Along the Mysore-Ooty Highway at the foothills of the Nilgiris lies India's best elephant country. The Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) and the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary (TamilNadu) are administered separately yet form the component of a single spectacular ecological continuum that also includes Nagarhole (Karnataka) and Wayanad (in Kerala).
Bandipur and Mudumalai are located in the lower reaches of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which is part of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot.
The reserve was expanded to 874 sq km in 1973 to become Bandipur National park and Tiger Reserve. The Mudumalai Sanctuary was set up in 1940 .It has the distinction of being the first sanctuary in Southern India. Covering a stretch of 60 sq km initially the sanctuary was expanded to 295 sq km by 1956and thereafter to its present size of 321 sq.km.
This area receives two monsoons: the south-west (Jun-Sep) and north-east (Oct-Nov).A brief cool dry season (Dec-Jan) is followed by summer (Feb-May).This region has a moderate climate all year round and can be visited in any season. Wildlife sightings are fewer in summer compared to other seasons.
Both Bnadipur and Mudumalai attract tourism as the forest dept has trekking routes inside the parks and organizes safaris as well. Rides into the parks on especially laid-out dirt roads called game-roads which usually pass along the grazing areas, salt licks and water holes offer stunning views of wildlife. Most of the animals like deer, gaur, elephant and langur can be seen from close quarters. Short jungle rides on elephant back are available at Bandipur in the morning and evening. One can see Theppakadu elephant camp at Mudumalai which has as many 25 elephants. They work in the forest, log timber and do other forest activities.
Moyar Gorge or Mysore Ditch is located at the Bandipur side of the forest .The watch tower offers beautiful view of the gorge and the Moyar Falls. The Sigur Plateau on the Tamil Nadu side has extensive scrub and bamboo forests. One can also admire incredible views at Bison Valley Viewpoint on the Mysore-Ooty Road.
The Park has cheetal, langur, gaur and elephants which are frequently sighted. The wild dog is the more visible predator. Though sightings of tiger and leopards are not frequent, evidence of their pugmarks and droppings is common. The park is also home to 250 species of birds, including the Malabar pied hornbill, heart-spotted woodpecker and trogon.
Best time to visit the Park:
Anytime between April and January is a good time to visit, but its best from September to December. Though both parks are open throughout the year, they could be closed during February -April on account of heavy forest fires.
Getting To Bandipur-Mudumalai National Park
By Air: Bangalore is the nearest airport.For Mudumalai Coimbatore airport is the nearest.
By Rail: Nanjangud is the nearest station and then taxi to the Park.
By Road: Bandipur and Mudumalai are located on the Mysore-Ooty Highway. Many buses play on the highway. Most resorts pick up their guests if informed about the arrival. State transport bus services are also available from Bangalore,Mysore,Ooty and Coimbatore to these parks.KSTDC luxury buses are available both from Bangalore and Mysore.Bus services are frequent centralized bookings can be done through any of the KSRTC counters in Karnataka.
Planning on having your Cheap Flights to India? Get one now, and visit the amazing parks in other regions of India like the Bandipur Mudumalai National Park. Along the Mysore-Ooty Highway at the foothills of the Nilgiris lies India's best elephant country. The Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) and the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary (TamilNadu) are administered separately yet form the component of a single spectacular ecological continuum that also includes Nagarhole (Karnataka) and Wayanad (in Kerala)