Wynd Valley


Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary presents a unique wilderness experience to anyone who would like to spend a day in nature’s lap amidst thick forests and exuberant wildlife.

Map of India: Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad wildlife park is famous for its tigers and leopards. A medley of deciduous and evergreen forests form a thick canopy through which sunlight seeps in to form amazing streaks. It makes for a beautiful sight on a bright sunny day. Several species of birds are also found in this region and it’s a real visual treat for any avid bird watcher. Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to the protected forest areas of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. The sanctuary is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and houses rare species of animals and birds. It’s an undisturbed environment that is rich in bio-diversity.

History of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:The term Wayanad literally means 'land of swamps'. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1973 and was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. It is the second largest sanctuary in Kerala with a total area of 345 sq. km. The Upper Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Tholpetty) in the north and Lower Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Muthanga) in the south are separated by plantations. Tribals who live in harmony with the environment are still found in this region. The bio-diversity of the region is religiously conserved and the efforts have paid off…we now have a beautiful, undisturbed biosphere that is far removed from the crowded towns of South India.

Special attractions in and around Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:

Flora: Flora in Wayanad include deciduous forests in the lower regions and evergreen forests in the higher altitudes. Teak trees are aplenty and you will also find marshes and bamboo stems all over the place.Fauna: Tigers, panthers, jungle cats, monkeys, leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, jackals, elephants, gaurs, sambar deers and wild boars can be spotted in this sanctuary.Birds: Birds spotted here include peacocks, babblers, cuckoos, owls, woodpeckers and jungle fowls.Jeep Safaris: Jeep safaris are organized in the sanctuary. It’s a great ride into the jungle and also a great way to spot wild animals and birds. It is compulsory to take a Guide from the Forest Department for the jeep ride. Permission from the Forest Department is required for this safari.

Best Time to Visit Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: June - October

Location of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:State: KeralaDistrict: Northern part of the sanctuary is a part of Cannanore District; Southern part is a part of Calicut district Distance from Calicut- 98 km, Kasargod- 216 Km, Trivandrum- 502 Km and Cochin- 286 Km.

How to reach Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Nearest airport: Calicut AirportNearest railway station: Kozhikode Railway StationDirections by road from nearby cities: Well-connected to Mysore, Coorg, Bandipur, Nagarhole, and Ooty by regular buses.

Contact Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala

Park View, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India - 695 033

Phone: +91-471-2321132Fax: +91-471-2322279

Tourist Information toll free No:1-800-425-4747

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Climatic Conditions:Maximum Temperature: 35°C Minimum Temperature: 13°C Rainfall around: 4500 mm

Clothing: Cottons around the year; rainwear during monsoons

Tourist places near Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary: Kalpetta, Chembra Peak, Edakkal Caves, Kottamunda

Wayanad has 26% forest cover, far greater than any other district in Kerala. Wayanad is home to two major wildlife reserves: Muthanga and Tholpetty. Taken together, these two sanctuaries are home to an incredible range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species. As part of the Western Ghats, they constitute an important swathe of the last surviving tracts of a unique ecosystem. For wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers Wayanad’s wildlife sanctuaries are must visit destinations!

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary
Wayanad - Wildlife

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary - Tholpetty

Tholpetty reserve is situated along the northern ridge of the district bordering Coorg in Karnataka. In terms of flora and fauna, Tholpetty is much similar to Muthanga.

Animal Spotting Tips
Wayanad - Wildlife
  • Wild animals have their distinct daily and seasonal patterns of activities. a baisc knowledge of these patterns increases one's chances of seeing them. The frequency of wildlife sightings in national parks and reserves varies, depending on the time of year.In India the best times are from February to May,during these months the trees are often bare, so visibility is considerably improved. Since there is also a general scarcity of water, the animals concentrate near sources of water.
  • Organize your Wildlife safari early in the mornings and late in afternoons. In the winter, afternoon safaris are better as there is often a thick mist in the morning.
  • While Playing and feeding,Animals are most conspicuous and most likely to spot.
  • One should avoid wearing bright colors that make you conspicuous. Jungle-green, kakhi, beige, camouflage are preferred for tropical and sub-tropical environments, but in the Himalayas, where snow is present, light neutral colours may be most suitable.
  • Animals are very wary of the human voice. So, in order to get close to them, absolute silence is essential.
  • Wild Animals living in closed environments have an exceptional sense of smell and will detect and avoid human scent. While Stalking animals, it is therefore important to stay downwind of them or you will give your presence away sooner than you think, especially if there is a gentle breeze. For the same reason avoid wearing perfumes and, if using insect repellant, choose the kind that smells the least.
Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
Wayanad - Wildlife

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary - Muthanga

Established in 1973, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka on the northeast and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu on the southeast. Rich in bio diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve , which has been established with the specific objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. The sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. The management lays emphasis on scientific conservation with due consideration for the general lifestyle of the tribals and others who live in and around the forest. Elephant, spotted deer. Bison, tiger, cheetah, wild bear etc. can be spotted here. Elephant rides are arranged by the Forest department.

Spread over avast area Muthanga is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Region. Located 18 kms East of Sultan Bathery, it is a rain forest reserve connected to two other major sanctuaries: Bandipur National Park (103kms.) in Karnataka and Mudumalai Sanctuary (123kms.) in Tamil Nadu.

The vegetation is predominantly moist deciduous forest with smaller stretches of swamps, teak forests, bamboo and tall grass. With such profuse and varied flora, this region hosts several rare herbs and medicinal plants.

With numerous watering holes, Muthanga has a large population of pachyderms,and has been declared a Project Elephant site.

Other animals species include Leopards, Gaur, Sambar, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Hanuman Langur and Slender Loris. The reserve is also home to a small population of Tigers. In addition, there is also a bewildering variety of birds, butterflies and insects.


Kalpetta: 42kms. Sultan Bathery: 17kms

Permitting authority:

Wildlife Warden, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Sulthan Bathery. Tel +91 (0)4936 220454

Near by Wildlife Sanctuary:

Begur Wildlife Sanctuary:

This sanctuary is home to many exotic species of fauna.

20 km east or Mananthavady.

Several species of animals like elephant , bison, spotted deer, tiger, leopard, bear and wild boar are found in this sanctuary , which is just 100 kms from Vythiri. The best season to visit is Dec-to May, when animals from the neighbouring Bandhipur, Nagarhole and Mudamalai frequent this sanctuary due to scarcity of water elsewhere. Day trips are organized from various resorts in Wayanad.

Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve:

Situated in Karnataka , this famous wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve is also easily accessible from Malabar and is en route to Ooty.

Mudumalai Elephant Park:

Tamil Nadu's most well-known wild life sanctuary is within easy reach and is just 130 kms from Vythiri.

Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary:

Situated in Karnataka, this wildlife sanctuary is some 40 kms from Mananthavady in Wayanad. Jeeps and trucks regularly transport visitors to this location.

This sanctuary in Karnataka state extends over 643.39 sq.km. The park houses diverse species of plant and animal life. Visiting time:0600-0800 hrs and 1500-1730 hrs.

Wildlife Spotting
Wayanad - Wildlife


In the wild, elephant herds follow well-defined seasonal migration routes. These are made around the monsoon seasons, often between the wet and dry zones, and it is the task of the eldest elephant to remember and follow the traditional migration routes. When human farms are founded along these old routes there is often considerable damage done to crops, and it is common for elephants to be killed in the ensuing conflicts. The adult Asian Elephant has no natural predators, but young elephants may fall prey to tigers.

Elephants life spans have been exaggerated in the past and live on average for 60 years in the wild and 80 in captivity They eat 10% of their body weight each day, which for adults is between 170-200 kilograms of food per day. They need 80–200 litres of water a day, and use more for bathing. They sometimes scrape the soil for minerals.

Elephants use infrasound to communicate; this was first noted by the Indian naturalist M. Krishnan and later studied by Katherine Payne.

Wild Gaur

The gaur ( Bos gaurus) is the largest of the wild cattle found in India. It is an impressive animal standing 64 to 72 inches in its stockings. The gaur reaches a length of 11 to 12 feet, which includes about 3 feet of tail. Bull can weigh upto 800 kilos.

The adult gaur bull is shiny black in colour has white stockings, a grey boss between its horns and is rusty coloured on the insides of its thighs and forelegs. A dorsal ridge terminates near the middle of its back. A large dewlap that drops down between the forelegs along with a smaller one below the chin gives the gaur bull a most impressive profile.

Young bulls and cows are dark brown. Cows have smaller dorsal ridges and their dewlaps are not prominent. Young calves are light brown in colour and lack the characteristic white stockings which appear after approximately three months.

Chital (spoted deer)

The chital ( Axis axis ) commonly called spotted deer is considered along with the Hog deer to be among the most primitive of the true cervids. Being present during the Pliocene and Pleistocene in both Europe and Asia.

The chital is a medium sized deer standing 35 to 38 inches at the shoulder. It has a rufous brown coat with white spots from which it gets its common name. There is a dark stripe that runs down the back from the nape to the tip of the tail. The abdomen, rump, throat, and the insides of the tail, legs and ears are white. A black band circles the muzzle.

The chital is widely distributed in the moist and dry deciduous forests of India. There are four factors that govern its distribution. They are its need for water, shade, its tendency to avoid rugged terrain and its preference for grass as forage. Chital need to drink at least once daily and hence its absence from semi- desert habitat. Its absence from evergreen forests can be explained due to the lack of grass under the canopy of primary forests. Chital infact prefer secondary forests or open forests broken by glades with a good understory of grasses and tender shoots. They tend to avoid the interior of extensive tall forests.

Sambar Deer

The Sambar ( Cervus unicolour ) is the largest deer found in our forests. It is in fact the largest deer in the whole of South- East Asia. It is a handsome animal standing 48 to 56 inches at the shoulder. It reaches a length of 6 to 7 feet and posses a 12-inch tail. It has a winter coat ranging from grey brown to dark brown and sometimes almost black in colour. The winter coat molts into a summer coat of brown to chestnut brown. Its rump, the underside of its tail and the inner side of its legs are light to rusty brown in colour. The tip of its tail is black and the base and back of its ears are whitish. It has an unkept ruff of hair around its neck. The sambar starts acyiring its winter coat sometime in October and is in full possession of it by December. The molt into its summer coat is completed by May.

Barking Deer

The Common Muntjac, also called Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) is the most numerous muntjac deer species. It has soft, short, brownish or greyish hair, sometimes with creamy markings. This species is omnivorous, feeding on fruits, shoots, seeds, birds' eggs as well as small animals and even carrion. It gives calls similar to barking, usually on sensing a predator (hence the common name for all muntjacs of barking deer).

Hanuman Langur

The Hanuman Langur (Semnopitheaus entellus) is adapted to eating tough food which others find indigestible. They can even eat seeds with high levels of the toxins like strychnine (Strychnos nox-vomica) and distasteful vegetation avoided by other creatures. They feed mainly on leaves and other vegetation but also search the ground for fallen fruit and nuts. They also snack on insects, fungi and tree gum. They may even eat soil or stones, probably for minerals to help detoxify their food. They are thus found in a wide range of habitats from the plains to forests.

With long strong limbs, the Hanuman Langur runs fast on the ground on all fours, and climbs well and is agile among trees, its long thin tail providing balance. Their horizontal leaps average 3-5m but can reach up to 13m with some loss of height. But it is more nervous on the ground, and will flee to the trees when in danger. They usually only move on the ground when trees are scarce. They forage during the morning and late afternoon. The troop returns to the same sleeping tree every night. They sleep at the ends of branches, where it's hard for a large predator to get at them. Sometimes, they sleep in caves.

Nilgiri langur

Nilgiri Langur (Presbytis johni) is a glossy black monkey with a yellowish brown head. It has a long tail and is similar in size to the common Langur. It is commonly found in the Nilgiri hills of the Western Ghats and also in Kodagu District in Karnataka, Palani hills in Tamil Nadu and Anamalai, Brahmagiri and Cardamom hills in Kerala. The group size ranges from 3 to 25 individuals. The Nilgiri Langur is exclusively vegetarian, and its diet is composed mainly of mature leaves, but it also eats young leaves and fruit. At present there is a decline in the number of these animals, because of the destruction of Shola forests and due to a number of other human activities.

Wild Boars

Wild boars live in groups called sounders. Sounders typically contain around 20 animals, but groups of over 50 have been seen. In a typical sounder there are two or three sows and their offspring; adult males are not part of the sounder outside of a breeding cycle, two to three per year, and are usually found alone. Birth, called farrowing, usually occurs in a secluded area away from the sounder; a litter will typically contain 8–12 piglets.

surprised or cornered, a boar (and particularly a sow with her piglets) can and will defend itself and its young with intense vigor. The male lowers its head, charges, and then slashes upward with his tusks. The female, whose tusks are not visible, charges with her head up, mouth wide, and bites. Such attacks are not often fatal to humans, but may result in severe trauma, dismemberment, or blood loss.

Malabar Giant Squirrel

The Indian giant squirrel, Ratufa indica, is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia. Also called the Malabar giant squirrel, the species is endemic to deciduous, mixed deciduous, and moist evergreen forests of peninsular India.

The Indian giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires "tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests. It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m (19.69 ft). When in danger, the Ratufa indica often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing.Its main predators are the birds of prey and the leopard.


The porcupine is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means "quill pig." There are about two dozen porcupine species, and all boast a coat of needle-like quills to give predators a sharp reminder that this animal is no easy meal. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot (30 centimeters) long.

Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched.


The tiger (Panthera tigris) is a member of the Felidae family; the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera Native to much of eastern and southern Asia, the tiger is an apex predator and an obligate carnivore. Reaching up to 4 metres (13 ft) in total length and weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds), the larger tiger subspecies are comparable in size to the biggest extinct felids.Aside from their great bulk and power, their most recognizable feature is the pattern of dark vertical stripes that overlays near-white to reddish-orange fur, with lighter underparts.


The leopard( Panthera pardus) is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera; the other three being the tiger, lion and jaguar. Due to the loss of range and declines in population, it is graded as a "Near Threatened" species. Its numbers are greater than other Panthera species, all of which face more acute conservation concerns




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