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Mukurthi National Park: Beautiful Haven for Nilgiri Tahr in Ooty

Mukurthi National Park is a protected area located in the western corner of the Nilgiris Plateau in Tamil Nadu, India. It covers an area of 78.46 square kilometers and is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and the Western Ghats World Heritage Site. The park was established in 2001 with the primary objective of conserving its keystone species, the Nilgiri tahr, a rare and endangered mountain goat endemic to the Western Ghats. Famous tourist attraction in ooty, Visit during Ooty One day Tour By cab

Location of Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park is situated about 40 kilometers from Ooty, the nearest town and hill station. It lies on the south-eastern slopes of the Nilgiri Hills, at an altitude ranging from 1,200 meters to 2,629 meters above sea level. The park is bounded by the Silent Valley National Park in Kerala on the south, the Mudumalai National Park on the north and the Nilambur South Forest Division in Kerala on the west.

Timing / Entry Fees Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm on all days except Tuesdays. The entry fee is Rs. 15 per person for Indians and Rs. 250 per person for foreigners. The camera fee is Rs. 25 for still camera and Rs. 150 for video camera. The vehicle fee is Rs. 50 for car/van and Rs. 15 for motor cycle.

How to Reach Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park can be reached by road from Ooty or Coimbatore. You can take a bus, taxi or auto-rickshaw to reach the park entrance at Avalanche Check Post, about 25 kilometers from Ooty. You can also hire a private vehicle or a bike for more convenience. From there, you will have to trek for about 3 kilometers to reach the park office at Bangitappal, where you can get a guide and a permit to enter the park.

Things to Do / Must See Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park offers various things to do and see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. You can enjoy trekking, camping, bird watching, photography, etc. at the park. You can also visit the nearby attractions such as Mukurthi Peak, Mukurthi Lake, Pykara Lake, Pykara Falls, etc.

  • Trekking: Trekking is one of the main activities at the park. You can trek along various trails that lead to different parts of the park such as Western Catchment Area, Upper Bhavani Area, Avalanche Area, etc. You can also trek to Mukurthi Peak, which is the highest point in the park and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
  • Camping: Camping is another activity that you can enjoy at the park. You can camp at designated sites such as Bangitappal, Avalanche Forest Rest House, Upper Bhavani Forest Rest House, etc. You will have to carry your own tents, sleeping bags, food and water.
  • Bird Watching: Bird watching is another activity that you can enjoy at the park. You can spot various birds such as Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri flycatcher, Nilgiri wood pigeon, black-and-orange flycatcher, grey-headed canary-flycatcher, etc.
  • Photography: Photography is another activity that you can enjoy at the park. You can capture the scenic beauty of the park and its wildlife such as Nilgiri tahr, sambar deer, barking deer, Indian gaur, Asian elephant, tiger, leopard, etc.
  • Mukurthi Peak: Mukurthi Peak is one of the must see attractions at the park. It is located at an altitude of 2,629 meters above sea level and is one of the highest peaks in South India. It offers a splendid view of the Nilgiri Hills and valleys.
  • Mukurthi Lake: Mukurthi Lake is another attraction at the park. It is an artificial lake created by damming a stream that originates from Mukurthi Peak. It is a popular destination for fishing and boating.
  • Pykara Lake: Pykara Lake is another attraction near the park. It is a natural lake formed by the backwaters of Pykara Dam. It is a popular destination for boating, fishing and photography.
  • Pykara Falls: Pykara Falls is another attraction near the park. It is a majestic waterfall formed by the Pykara River on downstream of the Pykara Dam. It offers a spectacular view of the water flow and the surrounding landscape.

Significance of Mukurthi National Park

Mukurthi National Park is a place of ecological and cultural significance. It is one of the last remaining habitats of the Nilgiri tahr, which is the state animal of Tamil Nadu and a flagship species of the Western Ghats. The park is also home to many other endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna, such as shola grasslands, rhododendrons, orchids, etc. The park is also a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which is India’s first International Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is also a source of water for many rivers and reservoirs in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

FAQ’s

Q: What is the best time to visit Mukurthi National Park?

A: The best time to visit Mukurthi National Park is from February to May and from September to November when the weather is pleasant and clear. You can also visit during the monsoon season from June to August when the park becomes more green and misty.

Q: What are the facilities available at Mukurthi National Park?

A: There are basic facilities available at Mukurthi National Park such as parking, toilets, drinking water, etc. There are also some forest rest houses and trekkers sheds that provide accommodation for visitors. You will have to book them in advance from the park office or the forest department.

Q: What are some tips for visiting Mukurthi National Park?

A: Some tips for visiting Mukurthi National Park are:
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes as you will have to trek to reach the park.
Carry water, snacks and a camera to capture the views.
Be careful while trekking or camping as the park is located in a high altitude area with near-freezing temperatures and high winds.
Do not litter or feed the animals at the park.
Respect the local culture and environment.

Conclusion

Mukurthi National Park is a haven for Nilgiri tahr in Ooty that offers a variety of activities and attractions for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. It is a place of ecological and cultural significance that attracts many tourists and researchers. It is a perfect place for a trekking, camping or a photography session. If you are looking for a refreshing and relaxing getaway in Ooty, Mukurthi National Park is a must-visit destination.

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