Immerse in the goodness of nature as you go to one of the largest tiger reserve in India. Muddumalai Tiger reserve is located in the Western Ghats. This reserve has been declared as the world heritage site. The reserve is home to a large population of Asiatic elephants. The meeting point of western and Eastern Ghats has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. In the southern peninsula muddumalai is the largest tiger reserve. The area serves as a spot for wilderness tourism. The reserve supports 50 fish species, 227 bird species, 21 amphibian species, and 34 reptile species. The area experiences adequate rainfall but the eastern parts of the Ghats inhabit dry thorn and deciduous forest. It has a varied vegetation type such as wet evergreen forest, dry deciduous forest and thorn forest.
It is placed at the confluence of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states. It is surrounded by the Bandipur Tiger reserve on the north and Wyanaad Wildlife Sanctuary on the west. The Muddumalai tiger reserve is also a part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. The reserve spreads over an area of 321 sq km. Tiger population of the area is highly dense. The Muddumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as tiger reserve under the wildlife protection act of 1972. The sanctuary is segregated into five ranges- Masinagudi, Mudumalai, Kargudi, Thepakadu and Nellakota.
The reserve supports wide array of vulnerable and endangered species namely Indian leopard, gaur, Bengal tiger and elephant. 266 species birds are found in the sanctuary, of which vulture and Indian white rumped vulture are critically endangered. The weather during the month of December till January is cold with an average temperature of 16-26 degree Celsius. The month of March and April are hot with an average temperature of 19 to 30 degree Celsius. The eco-tourism is encouraged widely. Project tiger in Mudumalai Tiger reserve has been continued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority at Rs.40 million.
Except during the hot summer months when the sun is at its brightest self, all other months can be appropriate to visit the famous mudumalai wildlife sanctuary. All throughout the year one can enjoy the sights of diverse biodiversity of the region.
Comfortable accommodations are available in the forests at an affordable cost. Huts, dormitories, lodges, rest houses provide good facilities and are well furnished. These are uniformly distributed in the sanctuary tourism area. Each rest house has a bungalow watcher who can cook and serve delicious food on payment. The forest department of the region provides various options of cottages within the forests. These cottages are an excellent way to experience the feeling of staying with the jungle. The service is on first come first serve basis. There are other private resorts and guest houses in the vicinity of the forest where visitors can stay. These resorts provide almost all the facilities that you need and are surrounded with a serene and picturesque view. One can look at the eye pleasing sites as he wakes up in the morning. These resorts offer delicious food.
The beautiful Muddumalai wildlife sanctuary was declared as the tiger reserve in order to protect the tiger population of our country. This reserve inhabits a dense population of these big cats. The varied habitat of the forests supports wildlife species in assortments namely Indian gaur, four horned antelope, mouse deer, wild dog, wild boar, elephants, sloth bear, leopard, spotted deer, sambar, dholes, striped hyena, gray langur, bonnet macaque, chital deer, Indian spotted chevrotain, Indian giant squirrel, red giant flying squirrel, barking deer, mongoose, spotted cat, common Indian civets, rusy spotted cat, jackal, and jungle cat. The sanctuary exhibits a plethora wildlife diversity including 21 amphibian species, 34 reptile species, 50 fish species, 55 mammal species and 227 bird species. Reptile species include spectacled cobra, Asian pit vipers, krait, python, monitor lizard and flying lizard. The population of mammals is higher in the dry thorn forests and dry deciduous forests. The mammal species found Muddumalai wildlife sanctuary forms thirteen percent of the entire mammal species found in India. Different cat species found in the region include: jungle cat, leopard cat, Bengal Tiger and Indian Leopard. One can easily spot at least one tiger in the area of every 9 sq km. The highly dense population of tigers is the result of large population of prey species that feed themselves on the plants and vegetation types present in the sanctuary. The bird species in the Muddumalai wildlife sanctuary constitute eighty percent of the bird species in the entire country. The 227 bird species include 110 insectivores species, 23 fishivore species, 62 carnivore species, 20 grainivore species and 12 omnivore species. Rarely spotted Black and orange flycatcher is found in the sanctuary. Others include Malabar grey hornbill, crested hawk eagle, changeable hawk eagle, jerdon's baza, crested goshawk, oriental honey buzzard, crested serpent eagle, Malabar trogon, black eagle, bonelli's eagle, brown hawk owl, besra, mottled wood owl, hornbill, golden backed woodpecker, chloropsis, blue winged parakeet, lesser yellownape, green imperial pigeon, emerald dove, chestnut headed bee eater, fairy bluebird, grey francolin, jungle fowl, white bellied woodpecker, streak throated woodpecker, paradise flycatcher, painted bush quail, alpine swift, grey headed bulbul, black hooded oriole, green imperial pigeon and many others.
Generally three main types of forest are supported by the climate of wonderful Muddumalai Tiger reserve. These types are as follows: Tropical dry thorn forest that is found in the eastern parts, tropical dry deciduous forest that is found in the middle part and finally, the tropical moist deciduous forest which is usually found in the western side of the region, this region experiences higher rainfall as compared to other types of forest. Although most of the area is occupied with these three types of forests but it also has few areas of tropical semi-evergreen forest. Various tree species include Olea dioca, Litsea mysorensis and Cinnamomum malabatrum. Other species are Entada scandens, Gnetum ula and sneeze wort. These occur in the area of dry deciduous, semi evergreen and moist deciduous forests at the edge of forests and swamps. Two species of bamboo are fund in Mudumalai tiger reserve: Dendrocalamus strictus and Bambusa. These bamboos serve as a fruit to large population of elephants and gaurs found in the region. The green strip of riparian forest is commonly found along the sides of perennial and dry seasonal streams. These forests can also be termed as evergreen forest as their lush greenery flourishes in every season. Varied plant species found in the region are Pongamia glabra, Indian rosewood, Dalbergia latifolia, Mabgifera indica, Terminalia arjuna and Syzygium cumini along with bamboos. Elephants, tigers, sambar and gaur are the larger mammals that utilize riparian patches of forests for the purpose of relaxing and feeding. The rich diversity of flora of this region also includes various other wild plants which are closely related to the highly cultivated plants. These plants are solanum, mango, guava, pepper, wild rice, cinnamon, wild ginger and turmeric. Some of the areas exhibit a mosaic of vegetation types. During the summer season, the trees in the deciduous forests shed their leaves.
For a cherishing experience one must go for a safari trip at mudumalai national park. It is a great attraction here. The safari office of the sanctuary is situated at Thepakadu junction at about 10km away from the deep jungle. It is operated in the first come first serve basis. The timings of van safari are 6:30AM to 9:00AM in the morning and 3:30PM to 6:00PM in the evening. The safari is just 30 minutes long. The cost per head is Rs135. Children below the age of 5 are allowed free of cost. Other than van safari, jeep safari and elephant safari are also organized. Private jeep operators operate jeep safari. The cost for one hour is 1500INR. Mudumalai forest dept also operates elephant safari. There are other interesting activities as well like elephant interactive camp and mudumalai tiger reserve souvenir shop. There are many other visiting spots near the sanctuary. Moyar river is an interesting location where many animals can be spotted as they come here to quench their thirst. Places of scenic beauty include Kargudi, Ombetta lake, and Moyar-Masangadi road. There is a museum near the elephant feeding camp where some animals are preserved that inhabited the sanctuary once.
The Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is easily accessible by any mode of transport.
Air: Coimbatore is the nearest airport, which is about 130km from the muddumalai wildlife sanctuary.
Rail: Ooty is the closest railway station. Other railway stations are Mysore which 90km away, erode which is 160 km away and Coimbatore which is 130 km away.
Road: The highways that lead to the park are from Mysore NH212 and another route is through Ooty as the park is situated in the middle of Ooty and Mysore interstate highway.