Mudumalai: A gateway to Heaven

Posted in Asia | December 13, 2011 | Comment Now

Fly to Coimbatore or go by train to Udhagamandalam or to Mysore or just take the National Highway 212 to Gundlupet or the National Highway 67 to Teppakadu. Whatever the mode of transport, reaching Mudumalai is not difficult and is worth the journey.

For here in Mudumalai National Park lies the famous tiger reserve and the pristine wildlife sanctuary. Set against the background of the Nilgiri Hills, Mudumalai boasts of greenery only an ignorant person would want to dispute about.  Lying around 160 km to the northwestern part of Coimbatore, Mudumalai actually means the first hills. One of the first Indian wildlife sanctuaries the Mudumalai sanctuary has 5 ranges. They are the Nellakota, the Mudumalai, the Kargudi, the Masinagudi and the Thepakadu.

Mudumalai National Park

Famous for housing herds of endangered elephants, the place is also a home for the vulnerable Chital and the Gaur. A great paradise for the Bengal Tigers and the other species which are threatened, the Mudumalai Sanctuary is a hub of around 266 kinds of birds. The long billed vulture and the The Indian White rumped vulture are greatly endangered but are found here.

Endangered elephants Gaur Indian White rumped vulture

The strategic position that it has, is what makes it a great wildlife habitat. There are only sanctuaries and national parks, around the Mudumalai national park and thus it is no wonder that it is being considered as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.  With an elevation range of around 960metres to 1266 metres, the sanctuary with its savanna and tropical climate is an ideal place for the wildlife to thrive here.

IN the year 1972, the Government of Tamil Nadu recognized Mudumalai as a Tiger Reserve with more than 48 tigers found here. The sanctuary has three kinds of forests – the southern tropical dry thorn forests, the tropical dry deciduous forests and the tropical moist deciduous forests. There are also some tropical semi evergreen forests with intermittent bamboo brakes. One can see the mangifera indica, the Indian rosewood, and bamboos here. Then you can also find plants like the wild rice, turmeric, ginger, solanum, cinnamon, guava, pepper, and mango thus making it generally a gene pool for these plants.

This natural reserve has a cornucopia of fauna with around 50 kinds of fish, 34 kinds of reptiles and 21 species of amphibians. More than 227 bird varieties and 55 mammals are found here. The peacock is the favourite view of all the bird lovers.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is famous for having one tiger for every 8 square kilometres. The Indian Leopard is found in the Kargudi region. Then you also have the Dhole, the Golden Jackal, the Striped Hyena, the Indian elephants and the Sloth bear as the main wildlife variety here. The gray langur, the panther, the Bonnet Macaque, the sambhar deer, the Indian Muntjac, the Chital Deer, the Gaur, the Wild Boar and the Indian Spotted Chevrotain, are also found here.

Golden Jackal Bonnet Macaque Wild Boar

Rodents like the Indian Giant Squirrel, and the Red Giant Flying Squirrel are also found in the sanctuary. The reptiles include the pythons, spectacled cobra, the python and the flying lizard besides of course the Asian Pit Vipers and the Monitor Lizard and the Krait. Mudumalai is the oldest wildlife sanctuary of India. It also houses the best varieties of birds and a plethora of flora.

Visit Mudumalai for the best wildlife experience.

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