The Mudumalai National Park, in the Nilgiri district in the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is one of the first forest ranges to be declared as a National Park. It is located in the Ooty-Mysore route and is equally accessible from both Ooty and Mysore. It has a population of about 50 tigers, and the government declared it a Tiger Reserve in 2007.
Mudumalai National Park is one of the most critical ecological systems in the country, with Bandipur National Park and Nagarhole National Park to the north and the Wayand wildlife sanctuary to the south. Combined, they house more than 500 species of animals, birds, reptiles and even more species of insects.
The place is breathtaking and captivating for the lovers of nature. As you ride through the forests you are bound to see elephants and different deer species roaming freely in the wilderness. As you move deeper into the jungle, you might encounter many endangered species of birds and animals. Also, 13% of all mammal species in India are present in Mudumalai National Park, as per the records.
Trees like teak, sandalwood, mahogany and also bamboo grow uninhibited and tall, almost cutting the sunlight even when the sun is high in the sky. The Moyar River runs through the reserve and you can see a large variety of animals coming there to quench their thirst. The park is one of the very few places in the country where you can see the animals in their true natural habitat, where you actually see the tiger with all its ferocity. A must place for a true nature lover.
Things to do in Mudumalai National Park
· Jungle Safari – The Mudumalai National Park van safari is the most popular activity there. The buses take you to the core area of the national park where you can follow the wildlife trail. Barking deer, python and macaque are common sights, but you can also spot tigers, panthers and leopards in shades or around ponds.
· Elephant Safari – Near the reception, you can choose an elephant for a ride in the forest. However, unlike the jungle safari by a jeep/bus, elephants don’t go deep in the woods. But watching the greenery around and above, from an elephant’s back is a memorable experience in itself.
· Elephant camps – Mudumalai National Park also acts as a rejuvenation and recreation point for the elephants. At these camps, you can play with elephants and their calves and also, bathe them, feed them or just watch them relax in their natural habitat.
· Trekking in the forest – Officials of the forest department don’t allow anyone to walk or roam around, inside the core forest area. However, plenty of guided trekking trails and mountain hiking activities are available through the lodgings and travel planners nearby. So, put on your boots and go on exploring the areas around the national park.
Bird watching – Apart from the tall, dark forests and abundance of wildlife, Mudumalai also boasts of abundant birdlife. While peacock, jungle fowl and Malabar grey hornbill are common, you can also find different migratory birds. The park is also home to birds of prey like eagles, hawks and vultures.