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Mukurthi National Park

Location: Tamil Nadu

Main Wildlife Attractions: Nilgiri Tahr, Impatiens Acaulis, Rhododendron Nilagiricum, Disperis Nilgirens, Hab. Longicornu

Coverage Area: 78.46 sq.kms

Established: 2001

Best Time to Visit: February to May

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Mukurthi National Park, in Tamil Nadu, is a popular tourist attraction for all the wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts. The park, which was given the status of National Park on 15 October 1990, stretches for over 80 km and various species of endangered flora and fauna can be found here.

How to reach Mukurthi National Park

By Air

Coimbatore International Airport, at a distance of 140 km, is the nearest one to the National Park.

By Rail

Udhagamandalam Railway station, at a distance of 45 km, is the closest to the national park.

By Road

Tourists can reach by availing buses and/or taxis from Avalanchi(30 km), Upper Bhavani (25 km), Anumapuram (24 km), Mudimund (40 km), etc.

What is Mukurthi National Park known for?
Mukurthi National Park houses endangered wildlife species like Asian Elephants and Royal Bengal Tigers, but it is mainly popular for housing Nilgiri Tahr.
When was this National Park established?
By 1868, since the arrival of British, the sholas in these forests started to be destroyed. In 1868, the Hill Commissioner, James Breeds requested the government to take measures for the protection of fauna species around this park. Dietrich Brandis who was the Inspector General of Forests in the year 1882 suggested building large forest blocks to save the natural forest resources. This whole area of Mukurthi National Park was then given the status of Reserve forest in the year 1886.
By 3rd August 1982, these forests were declared as Wildlife Sanctuary. 8 years later, on 15 October 1990, The Park was given the status of National Park to protect the most important species of Nilgiri Tahr.
Where is Mukurthi National Park located?
Mukurthi National Park is situated in the hill stations of Ooty in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

What is the best time to visit Mukurthi National Park?
The best time to visit Mukurthi National Park is during the months of February to May when the weather is too pleasant and one could have a smooth time in here. Tourists can also visit during September to November when there are no chances of rainfall.
What are the opening and closing timings of the National Park?
The park remains open from 9:30 in the mornings to 5:30 in the evenings. It remains closed on every Tuesday.

What species of flora and fauna can be witnessed inside the National Park?

  • Fauna
    • Birds: Black Eagle, Woodcock, Whistling Thrush, Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Black-And-Orange Flycatcher, Grey Headed Flycatcher, White-Eye, Black Bulbul, Nilgiri Pipit, Kestrel, Black-Winged Kite, Laughing Thrush, etc.
    • Reptiles: Shieldtails, Nilgiri Salea Salea Horsfieldii, Gecko Spp., Olivaceaous Keelback, Snakes Horseshoe Pit Viper, Oligodon Taeniolatus, Bronze-Headed Vine Snake, Oligodon Venustus, Perrotet's Shieldtail, Geckos Dwarf,  etc.
    • Mammals: Soft-Furred Rat, Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Nilgiri Marten, Bonhote's Mouse, Nilgiri Langur, Leopard, Bonnet Macaque, Barking Deer, Sambar Deer, Mouse Deer, Jungle Cat, Otter, Small Indian Civet, Jackal, Wild Dog, Black-Naped Hare, Malabar Spiny Dormouse, Shrew, Nilgiri Tahr, etc.
  • Flora

Acacia Mearnsii, Hedyotis Verticillaris, Alchemilla Indica, Rhododendrons, Rhododendron Nilagiricum, Rhododendron Arboreum, Syzygium Calophyllifolium, Cinnamomum Wightii, Daphiphyllum Neilgherrense, Vaccinium Leschenaulti, Litsea Sp., Mahonia Leschenaulti, Lasianthes Sp., Michelia Nilagirica, Psychotria Sp., Wild Yellow Raspberries, Rhodomyrtus Tomentosa, Gaultheria Fragrantissima, Eurya Nitida, Rubus Sp., Bergeris Tinctoria, Helichrysum Sp., Strobilanthes Sp., Eria Abliflora, Aerides Ringens, Oberonia Santapaui, Aerides Crispa, Brachycorithis Iantha, Coelogyne Odoratissima, Habenaria Cephalotes, Satyrium Nepalense, Seidenfia Densiflora, Liparis Atropurpurea, Spiranthes Sinensis, Eucalyptus, Acacia Dealbata, Wattle, Impatiens, etc.

Are there any other attractions in and around the National Park?

  • Trekking: Trekking up the mountains is the major tourist activity in this National Park.
  • Mukurthi Peak: The views offered from here are amazing.
  • Mukurthi Dam: The Pykara hydro electricity dam is where one can catch sights of bird species.
  • Lake: Scenic spot to spend picnic time.
  • Waterfalls: There are several waterfalls along the way where the tourists can lay down and simply rest while completing the long and dreary trek.

Can you tell me where I can stay while visiting Mukurthi National Park?

Travelers who visit Mukurthi National Park can find excellent wildlife hotels and resorts in the gorgeous city of Ooty which are located nearby the Park. These wildlife resorts plan for amazing wildlife excursions to the park so that one can get the best views of the wildlife.

One of the most preferred stay here is the popular Mukurthi fishing hut. The accommodation establishment which is finely managed by European officials is a fine place to stay. There are only 5 rooms in the small resort and guests can enjoy a comfy stay.

This property was earlier owned by an English gentleman named Richard Radcliffe, who was one of the most respected Vice President of the Nilgiri Wildlife & Environmental Association. Those who stay here get the opportunity to experience what it feels like to stay amidst the forests.

Any last minute tips before I visit Mukurthi National Park?

Some must-check tips on a tour to Mukurthi National Park are given below:

  • Do not harm any flora or fauna species during the trek.
  • No one should carry any short of sharp object (s) while trekking.
  • Try and maintain silence in order to not alarm the wildlife animals.
  • Travelers must be patient if they do not find wildlife species.
  • Cameras must be checked twice and thrice just in case you forget to charge the batteries and missed out on catching amazing photographs.