MUDUMALAI NATIONAL PARK – The awe-inspiring setting of the OSCAR-Winning Indian Documentary “THE ELEPHANT WHISPERERS” That Warrant a Visit
Tourists and wildlife lovers are making a beeline to Tamilnadu’s Mudumalai to catch a glimpse of the two baby elephants that won many a heart through the Oscar-winning short documentary, ‘The Elephant Whisperers’. This Tamil-language Indian documentary film by Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga has become the maiden Indian production to win the Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category, at the 95th Academy Award.
The documentary, ‘The Elephant Whisperers‘ showcases the real-life heart-warming story of an indigenous couple Bomman and Belli, and their inseparable bond between two abandoned elephant calves, Raghu and Ammu. Filmed in the century-old Theppakadu Elephant Camp at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, in the Nilgiri district of Tamilnadu, it highlights the true beauty of the sanctuary and the importance of environment and elephant conservation. Also, it brings our attention to the harmony with which the tribal people live amidst nature.
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If the adorable elephants and the beautiful park have touched your heart too, don’t think twice to plan a visit. Here’s the complete guide about Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary before you go!
Where is Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary?
Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Nilgiri district, bordering Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. It is one of the first forest ranges in India to be declared as a National Park. One of the most critical ecological systems in India, it is flanked by Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Nagarahole National Park, and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, and falls under the greater Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Famous for its tiger population, Mudumalai National Park is also declared a Tiger Reserve in 2007.
What makes Mudumalai national park special?
Mudumalai National Park offers the largest contiguous wild habitat for Asian elephants in the world.
Where Can We Meet The Elephant Whisperers’ Raghu And Ammu?
The elephant calves, Raghu and Ammu, whose story has been narrated in the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Elephant Whisperers‘ have now become the stars of the Mudumalai Wildlife Reserve as well as the country as a whole. They are housed at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp located deep inside the Mudumalai National Park.
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Situated on the banks of the Moyar River, Theppakadu Elephant Camp is the oldest elephant camp in Asia. It was established as an elephant rehabilitation camp in 1927 to rehabilitate orphaned, injured, and displaced pachyderms.
Besides the 2 calves, Theppakadu Elephant Camp presently houses 28 elephants who were captured while they were wild tuskers creating problems for local villagers. These jumbos are tamed and trained at this camp to become “kumki” elephants that aid in the capture of wild elephants.
Visitors can spend a good amount of time with gentle tuskers here, interacting with them, bathing them, feeding them, etc. You can visit Theppakadu Elephant Camp between 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM in the morning and 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM in the evening. The entry fee is INR 25 per person.
Beyond Elephants and Tigers, What to Spot in Mudumalai national park?
Mudumalai National Park is a wildlife haven. Besides the Indian elephant and Royal Bengal Tiger, the Park provides an ideal home to several endangered and vulnerable species like Indian Leopard, Indian Giant Squirrel, Flying Lizard, Sloth Bear, Panthers, Gaur, and Deer to name a few. With about 50 species of fishes, 21 species of amphibians, 34 species of reptiles, and 55 species of mammals, there is a high diversity of animal life in Mudumalai National Park.
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Mudumalai National Park, which is home to more than 260 bird species, or 8% of all bird species found in India, is nothing short of a birdwatcher’s paradise. Here you can catch a glimpse of rare birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Laughing Thrush, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Frog Mouths, Peacock, Jungle Fowl, Blue-Faced Malkoha, Malabar Lark, White-Cheeked Barbet, Grey-Headed and White-Browed bulbuls, Yellow-Billed Babbler, Indian Nuthatch, Nilgiri Flowerpecker and a variety of Woodpeckers, including critically endangered Indian White-rumped Vulture and long-billed vulture.
What are the popular activities to do at Mudumalai National Park?
- Jeep Safari/Bus Safari
- Bird watching
- Elephant camp Visit
- Tree house stay
- Trekking in the Mudumalai forest
- Visit nearby waterfalls
- Village tour
- Swimming in the natural pool
What is the best time to visit Mudumalai National Park?
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Mudumalai National Park is a great all-year-round destination. But October to May is regarded as the best time to visit the Park as the climate remains pleasant and offers ample chances to spot animals in the wild.
Timings of Mudumalai National Park?
Mudumalai National Park is open from 7 AM to 10 AM in the mornings and 3 PM to 6 PM in the evenings, on all days of the week.
How much is the entry fee to visit Mudumalai National Park?
- Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Entry Fee – INR 30 per person.
- For Still Camera – INR 53.
- For Video Camera – INR 315.
- For Bus Safari – INR 340 per person.
- For Jeep Safari – INR 4200 per trip.
- Elephant Safari has not resumed.
*Prices are mentioned here as per the 2023 update
How To Reach Mudumalai National Park?
- By Air:
Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest airport to Mudumalai National Park which is situated at a distance of 160 Km.
- By Rail:
Ooty/Udagamandalam Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Mudumalai National Park which is situated at a distance of around 55 Km. Coimbatore Railway Junction is also one of the major railway stations to reach the Mudumalai National Park which is well-connected to all major cities and states in the country. It takes around 141 km which is approximately 5 hours to reach the Mudumalai from the Coimbatore railway junction.
- By Road:
Mudumalai National Park is well-connected to major cities of the country via road. It is accessible via the NH – 67 which is 3 Km from Gudalur, 39 Km from Ooty, and 100 Km from Mysore. You can hire a bus or taxi to reach the park.
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Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is an exceptionally beautiful and captivating place for those who appreciate nature and wildlife. Visit Mudumalai to catch a glimpse of India’s priceless wildlife and unparalleled natural beauty along with the Oscar superstars Raghu and Ammu.
Book a trip to Tamilnadu with Tamilnadu Tourism and make sure you add Mudumalai to your travel bucket list to enjoy your summer holidays happily with your friends and family!
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