Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (Timings, Entry Fee, Safari Online Booking & How to Reach)
Located in the south Western Ghats in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve has been established in the year of 1988. It is the seventeenth Tiger Reserve of India. Spread across an area of 895 sq. km, the reserve comprises of two wildlife sanctuaries namely Kalakad and Mundanthurai which are adjacent and located in the district of Tirunelveli. Parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests were also joined to the reserve in the year of 1996.
Once at the reserve, tourists have various options to entertain themselves along with the excitement of catching the glimpses of rare and wild animals. Some of these are bird watching, boat rides and trekking in the jungles, etc.
Flora @ Kalakad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
The main types of forests at the reserve are Southern Hill top Tropical Evergreen Forests, Southern dry mixed deciduous forests, Carnatic umbrella thorn forests, Ochlandra reeds, Southern moist mixed deciduous forests, Tropical riparian fringe forests, Euphorbiaceous shrub, High/ low altitude grasslands, West coast tropical evergreen forests, Tirunelveli semi-evergreen forests, Dry teak forests.
Some of the prominent species of trees found here are Hopea parviflora, Hopea utilis, Calophylum elatum Felicium decipiens, Mallotus philippensis, Litsea species, Dalbergia latifolia, Kingiodendron pinnatum, Albizia lebeck, Tectona grandis, Ficus spp., Phyllanthus emblica, Hardwickia binata, Elaeocarpus tuberculatus, Alstonia scholaris, Mangifera indica, Decussocarpus Wallichianus, Podocarpus latifolia, Eugenia species, Garcinia cambogia, Xanthophyllum flavescens, Wrightia tinctoria, chloroxylon swietenia, Pterocarpus marsupium, Anogeissus latifolia, Careya arborea, Terminalia spp., etc.
Fauna @ Kalakad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
Animals that can be spotted at the reserve are Tiger, Elephant, Gaur, Mouse deer, Leopard, Rusty spotted cat, Bonnet Macaque, Slender Loris, Lion tailed Macaque, Sloth Bear, Brown mongoose, Nilgiri Martin, Indian pangolin, Brown palm civet, Leopard, Sambhar, Spotted deer, Malabar giant squirrel, Nilgiri Langur, etc. Reptiles like King Cobra, Python, Monitor Lizard, Flying Lizard, Pit viper and many others can also be seen here.
The reserve is rich in avian fauna as well. Some of the birds seen here are Ceylon mouth frog, Oriental bay owl, Broad tailed Grass warbler, Grey headed bulbul, Great Pied hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Malabar Grey hornbill.
Best time to visit Kalakad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
The best time to visit Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is during the months of September to January.
Reaching Kalakad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
- By air: The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram which is located at a distance of 160 km from the reserve. Another nearby airport is at Madurai which is 200 km away.
- By rail: The nearest railway station is at Tirunelveli which is just 45 km away from the reserve.
- By road: There are regular and frequent buses running from Papanasam to Nagarcoil. There are many bus services connecting Nagarcoil to various cities of south India.
Accommodation @ Kalakad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
Tourists can stay at the Forest Department guest houses. They can contact Chief Conservator of Forests & Field Director, Thirunelveli for advance booking. There are accommodation facilities available at Tirunelveli also.