Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park

Mudumalai Forest View
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park is situated at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka on the North Eastern Slopes of the Nilgiris part of Western Ghats descending to the Mysore Plateau.
An erstwhile game reserve, Mudumalai was declared a wildlife sanctuary with a 62 sq KM area in the early 1940 by the then Madras Presidency. With Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) in the north, and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the west the region forms a single, continuous viable habitat for a varied range of wildlife and is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. While Mudumalai’s western half receives the southwest monsoon, the eastern tracts receive the relatively gentler north-east monsoon which results in a diversity of vegetation types and typical migration of herbivores.

Location


The Mudumalai Sanctuary is as an important wildlife habitat due to its strategic position as a Wildlife corridor between several other protected areas that are a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. To the north is the Bandipur National Park and Nagarhole National Park. To the west is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and in the south are Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley National Park. To the east is the Sigur Plateau which connects to the Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary and Reserve forests and Biligirirangan Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. These parks, sanctuaries and the adjoining Reserve forests cover over 3,300 square kilometres (1,300 sq mi) of forest supporting a population of 1800-2300 elephants.

The elevation of the sanctuary varies from a minimum of 960 meters (3,150 ft) m to a maximum of 1,266 meters (4,154 ft). The sanctuary has a tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate that corresponding to the categories Aw and As of the Koppen climate classification. Rainfall ranges from 790 mm (31 in) to 2,000 mm (79 in).

Flora


Tree species in this habitat include: Casseria ovoides, Litsea mysorensis, Cinnamomum malabatrum and Olea dioca. Climbers, including: Todalia asiatica, Sneeze Wort (Watakaka volubilis), Gnetum ula and Entada scandens are also found in these semi evergreen forests.

Moist Bamboo brakes are found amidst dry deciduous, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests and along the fringes of riparian forests and swamps. There are two species of bamboo found in Mudumalai, the giant clumping bamboos: Bambusa (arundinacea) and Dendrocalamus strictus. Elephants and Gaur eat both species of bamboo.

In all types of forest, a green strip of riparian forest is seen along the shore of dry seasonal and perennial streams. This type of forest remains green in all seasons. The plant species found here includes: Mangifera indica, Pongamia glabra, Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini, Indian rosewood Dalbergia latifolia and the bamboos. Larger mammals such as elephant, gaur, sambar and tiger use riparian forest patches for feeding and resting.

This sanctuary is home to several species of wild relatives of cultivated plants including wild rice, wild ginger, turmeric, Cinnamon, Solanum, Guava, mango and pepper that act as a reserve gene pool for the cultivated plants.

In certain places mixed vegetation types are present. The deciduous trees shed their green leaves during the summer, and adopt a floral garb while the arrival of the monsoons hails fruits and tender greens.

Fauna


There is a high diversity of animal life in the sanctuary with about 50 species of fishes, 21 species of amphibians, 34 species of reptiles, 227 species of birds and 55 species of mammal.

It is an exciting place to see Elephant, Gaur, Chowsingha, Mouse deer and Sloth bear. The animals include, Tiger, Panther, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Blackbuck, Common Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Four-horned Antelope (Chowsingha), Wild Dog, Jackal, Mongoose, Jungle Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Leopard Cat Striped Hyena, Leopard-cat, Small Indian Civet, Striped-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Sloth Bear, Indian Giant Squirrel,, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Striped Hyena, Slender Lories, etc.

Tigers are largely elusive but leopards or a pack of Wild Dog, on the move are frequently seen.

Some of the rare birds of prey like the Rufous bellied hawk eagle can be occasionally seen in this Sanctuary. Avifauna is varied with Changeable Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Jerdon’s Baza, Bonelli’s Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Besra, Mottled Wood Owl, Brown Hawk Owl Minivet, Hornbills, Golden Oriole, Chloropsis, Paradise flycatcher, Golden backed and Malabar Great Black woodpeckers, Bluewinged parakeet, Fairy bluebird, Jungle fowl Racket tailed drongo, Peacock Grey, Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Grey Francolin, Painted Spurfowl, Painted Bush Quail, White bellied Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Golden Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Black-hooded Oriole, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-headed Cuckooshrike, Grey-headed Bulbul, Forest Wagtail, Crimson-bcked Sunbird, Loten’s Sunbird.

The reptiles present are the Python, Monitor Lizard, Flying Lizard, Cobra, Krait , Vipers etc.

Park attractions


Attractions in the park include:
  • Scenic spots in the sanctuary are the Chief Minister’s Watchtower, the view point at Kargudi, the Ombetta Lake and the Safari Van rides on Sand Road, Circular Road, Manradiar Road, Jayadev Avenue and Bombax Road. The public roads: Kakkanalli – Torapalli road, Teppakkadu – Masanagudi road and Moyar – Masanagudi road are also rewarding places to see wild life in the Sanctuary.
  • Moyar River running through the dense forest is a good place to see animals when they come to drink water from the river.
  • Moyar River Gorge, also called the Moyar Canyon, is a dramatic 20 km (12 mi) long gorge dug out by Moyar River, which plunges into the gorge below Theppakadu in a roaring water-fall popularly known as Moyar falls.
  • Elephant Safari and Van Safari, conducted by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, depart from park headquarters at Theppakadu
  • The Elephant Feeding Camp where one can interact with elephants and see how they are fed. The captive elephants in the sanctuary are no longer used for timber extraction work, since these areas are managed exclusively as protected areas. The elephants are engaged mainly for Eco-tourism, patrolling for anti poaching operations, to control Man-Elephant conflict outside the sanctuary or other areas and as a conservation and training centre for elephants which can be visited by public.
  • Museum near the Elephant feeding camp is where some animals who once lived in the Mudumalai Jungle are preserved.
  • Kallatty falls located 30 km (19 mi) from Theppakadu, is a beautiful falls with a breathtaking view.
  • Pykara Lake - Located 40 km (25 mi) from Theppakadu is a clean and scenic lake situated between the hills. It is an isolated lake free from pollution and crowds. Boating is conducted here. An annual summer boat race was introduced to this lake in 2008.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary's nearby attractions


Bandipur National Park: Bandipur National Park is known for its tiger population. Also, the park shelters some of the most rare and endangered species of wildlife. Bandipur National Park is one of the protected areas within Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is an International Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats.

Wayanad Sanctuary: This sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. It is bestowed with lush green forests and rich wildlife. It houses some of the rare and endangered species of both flora and fauna. The sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant and one can spot herd of elephants roaming in the area.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary: There are night safaris in open top jeeps arranged by resorts and guides who are freely accessible in Masinagudi. The night safaris are conducted on the peripheral roads running through the adjoining forest and not into the park. Such night safaris are illegal and create disturbance to the animals of this region. There was a recent incident of a French tourist being killed by a wild elephant when she went on one such safari.

Travel


The Sanctuary is well connected by National Highway. All buses plying from Mysore to Ooty stop at the Reception Centre at Theppakkadu.
It is approachable from Ooty by two different routes.
One is via Kallatty, 36 KM from Ooty that has 36 hairpin bends through natural forests.
The other route is via Gudalur which is 67 KM from Ooty. It can also be approached by road from Mysore 91 KM away.
Nearest Railway station: Ooty – 67 KM., Mysore – 90 KM
Coimbatore – 160 KM, Bangalore – 245 KM.
Nearest fuel stations: Thorapalli – 7 KM., (towards Gudalur), Gudalur – 18 KM., (towards Ooty) Gundalpet – 30 KM (towards Mysore)

Tourist info


Mudumalai is organized with well-planned paths and is best explored by jeep or open vans. Several trails skirt waterholes where exciting animal activity can be watched.

Season

Climate is generally equable throughout the year. It is cooler between November and February and warm between March and May. Temperature ranges from 15oC-35oC

Best time to Visit

It is February to May and September to October. The clear days from late January to early April are rewarding for wildlife enthusiasts.

Entry fee:

Rs. 15/- per adult
No private vehicle is allowed inside the Sanctuary

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4 comments

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  2. hii..nice post.Thanks for sharing with us.I liked the way you put up the information.I am panning to visit br hills resort and also bandipur resorts this weekend with my family. because their facilites,sevices offered at low cost,Wildlife Safari really really awesome..

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  3. Hey,
    Very nice blog... all the information and points are very to understand. picture shows the natural beauty of mudumalai.. also blog helps to find out Resorts in Mudumalai

    ReplyDelete