Monday, 20 August 2012

Mukurthi National Park Nilgiris District Tamil Nadu

Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is a 78.46 km² protected area located in the western corner of the Nilgiris Plateau west of Ootacamund hill station in the northwest corner of Tamil Nadu state in the Western Ghats mountain range of South India. The park was created to protect its Keystone species, the Nilgiri Tahr.The park is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India's first International Biosphere Reserve. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000+ km²), including all of Mukurthi National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.The park is characterized by Montane grasslands and shrublands interspersed with sholas in a high altitude area of high rainfall, near-freezing temperatures and high winds. It is home to an array of endangered wildlife, including Royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant, but its main mammal attraction is the Nilgiri Thar  The park was previously known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park.
Mukurthi National Park Nilgiris District Tamil Nadu
Mukurthi  National park  fauna   includes  Indian elephant, Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Marten, Nilgiri langur and Bonhote's Mouse.  Leopard, Bonnet macaque, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse Deer, Otter, Jungle cat, Small Indian Civet, Wild dog, Jackal, Black-naped Hare, Shrew, Malabar Spiny Dormouse and Soft-furred Rat.
Avifauna consists mostly of hill birds including the threatened Laughingthrush, Whistling Thrush, Woodcock, Wood Pigeon, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Grey Headed Flycatcher Black Bulbul, White-eye, Nilgiri Pipit. The predatory Black-winged Kite, Kestrel and Black Eagle may be seen in the grasslands.

There are three main types of forest in Mukurthi National Park sanctuary Syzygium calophyllifolium, Daphiphyllum neilgherrense, Cinnamomum wightii, Vaccinium leschenaulti, Mahonia leschenaulti, Litsea sp., Lasianthes sp., Psychotria sp. and Michelia nilagirica.The Orchids Eria abliflora, Oberonia santapaui, Aerides ringens, Aerides crispa and Coelogyne odoratissima are found on the high west edge of the park. Among the grasslands are a plethora of Brachycorithis iantha, Satyrium nepalense, Habenaria cephalotes, Seidenfia densiflora, Spiranthes sinensis and Liparis atropurpurea

Location -Mukurthi  National park  is located in the high altitudes of the Nilgiris Mountains. The landscape is extremely picturesque. This forms part of the Nilgiris biosphere reserve.  From Udhagamandalam there are four different entry points to reach this sanctuary.
Nearest airport - Coimbatore – 140 kms.
Nearest Railway station Udhagamandalam – 45kms.
Best season - February to May, September to November
Accommodation - Forest Rest House at Avalanche, Pykara and trekking sheds.
Other facilities  - Mainly for the tourist interested in adventure, trek routes have been formed for trekking and camping.  

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