Wayanad Wildlife Reserve

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Wayanad Wildlife Reserve


The section of the Nilgiri Bio Reserve that falls in Kerala is called the Wayanad or Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Wayanad is a rainforest sanctuary, situated between Bandipur National Park (in Karnataka) and Mudumalai Sanctuary (in Tamilnadu). The preserve stretches over an area of 345 sq km, a densely wooded district of rosewood, teak, bamboo and other deciduous trees, throbbing with a fascinating melange of creatures, large and small. Tigers, of which the sanctuary has a fair number, are among its most elusive denizens; but elephants, leopards, monkeys, deer, bison, wild dogs and hundreds of birds and reptiles are more common. Elephants, in particular, are Wynaad’s star performers.

Unfortunately for the enthusiastic wildlife-watcher, only the periphery of the wildlife preserve is open to visitors and tourist infrastructure is nearly nonexistent. You can arrange guided walks and jeep safaris but attempts to get deeper into the forest require patience and perseverance. Apply to the Forest Office for the requisite permission.

Best time to visit

Wayanad is best visited in the summer months, between June and October. This is the time when there’s greater chance of seeing the resident wildlife, even though the weather may not be at its best.


The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve harbours India’s second largest pachyderm population, and the chances of seeing elephant herds is pretty high, especially during the dry season.


The park is open to all from sunrise to sunset.

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