Monday, July 15, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      Tiger Reserve      Tamil Nadu     Tirunelveli    

Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve




Tirunelveli District, Tamilnadu

Best season


September to March

Nearest Town


Ambasamudram (10 km)



Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger

Park timings


6am - 6 pm 

Write Comments | Read comments | Tour Packages

The Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve referred to as Mundanthurai is located at a distance of 47kms from Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The second largest protected area in the state, Kalakkad is declared as one of the world's 18 biodiversity hotspots. Though a tiger reserve, it also noted for chital, sambar and lion-tailed macaque.

Located amidst the picturesque and geographically rich surroundings of Western Ghats, Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary (251 km²) together with the Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary (567 km²) has been notified as the 17th Project Tiger Reserve in 1988. And in 1996, 77 km² of parts of Veerapuli and Kilamalai Reserve Forests of adjacent district Kanyakumari, were added to this reserve. The topography of Kalakad is rugged with numerous perennial hill streams originating from the rainforest areas on the upper slopes and they confluence to form the rivers of Tamirabarani, Manimuthar and Ramanadhi.

There are dams built across the Tamirabarani river and its tributaries which lie inside the Tiger Reserve namely Papanasam Dam (also known as Karaiyar Dam, Thamirabarani Dam), Manimuthar dam and Servalaru dam. Boating Facilities are available at Papanasam Dam, but swimming is strictly prohibited as it is populated with crocodiles. Major waterfalls inside the Reserve are Agasthiyar falls, Banatheerthum falls and Manimuthar falls. Agasthiyar falls is one of the beautiful tourist spot and it will take about 3 hour's trek to get there. Banatheertham is another famous waterfalls, where the song ‘Chinna-Chinna Aasai’ (‘Dil hai chhota sa’ in Hindi) from the movie 'Roja' was picturised. Lies above the Papanasam Dam, a 20-minute boat ride takes one from the dam across the lake and a 10 minute trek takes one to the magnificent waterfalls. Surrounded by dense forest, the boat ride offers a magnificent view of the hills.

The vegetation types ranges from forests of tropical West Coast Tropical Wet Ever Green forest to Tropical Dry Mixed Deciduous Forest and Thorn Forest makes it one of the richest biodiversity areas in the world. The reserve boasts flat land, rolling parkland, open grassland, swamps, valleys and Nullas.

Kalakad's common trees include Calophylum elatum, Hopea parviflora, Mallotus philippensis, Decussocarpus Wallichianus, Cullenia resaraona, Tectona grandis, Ficus spp., Syzygium sp., Cullenia exasillata, Cinnamum zeylancium, Macaranga roxburghii, Mesua ferrea, Hardwickia binata, Gluta travancorica, Eleogarpus tuberculatus, Canarium strictum, Artocarpus hirsuta, Myristica species, Vateria malabaraica, Eugenia, Vitex altimassima, Dysoxylim malabrium, Anacolosa densiflora, Phyllanthus emblica,Cullenia exelsa, Litsea species, Chloroxylon swietenia, Elaeodendron glacum, Mangifera indica, Alstonia scholaris, Podocarpus latifolia, Felicium decipiens, Dalbergia latifolia, Kingiodendron pinnatum, Terminalia spp., Wrightia tinctoria, Pterocarpus marsupium, Garcinia cambogia, Nogeissus latifolia, Careya arborea, Dalbergia paniculata, Albizia lebeck etc. 

The fauna includes around 150 endemic plants, 33 fish, 37 amphibian, 81 reptile, 273 bird and 77 mammal species. Elephant, Gaur, Bonnet, Macaque, Common langur, Tigers and Leopards, Chital, Dhole Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking deer, Four-Hourned- Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (mugger), giant flying squirrel, Sambhar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mangoose. A wide variety of reptile inhabitants including Pythons and Crocodiles. Besides, a wide range of birds can also be seen. The prominent ones are the Partridge, Great Indian Hornbill, Egrets, Ceylon mouth frog, Spur fowl, Quails, Dove, Bee caters, Grey headed bulbul, Night jars, Paradise flay catchers, Malabar Grey hornbill, Spotted babbler are some among them.

The reserve offers Birdwatching, boat rides and trekking in the jungles of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. Contact - Ph:0462-2552663.