Entry into the Sathyamangalam Forest
Sathyamangalam is also the name of a Reserve Forest under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1973. It is contiguous with the Biligirirangan Temple Wildlife Sanctuary to the north in neighbouring Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka, and together forms a vital corridor for faunal movements, mainly elephants. The Sathyamangalam forest is tropical dry forest, part of the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests ecoregion. It includes thorn forest, dry deciduous forest, and tropical hill forest.
Many of the higher elevations of the Bilgirirangan range have shola, or dwarf moist deciduous forest, and montane grassland habitats. These forests also harbour indigenous tribal people belonging largely to the Mullu Kurubas, Soliga communities. Southwards, the heights decrease into the arid Coimbatore plains before rising again into the Nilgiris and Anamalais.
The forests were also the home of the legendary Indian bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerapan, who made a living exploiting ivory and sandalwood from the forests and selling them on the black market. Veerapan was killed by police in October 2004.