- Popular For: Wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife photographers, Nature Lovers
- Entry Fee: Rs 20 for adults and Rs 10 for children
- Visiting Time: 7 a.m. – 5p.m. daily
- Visit Duration: 2 hours
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary or Wayanad Wildlife is the largest wildlife sanctuary of Kerala. An impeccable area of scenic beauty and biodiversity, this place lies at the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. A dense rain forest set amidst the hills of Western Ghats, the sanctuary is home to quite unique flora and fauna. The sanctuary harbours a range of animals from exotic birds, butterflies to elephants, bison, panther, wild cats etc. Together with Bandipur National Park of Karnataka and Mudumalai National Park of Tamil Nadu it makes a long corridor of tropical rainforest area. Muthanga itself has an area of 345 sq. km. which has a wide range of deciduous trees like vengal, rosewood, chadachi, bamboos etc. The area is adorned by 4 mountain ranges Muthunga, Kurichiat, Tholpethy and Sultan Bathery. Of Sultan Bathery is the closest to this sanctuary. Thus, this natural scenic beauty draws nature lovers to this place and the wildlife it harbours, attract wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Hence, it offers the most sought after wildlife experience in Kerala particularly in Wayanad.
- To explore the sanctuary, you need to cover an area of 12km on foot. Hence wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
- To keep yourself hydrated carry water bottles but not use and throw ones.
- Plastics are prohibited here.
- Pets aren’t allowed inside the sanctuary.
- Although the sanctuary is open throughout the day but safaris are restricted in the morning (7 am -10 am) and late afternoon (3:00pm – 4:30pm)
- Take care of inflammable like cigarettes and matchsticks. Don’t leave them here and there.
- They follow a strict visiting guideline which calls for a maximum visiting duration of 2 hours with a forest guide.
- There is specific capacity of seats in each vehicle which is strictly followed.
Things to Do
- Take elephant or jeep safaris to the jungles. A safari comes at a price of Rs.300 per person.
- Look out for different animals like jackals, bison, tigers, panthers etc.
- Fix your eyes on the binoculars to catch a sight of exotic birds – from peacocks to owl. The place is home to more than 200 species of birds.
- Wild elephants and Royal Bengal Tigers are interesting features of this sanctuary.
- Apart from the wildlife, the sanctuary has some rare medicinal plants and verbs which cures diseases. Keep an eye for them.
Availability of Guides
Guides are a must in this part of the forest. Without a trained forest guide people aren’t allowed here. Hence, each group whether on elephant or jeep safari has a guide at their disposal. Camera and Guide charges are included in the safari charges.
The post monsoon and winter period remains a pleasant time to visit Wayanad. The nature is at its best during this time of the year. The sanctuary is open only during this period, that is, from August-February. It remains closed in March-April. The best time to visit is between October-February.
How to Reach
Kozhikode lies quite close by from the sanctuary. People usually access this place from Kozhikode. The Kozhikode railway station is the major railway junction in the vicinity and lies at a distance of 110 km. The nearest airport is the Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode located at a 140-km drive from the sanctuary. Buses, cars and hired taxis connect people to this place. Mysore and Calicut are located nearby at a distance of 125km and 134km respectively.
Interesting Facts and Trivia
- The sanctuary was set up in 1973 and it falls under the Nilgiri Forest Reserve.
- It is a designated site for Project Elephant, a 1992 wildlife project undertaken to preserve and protect Indian elephants.
- The entry to the forest requires a permit from forest authorities.
- The sanctuary bears a special historic connection to our freedom movement. It was here that the pazhassi king engaged in a warfare with the east india company in 1805.
- The place is heavily guarded and monitored. As many as 17 anti-poaching stations are placed inside the sanctuary.
- Similar to other biosphere tourist activities are restricted only in the outer zone. The inner zones are accessible only to wildlife researchers and forest officers.
- The forest has an intricate aroma of coffee plantations and, teak and eucalyptus trees.
- The chembra peak, the highest point in Kerala lies in Wayanand a few kilometres from the sanctuary.
- Eddakal Caves and Kuruva Island are other tourist destinations lying within a distance of few kilometres from here.
- The biggest waterfall of Wayanad , Meenmutty waterfalls lies within 30km from this sanctuary.
- The soochippara falls and pookot lake lies within 50km of the sanctuary.
- Olive restaurant on national highway no. 212 is the nearest restaurant.
- Haritagiri Ecotel and Green Gates Hotel at Kalpetta are other eating out options lying nearby
- 1980’s Nostalgic restaurant, The Woodlands Hotel Restaurant at Kalpetta, Clayhut near the new Wayanad bus stand and Jubilee Restaurant in Sultan Bathery are excellent options lying close by.
Thus, the enthralling mountains, the beautiful rainforest and the diverse wildlife makes Muthanga a must visit destination in Wayanad. There’s more to Kerala than houseboats, backwaters and temples. Muthanga bears a living testimonial to that. So, hurry up and clinch the deal.