Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary - Muthanga
#8 of 33 Places to Visit in Wayanad
Distance (From Wayanad): 38 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day
Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / + Walk/Trek
Travel Tips: 1. Sulthan Bathery is considered as the headquarters of Lower Wayanad WLS.
2. Animal sighting is best in the early morning safari.
3. Jeep safari arranged by Forest dept is the only way to explore the sanctuary.
At a distance of 14 km from Sulthan Bathery and 39 km from Kalpetta, Muthunga Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, is a sanctuary and Elephant Reserve in the Wayanad district of Kerala. It is one of the top places of wildlife in Kerala, and among the best places to visit in Wayanad.
Established in 1973, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. The sanctuary is bordered with Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur WLS in Karnataka and Mudumalai WLS in Tamilnadu. Occupying an area of 345 sq. km, Wayanad WLS is the second-largest WLS in Kerala and is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The sanctuary was set up to conserve the biological heritage of the region with due consideration to the general lifestyle of tribes and others whose lives are dependent on the forest. The Western Ghats, Nilgiri sub-cluster, including all of the sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
The sanctuary is divided into two separate parts, known as Upper Wayanad WLS and Lower Wayanad WLS. Lower Wayanad WLS at Muthanga is known as Muthanga Wildlife Range. The Reserve is home to a small population of tigers, Elephants, Jungle Cats, Panthers, Civet Cats, Monkeys, Wild dogs, Deers, Spotted Bears, Bison, Gaurs, Cheetah, Wild Bears, Peacock, Owls, Jungle fowls, Woodpeckers, Babblers, Cuckoos. The Sanctuary is covered with moist deciduous teak forests and semi-evergreen tree pastures. The floral variety of the park range from Teak, Bamboo, Maruthu, Karimarithi, Rosewood, Venteak, Vengal, Chadachi, Mazukanjirarn to Veteria indica, Lagerstroemia, Lanceolta, Terminalia Paniculata.
Entry to the sanctuary is only permitted as part of a jeep safari, among the must-to-do things during Wayanad tour. The forest department has arranged a one-hour jeep safari into the sanctuary from the entrance at Muthanga. This is an excellent option to remain safe as well as increase the chances of animal sighting. The tickets for Safari are issued at the Forest office situated on the main road. There is no advance booking for safari and the tickets are issued on a first come first serve basis. Ensure you reach the booking counter at least 30 minutes in advance.
The safaris are arranged in the morning and evening and only a limited number of approved jeeps are allowed into the park. Only 40 jeeps in the morning and 20 jeeps in the evening are allowed for safari. After taking the entry fee for the sanctuary, the jeep cost has to be paid outside while starting the safari. The jeeps run through a fixed trail in the forest and exit into the main road at different points. Elephants, Deers, Sambar, Mongoose & Peacocks are common wildlife spotted in the sanctuary while rare animals like Tiger are frequently sighted in the early morning safari.
The forest department maintains rest houses in the vicinity of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Sulthan Bathery is considered as the base for Muthanga Sanctuary and several accommodation options are available here.
The best time to visit the Sanctuary is from March to May.
Entry Fee: Rs. 110 for Adults, Rs. 40 for Children, Rs.300 for Foreigners, Rs. 38 for Camera & Rs. 225 for Video Cam,
Jeep Cost (1 hour): Rs. 600 for a maximum of 7 persons.
Safari Timings: 7 AM - 10 AM (40 Jeeps) and 3 PM - 5 PM (20 Jeeps)