State : Tamil Nadu
Total Area : 321 sq. km.
Mudumalai National Park is located at the foothills of the Nilgiri
hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. Mudumalai which literally means
ancient hills was identified as a reserve way back in 1927 and converted
into a sanctuary in 1940. It is a continuation of the Bandipur National
Park in the neighbouring state of Karnataka, and is separated by
the river Moyar that flows along the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The park also has a border with the Wayanad Sanctuary in Kerala.
Mudumalai is a part of the forest area which includes the Bandipur
National Park and Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarhole) in Karnataka,
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala which together constitute the
Niligiri Biosphere Reserv.
It covers a relatively small area of 300 sq. km but is abundant
in wildlife, as are the other larger neighbouring resereves.The
park lies on either side of the excellent highway connecting Mysore
to Ooty (Ootacamund). This highway, other than providing excellent
wildlilfe viewing opportunities even before you reach the park,
is an amazingly beautiful drive with 36 hairpin bends through thick
jungle and beautiful scenery.
The 321 sq. km. reserve, one of the most picturesque destinations
provides diverse habitats like hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses
and swamps. The vegetation comprises of moist deciduous forests,
dry deciduous forests and scrub forests which make Mudumalai a most
attractive wildlife reserve. Apart from rich fauna, the wide range
of animal and bird life has made this sanctuary a hot spot for the
wildlife enthusiasts. The temperatures vary between 10 degrees in
the winter months to 35 degrees in the summers.
Mudumalai is reasonably well organized. The well-planned paths are
best traversed by jeep or open vans, while elephant-back is advised
for areas with tall grass and along stream-beds. Several trails
skirt waterholes where plenty of animal activity can be seen. The
scream of the Indian Giant Squirrel can be heard from the leafy
canopy high above, and a m61ange of woodland birds adds to the thrill
of the forest. The summit of Kargudi Hill offers a strikingly panoramic
view of the sanctuary and the Moyar Gorge.
More elephants have been born at Theppakadu, the elephant camp near
Mudumalai's reception centre, than elsewhere in India. The camp
offers an interesting glimpse into the life of captive elephants.
Despite a wealth of species, this sanctuary is struggling to survive
against the demands of human settlements, cattle grazing, forest
fires, developmental projects and a busy highway. Protecting this
area remains a challenging task.
Asian Elephant (above), Gaur (Indian Bison), Tiger,
Leopard, Wild Dog (Dhole), Striped Hyena, Leopard-cat, Rusty Spotted
Cat, Small Indian Civet, Striped-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose,
Sloth Bear, Indian Giant Squirrel, Sanibar, Spotted Deer (Chital),
Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Chowsingha (Four-horned Antelope.), Indian
Pangolin BIRDS RAPTORS
Changeable Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle,
Oriental Honey-buzzard, Jerdon's Baza, Bonelli's Eagle, Crested
Goshawk, Besra, Mottled Wood Owl, Brown Hawk Owl
Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Grey Francolin,
Painted Spurfowl, Painted Bush Quail, Whitebellied Woodpecker, Lesser
Yellownape, Greater Flameback, 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-backed Sunbird, Loten's
Best Season: February to May and September to October
How to Reach
: The nearest airport is at Coimbatore, 160-km
away, which has direct flights to Bangalore, Mumbai, Kochi, Chennai
and New Delhi. Calicut in Kerala has an international airport which
is 140 kms away.
: The sanctuary is located at a distance
of 65-km from Udhagamandalam railway station and 95-km from Mysore
:The Mysore - Ooty highway runs through
the thick jungles of the park. Gudalur (16-km) the nearest town
to the sanctuary is situated along the highway. There are regular
bus service, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu state transport buses as well
as private buses from Udhagamandalam (64km), Mysore (95 km) and
the neighbouring towns to the sanctuary.