Mudumalai National Park
Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
Mudumalai National Park is a part of Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located at a distance of 150 kilometres from Coimbatore, in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu and shares its borders with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The Western Ghats in Nilgiris covering an area of 6000 square kilometres including the whole of Madumalai National Park is under consideration for selection as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Madumalai has a varied mixture of beautiful landscapes, open grasslands, swamps, exotic flora and fauna and rare species of birds. A pure bliss can be felt by tourists especially by avid wildlife lovers.
Image Attribution : Jaseem Hamza
Major Tourist Attractions in Mudumalai
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Mudumalai National Park was declared as a Tiger Reserve. The sanctuary derives its name from the word “Mudumalai” which means “situated on the first hill”. The sanctuary is divided into five ranges – Masinagudi, Theppakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota. The contour of the sanctuary includes the three types of forests in the sanctuary – tropical moist deciduous, tropical dry deciduous and southern tropical dry thorn. Some of the rare fauna found here are the grey langur, bonnet macaque, Asian elephant, tiger, leopard, guar, hyena, sloth bear and species of reptiles and birds. Theppakadu is the entry point to the Sanctuary which has an information center.
Kalhatti Waterfalls, Mudumalai
An ideal destination for trekking at Mudumalai would be Kalhatti Waterfalls. It is on the Ooty-Mysore route and is 13 kilometres from Ooty. The falls is located on the slopes of Kalhatti Mountains at around 2000 metres from sea level. Feel the pulsating experience of trekking together with the natural beauty of the area.
Theppakadu Elephant Camp
The camp derives its name from ‘Theppam’ meaning ‘pond’ and ‘kaadu’ meaning ‘forest’. A small camp since 1910 was declared an elephant camp in 1972. Elephants are trained and housed at the camp. Elephant shows are held on every Saturday and Sunday. Elephant race and soccer performed by the elephants are quite entertaining.
A Museum is located near the Elephant feeding camp. It provides a glimpse of the animals of the former years in their preserved form. It is a place worth a visit to observe the former dwellers of the forest.
Moyar River, originating from the town of Moyar along the Masinagudi-Ooty Road is one of the tributaries of the Bhavani River. Moyar River separates Mudumalai Sanctuary and Bandipur (Karnataka). It is a noted spot where many animals come to drink water along the banks of the river. The Moyar River Gorge also known as the Moyar Canyon is a massive gorge dug out of the Moyar River. The river water plunges into the Canyon from a great height giving origin to the Moyar Falls.
Things to do in Mudhumalai
Tourists can explore the adjacent forest ranges to Mudumalai – Bandipur National Park (in Karnataka) and Wayanad Sanctuary (in Kerala). Some of the other enthralling activities to keep the tourists engaged are
- Canter and jeep safari
- Bird watching
- Camping amidst the pristine surroundings
- Nature trails and photography
- Trekking to Mayor Gorge
- Village tour
- Elephant Camp tour and Elephant safari
- Watch tower and water hole visit
Ideal time to visit Mudumalai
Mudumalai is an year-round destination but the best time to visit between the months of February to June. Vehicle Safari duration is for 1 hour –6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
How to reach Mudumalai
Mudumalai is connected via road to Gudalur (3 kilometres), Ooty (41 kilometres) and Mysore (84 kilometres).Taxi services are also available from Ooty to Mudumalai. The nearest railway station is Ooty station (40 kilometres) and the closest broad gauge station is Coimbatore Railway Station (116 kilometres). The nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport (123 kilometres). Accommodation is available at forest rest houses, guest houses at Masinagudi, kargudi, Theppakadu and Abhayaranyam.