Mudumalai National park is one the many reserves located in the forest belt
between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains, in the extreme west of
Tamil Nadu. Most of these reserves are demarcated by political boundaries. 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 Mudumalai, is an ecologically rich terrain, despite
being in the rain-shadow of the Nilgiris. With Bandipur in the north, the region
forms a single, continuous viable habitat for a varied range of wildlife. While
Mudumalai's western half experiences the south-west monsoon, the eastern tracts
feel the relatively gentler north-cast monsoon a little later, and this results
in a diversity of vegetation types.
Reasons to visit
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Mudumalai wildlife reserve was the first sanctuary in
south India. The terrain is extremely varied with hills, valleys, ravines,
watercourses and swamps. The vegetation comprises of tropical moist deciduous
forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests. Compared to the nearby
reserves, the climate is warmer in Mudumalai.
The vegetation is quite varied in this region. The hilly
terrain of the Western Ghats, clothed in dense mixed and moist deciduous
forests, make Mudumalai (the ancient hills) a most attractive wildlife reserve.
Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea) Natural teak (Tectona Grandis), Anogeissus
latifolia, Terminalia, Crenulata/Terminalia Tomontosa, Grewia, and blooming
trees like Indian Labumusum, Aredesia, Solanancea are some of the flora.
The fauna include Elephants, Gaur, Banner, Macaque, Common
Langur, Tigers, Leopards, Chital, Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking Deer,
Four Horned Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (Mugger), Giant Flying Squirrel, Sambar,
Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine
and Mongoose. The birds listed in this sanctuary are Peacock-our National bird,
Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl, Grey Partridge Quails, Goggle Eyed Plower,
Malabar Whistling Thrush, Large Racket-Tailed Dronge, The Magpie-robin, Spotted
Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Green Pigeons, Brown Dove, Malabar Grey Hornbill,
Bulbuls, Mynahs, etc. Among birds of prey, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Harriers,
Falcons and King Vulture are predominant, besides some migratory water birds.