One of the reasons people like to visit hill stations is that, they not only offer respite from the dust and pollution of the city but also give people a chance to see the undefiled beauty of nature. The green hills, the cascading waterfalls and sparkling brooks, all make the hill stations a delight for the eyes of the city-weary. Ooty is an ideal hill station since it offers all this and much more. Though Ooty in itself can keep you occupied for many days, but if you can never have enough of greenery and scenic beauty, then you can visit numerous places around Ooty, such as Coonnoor and Kotagiri, which are also quite popular with tourists.
Other commonly seen animals are panthers, otters, crocodiles, mongoose, wild dogs, porcupines, barking deer, chital, banner, hare and more.The hilly terrain of the Western Ghats, clothed in dense mixed and moist deciduous forests, make Mudumalai (the ancient hills) a most attractive wildlife reserve. Bamboos, Natural teak and blooming trees like Indian Labumusum, Aredesia are some of the flora.
The fauna include Elephants, Gaur, Banner, Macaque, Common Monkey (Langur), Tigers, Leopards, Chital, Panther, Python, Barking Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Crocodiles (Mugger), Giant Flying Squirrel, Sambar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer. The birds listed in this sanctuary are Peacock-our National bird, Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl, Grey Partridge Quails, Goggle Eyed Plower, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Large Racket-Tailed Dronge, The Magpie-robin, Spotted Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Green Pigeons, Brown Dove, Grey Hornbill, Bulbuls, Mynahs, etc.
Among birds of prey, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons and King Vulture are predominant, besides some migratory water birds.Mudumalai National park is one the many reserves located in the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris Mountains, in the extreme west of Tamil Nadu. Most of these reserves are demarcated by political boundaries. It covers a relatively small area of 321 sq. km but is abundant in wildlife, as are the other larger neighboring reserves. The park lies on either side of the excellent highway connecting Mysore to Ooty (Ootacamund).
This highway, other than providing excellent wildlife viewing opportunities even before you reach the park, is an amazingly beautiful drive with 36 hairpin bends. En route to Ooty through thick jungle and beautiful scenery Mudumalai, is an ecologically rich terrain, despite being in the rain-shadow of the Nilgiris. With Bandipur in the north, the region forms a single, continuous viable habitat for a varied range of wildlife. While Mudumalai's western half experiences the south-west monsoon, the eastern tracts feel the relatively gentler north-cast monsoon a little later, and this results in a diversity of vegetation types.
Tropical moist-deciduous vegetation towards the western parts of the sanctuary gives way to dry-deciduous and thorn-scrub along the cast, supporting a few blackbucks. An erstwhile game reserve, Mudumalai was declared a wildlife sanctuary with a 62 sq km area in the early 1940s.
Today, the sanctuary and the national park together extend over an area of 321 sq km, and are a mix of low hills, valleys and flat terrain sprinkled with a few swampy areas. There is considerable movement of animals in this vital wildlife corridor area, and the clear days from late January to early April are most rewarding for the wildlife enthusiast.
Asian Elephant, Gaur (Indian Bison), Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog (Dhole), Striped Hyena, Leopard-cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Small Indian Civet, Striped-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Sloth Bear, Indian Giant Squirrel, Sanibar, Spotted Deer (Chital), Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Chowsingha (Four-horned Antelope.), Indian Pangolin.
Changeable Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Jerdon's Baza, Bonelli's Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Besra, Mottled Wood Owl, Brown Hawk Owl,Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Painted Spurfowl, Painted Bush Quail, White bellied Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Greater Flameback, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Black-hooded Oriole, Greater Racket-tailed Dronge, Black-headed Cuckoo shrike, Grey-headed Bulbul, Forest Wagtail, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Loten's Sunbird.
While the jungles of Mudumalai are taller and denser, Bandipur has superb scenery of mountains, gorges and tropical mixed deciduous forest. The forests of Bandipur have been protected for over a hundred years and a small area was declared a sanctuary as long ago as 1898. Today the National Park defends 880 kms of lush countryside at the junction of the Deccan Plateau and the outer spurs of the Western Ghats. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is situated in Mysore district of the Indian state of Karnataka. This Reserve was among the first nine Tiger Reserves created in India at the launch of Project Tiger in 1973.
To its northwest lies the Nagarhole National Park. The Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka shares its boundaries with the famous Bandipur National Park in Karnataka, which together form a part of the Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu and the Wayanad Reserve in Kerala. About 643 kms in area, Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the tiger along with the other wild life species and around 250 bird species. Located aside the river Kabini, the dam and the reservoir of this mighty Kabini river acts as a natural barrier separating the two wildlife sanctuaries - Bandipur and Nagarhole - in Karnataka.
The Nagarhole national park lies at a distance of 96 kms from Mysore. This protected territory is the habitat of several endangered species. Nagarhole derives its name from the root word `Naga' from Kannada language, which means `snake' and `Hole' that means `streams'. Thus the term as a whole point towards the numerous streams that leaps through the rich tropical forests of Nagarhole like a snake.
Also bordering the state of Kerala, the Nagarhole National Park was designated as a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1974, it was extended to its present size combining the Mysore forests within the Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. The deep valleys and the mesmerizing landscapes in the sanctuary make it a picture perfect destination in every manner. Apart from the largest Kabini river that drains the Nagarhole national park, the other three important rivers include Lakshmana, Teentha and Nagarhole. Several perennial and seasonal streams also merge into the four rivers.
Tectona grandis, Dalbergia latifolia, Pterocarpus marsupium, Adina cordifolia, Grewia tiliaefolia, Amblica officianalis, lagerstroemia lanceolata, Terminalia tomentosa, Anogeisus latifolia, Terminalia chebula, Schleichera trijuga, Odina wodiar, Butea monosperma, Cassia fistula,Dendrcalamus strictus, Bambusa arundinacea,Chloroxylon swetenia, Acacia catechu, Shorea talura, Randia uliginosa.
Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Sloth bear, Mouse deer, Wild dog, Four horned Antelope.
Tiger, Four horned Antelope, Gaur, Elephant, Panther, Sloth bear, Crocodiles, Mouse deer, Python, Osprey, Pea fowl.
It is worth going all year round. However you may wish to avoid being there during monsoons due to heavy rains. This region is warm and comfortable for most part of the year with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 28°C. The brief winter lasts from October to January when the temperature falls to about 19°C. Monsoons are erratic, but it generally rains from June to September.