Pack your bag to KMTR this X’mas holidays
Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), located in the Southern Western Ghats in Tirunelveli District and Kanyakumari District in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the second-largest protected area in Tamil Nadu State.
The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve was created in 1988 by combining Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 km) and Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 km), both established in 1962. Notification of 77 km of parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests in adjacent Kanyakumari district, added to the reserve in April 1996, is pending. A 400 km2 core area of this reserve has been proposed as a national park.
Other than tigers, the Reserve is home to a wide variety of animals and plants. The fauna includes around 150 endemic plants, 33 fish, 37 amphibian, 81 reptile, 273 bird and 77 mammal species. One can spot Elephant, Gaur, Bonnet, Macaque, Common languor, Leopards, Chital, Dhole Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking deer, Four-Horned- Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (mugger), giant flying squirrel, Sambar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mongoose.
There are 24 identified nature trails which are spread over the reserve. It gives a thrilling experience to trekkers. Visitors can also go for night safari with a prior permission from the forest officials. A number of dams and water falls are in and around the premises of the tiger reserve, which will make the tourists spellbound.
Major waterfalls inside the Reserve are Agasthiyar falls, Banatheerthum falls and Manimuthar falls. Forest Department have identified trekking routes and provides guided trekking through the Tiger Reserve for which one needs to contact in advance (Ph:0462-2552663).
The reserve can be reached by roads from Thirukarangudi, Kalakad, Papanasam and Sivasailam which are 50 to 55 KM away from the District Headquarters Tirunelveli. The nearest airports are Trivandrum Airport (200 km from Mundanthurai and 140 KM from Kalakad) and Madurai Airport (200 KM from Mundanthurai and 210 KM from Kalakad)
Nearest railway stations are – Cheranmahadevi – 20 Kms and Ambasamudram – 15 Kms
Approach by road: Ambasamudram to Mundanthurai – 17 kms.
Best time to visit: December to March
Accommodation facilities: Mundanthurai, Kalakad (Sengaltheri) and Kuthiravotti. A Guest house is also available for tourists.