Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary also known as the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur
of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu. Rich in bio - diversity, the
sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the first
of the 14 biospheres in India. The sanctuary is spread over an area of
345 sq km.
Constituted in 1973, it is the second largest wildlife
sanctuary in the state. It also comes under the Project Elephant jurisdiction
in 1992 to protect wild elephant populations. One can find elephants roam
freely here. 15kms away from Sultan Battery, Wayanad sanctuary is rich
with fauna and flora and the convenience of getting food and water through
out the year is the main attraction of the sanctuary.
These forests also have a historical importance as it
was from here, Pazhassi Raja, the great freedom fighter, organized warfare
against British East India Company, in 1805. The highest peak is Karottimala
(1158m). Inside the sanctuary, there are 17 permanent anti poaching camps
and two watch towers (one is in the tourist zone and the other one is
located in the core area are out of bounds). Elephant rides and Jeep Safaris
with an authorized guide, arranged by the Forest Department are available
to explore the great wilds. For this, special permission from the Forest
Department is needed. Day visit only and no night time travel is permitted;
exceptions are by special permission. Inside the sanctuary, there is a
popular waterfall known as Chethalayam Waterfalls. Popular among the trekkking
enthusiasts, a 4 km trek across hills to this spot is really an enjoyable
Entrance Fee: Indians Rs 20, Children
Rs 10, Students Rs 10, Foreigners -Rs 100/- Guide fee : Rs 110/- Vehicle
entry fee : Rs 50-150; Camera : Rs 25, Video Camera Rs 150.
Sanctuary Entry Time : 7 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 5 pm.
The Flora in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary experiences typical
of the south Indian moist deciduous forests and West Coast semi evergreen
forests and plantations of teak, eucalyptus and Grewelia. More than half
of the sanctuary is boasted with teak and eucalyptus plantations. The
common flora to be found here includes Macranga peltata, Tectona grandis,
Terminalia sp, Pterocarpus marsupium, Anogeissus latifolia, Artocarpus
hirsute, Largerstroemia lanceolata, Adina cordifolia Cirmamum zeylanicum,
Dalbergia latifolia, Vateria indicaetc. Amidst such varied flora, Wayanad
Sanctuary has many rare herbs and medicinal plants.
The sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant and one can spot herd
of elephants roaming in the area. In addition to elephants it houses 45
species of Mammals, 203 sp. of Birds, 45 species of Reptiles, 30 species
of Amphibians and 59 species of Fishes are reported from the sanctuary.
The common mammals found in the sanctuary are Tiger, Leopard, Panther,
Jungle cat, Civet Cat, Monkey, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Common langur,
Wild Dog, Bison, Bear, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Common Otter, Deer
etc. Birds such as Peacock, Babbler, Cuckoo, Owl, Woodpecker, Jungle Fowl
etc are also found in plenty in Wayanad Sanctuary. Crocodiles, Snakes
like Garden Tree Snake, Coral Snake, Green Whip Snake, Pit vipers etc,
Termite hall Gecko, Chameleon, Flying lizard, Monitor lizard, Turtles
are some of the reptile inhabitants of this park. The sanctuary also
harbours commonest amphibians like Ornate microhylid, Ceylon kaliula,
bi-coloured frog, bronze frog and Malabar gliding frog etc.