State : Tamil Nadu
Best time to visit :Throughout the year
Wildlife Attractions: Tiger, Leopard, Alpine Swift, Malabar Pit Viper
Famous For : Moyar Rive, Elephant Safari, lakes,
Climate :Summer 33°C, Winter 14°C
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu is bordered by the Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary and Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Spread in the wide area of approximately 2000 Sq.Km, this contiguous forest is home to a large number of Asiatic Elephant. Elephants can widely be seen along the national highway which bifurcate the Park. The wildlife reserve features a varied topography. The rainfall pattern at the wildlife sanctuary is associated with west to East forms. The Mudumalai wildlife reserve is known as the first sanctuary in south India and is a continuation of the Bandipur National Park. Moyar River flowing on the borders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu split these two parks.
The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary terrain is extremely vivid featuring watercourses, valleys, gorges and marshy lands. The vegetation present in the park comprises of dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and scrub forests.
The exotic flora of the park features Natural teak, Termiunalia, Grewia, Solanancea, Bamboos, Aredesia, Terminalia Tomontosa, Labumusum and many more. While the fauna of the park consists of Gaur, Common Langur, Chital, Sambar Hyena, Mouse Deer, Hare, Mongoose, Sloth Bear, Leopards, Panthar, Macaque, Python, Crocodiles, Wild Dogs, Jacakal, Four Horned Antelope, Wild Boar, Otter, Giant Flying Squirrel, Python etc.
The fauna of the park also consists of the beautiful birds which include Green Pigeons, Falcons, Spotted Babbler, Jungle Fowl, Malabar Grey, Mynahs, Eagles, Large Racket-Tailed Dronge, Brown Dove and many more.
The Wildlife Sanctuary lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills and is situated at a distance of 150 Kms from the city of Coimbatore. The park is flanked by the neighboring states of Kerala and Karnataka. This significant sanctuary forms a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary is distinctively divided into five ranges called Kargudi, Masinagudi, Mudumalai, Thepakadu and Nellakota. Due to its strategic position it lies between various protected areas which come under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Sanctuaries like Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National Park lies in the North while the Wayanad Wildlife Reserve lies in its West. To the South of this Wildlife Sanctuaries are the Silent Valley National Park and the Mukurthi National Park.
One can easily reach this exotic wildlife sanctuary as it is well connected by National Highway. A large number of buses plying between Ooty and Mysore are available throughout the day. If planning to visit the sanctuary from Ooty, one can take any of the two different routes one being Kallatty and the other being Gudalur. The Kallatty route consists of 36 hairpin bends through natural forests. The two nearest railway stations around the sanctuary are Mysore and Ooty. One can also approach this exotic sanctuary by taking a road route from Mysore which lies at a distance of 91 kms only.
Exploring the sanctuary on Private vehicles or on foot is strictly prohibited. The best way to explore the park is by boarding the canter or jeep safari organized by the park that follows a pre-chartered route. These tours leave twice a day in the afternoon and morning. Another exciting way to explore the park is by riding on the back of an elephant
The climate at the park is generally equable throughout the year. It remains cool between the months of November to February while warm between the months of March and May.
Though the sanctuary remains open for the visitors throughout the year, still it is best to avoid a visit during the monsoon season and also during the driest months April and May, since the staff of the park is engaged in fire fighting activities.
A nominal fee of Rs 15/- is to be paid at the entry gate by every adult visitor.
The other places to visit around the sanctuary include:
There is no dearth of accommodation options for one planning a memorable adventure visit to Mudumalai wildlife reserve. This wildlife sanctuary is surrounded by a large number of jungle lodges which are well appointed with all the worldly comforts. The spacious rooms of these wildlife resorts are tastefully designed and furnished and are sure to make one feel at home. The staff of these hotels is well -mannered and well –trained. Various kinds of facilities provided by these resorts include banquet halls, Jacuzzi, outdoor games, shopping complex, sauna bathroom, travel desk etc.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary being one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries of South India offers the visitors with various places of interest. Like the stretch running between Singara and Masinagudi or on any of the migratory routes are best to visit the elephants. While the banks of Moyar River also make for a wonderful sight as a large number of animals come here in order to quench their thirst.
While driving from Ooty to Mysore the highway of Ooty running parallel to the Moyar River and present one with the sight of Otters, Crocodiles and amphibians basking on the banks of this river. The other point of interest present within the park includes Saltlicks, Machans and Moyar Falls.
Theppakadu Elephant Camp though makes for the prime highlight of the park as at this artificial enclosure elephant are raised and trained to carry logs etc. It is the largest camp present in the country incorporated in such activities.