichi is the highest peak. The long list of species found here includes the lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, mouse deer, elephant, wild boar, sambar, gaur, Nilgiri langur, sloth bear, barking deer, black-naped hare, Malabar giant squirrel, slender loris, brown palm civet and the pangolin. Big cats are comparatively rare. Trekking and boating are allowed within the tourist zone of the sanctuary.