The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park is situated at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. An erstwhile game reserve, Mudumalai was declared a wildlife sanctuary with a 62 sq km area in 1940. With Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) in the north, and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the west, the region forms a single, continuous viable habitat for a varied range of wildlife and is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary has an area of 321 sq km with 108 sq km of National Park area.
Attractions: Mudumalai is an exciting place to see the elephant, gaur, mouse deer and sloth bear. Other animals that reside here are the tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, blackbuck, langur, malabar giant squirrel, four-horned antelope, wild dog, jackal, mongoose, jungle cat, hyena, leopard, wild boar, porcupine and slender loris. Tigers are largely elusive but leopards or a pack of wild dogs on the move, are frequently seen. A variety of birds including the peacock, jungle fowl and other colorful birds can be spotted here.
Mudumalai is organized with well-planned paths and is best explored by jeep or vans run by the Forest department. Several trails skirt waterholes where exciting animal activity can be witnessed. The elephant camp at Theppakadu is also good to visit as it engages in education, research and conservation of the pachyderms.
Shopping: T-shirts with animal conservation logos, honey, tea, spices, local fruits and vegetables, essential oils like eucalyptus and the oil of wintergreen.
Accessibility: Mudumalai is easily approachable from Mysore (91 km) or Ooty, by road. The nearest railway stations are Mysore and Coimbatore, while the nearest airports are Bangalore and Coimbatore.
Best time to visit: Through the year, with September – March being the best, to avoid the monsoon rains.