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Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1973 is located in Wayanad district of Kerala. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous with the protected area networks of Karnataka’s Nagarhole and Bandipur on the north east and Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai on the southeast. Wayanad wildlife sanctuary comprises of four ranges: Sulthan bathery, Kurichyad, Muthanga, and Tholpetty, with the Muthanga and Tholpetty areas being the most popular among tourists visiting Wayanad.

Plantations divide these two areas. In the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, these two areas are eco-tourism centres. The administration prioritises scientific conservation while taking into account the way of life of tribal people and other residents of the forest. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a large number of pachyderms and has been designated as a Project Elephant site. You can see elephants wandering freely as well as the tigers can be spotted. Deer, monkeys, and birds of various species can also be found here. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a  plethora of birds, butterflies, and insects as well. A drive along the route to Muthanga offers you a lot of beautiful sights and even a chance to see the animals roaming around. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary with its beautiful green forest that provides appealing sights is capable of attracting tourists across the globe.

To add more fun to your trip, you may try an elephant ride, which is organised by the Forest Department. Being the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is comprised of tropical moist dry deciduous, evergreen forests, bamboo thickets, plantations and a wide variety of animals and birds. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a number of rare birds.

Peafowl is an example for this and it is abundant in the region. Some of the unique and vulnerable species of flora and animals may be found in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Deccan Plateau and the biodiversity consists mostly of south Indian moist deciduous teak forests. Visitors are only permitted within the tourist zone. It tells us about how well the sanctuary is conserved. The beautiful green forest provides unforgettable sights and positive emotions. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary delights photographers and wildlife enthusiasts due to its natural scenery and the animals it houses.

Fact files of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

District: Wayanad State: Kerala Country: India

Nearest town: Sultan Bathery, Mananthavady Established: 1973

Area: 344 km2

Perfect spot for: wildlife enthusiasts, wildlife photography, nature lovers

Activities in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

A lot of activities like trekking, walking, jeep and elephant safaris, spotting wild animals like bison, tiger, panther and bird watching and so on are available here. Wild elephants and Royal Bengal tigers are main attractions of the sanctuary.

You may also see some medicinal plants and rare plants. A walking trip inside the wildlife sanctuary is a great option. You must, however, ensure that your clothing is suitable for you to walk the entire 12 kilometres.

You can arrange for an elephant ride after getting the permission from the Wildlife authority. Besides the Asian pachyderms that roam freely in the forest, you can also view a lot of butterflies and other insects when walking through the area.

Bird watching is a popular activity here. A bird watching will help you to see the magnificent avian life that lives in this wildlife sanctuary. For bird lovers, it is recommended that you bring a pair of binoculars, a notepad and pen to record all of your observations and the names of each bird.

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary has a dedicated elephant camp that provides training for young elephants and tamed here before they become wild. Kumki is

the name given to these well-trained elephants. To understand how this works, you may go to this elephant training camp. You may observe the mahouts training their elephants to obey orders, to deal with timber, and making them not to become violent or attack if they by chance go out of the forest area.

Jeep Safari

The two-hour jeep safari organized by the forest department in the tourist zone of the forest is Wayanad’s most prominent ecotourism programme. You can enjoy the wilderness with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide and a driver. You would be surprised how quickly time passes as the jeep goes through the woodland route by offering breath-taking sights in each moment of the trip.

Herds of elephants and gaurs are commonly seen on your trip, whereas spotting big cats rarely happens. Jeep safaris are offered in the morning and evening, since the chance of seeing the animals is the highest during these hours of the day. For the safari, you must hire jeeps from the entrance.

Jungle Camps

Tourists visiting Muthanga can stay in the inspection bungalow or the Forest Wood House. Serambi, which translates to ‘veranda’ in Malayalam, is a two- story eco hut with a spacious room upstairs and one tiny room down, both with large verandas. A maximum of 4 people can be accommodated. In addition, the forest department manages a 188-bed dormitory.

Things to keep in mind

  • Before entering the Muthanga Range of the Wayanad Sanctuary’s main entrance, you will require a permit from forest officials.
  • Wear comfortable footwear and clothes. Prefer wearing dull colour clothes as to avoid scaring animals and birds.
  • Afternoon safaris may not be an ideal one due to hot atmosphere. In order to avoid sunburn, wear a scarf or hat or a safari cap. Sunscreen may be applied to protect your skin.
  • Carry drinking water.
  • Strong fragrances attract or upset animals, so avoid using perfumes, creams, or any other products with powerful scents. If you are worried about over sweating in the heat, use deodorants with mild fragrance.
  • The forest is a plastic free zone, therefore, plastics are prohibited.
  • Don’t bring pets here as they are not allowed inside the sanctuary.
  • A strict visiting guideline is followed here.
  • Visitors are not permitted to enter the inner tourist zone.
  • Carry a camera with you on your jeep trips to capture the finest shots.
  • If you are here with kids, make sure they know not to shout or speak loudly when they see an animal or a bird. When the animals are disturbed, spotting them becomes more difficult. Aside from that, people’ continuous noise scares the wild creatures. When there is no quietness, even bird watching becomes a challenge as birds are usually impatient.
  • Since insects and mosquitoes cannot be ignored in the woods, you should use mosquito repellent sprays or cream on exposed body areas before entering the forest.

Interesting facts about Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

  • The Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is Kerala’s second-largest wildlife sanctuary.
  • Tribal people live both outside and inside the sanctuary. Kerala’s Forest Department tries to strike a balance between protecting tribal communities and conserving wildlife.
  • Pazhassi Raja battled against British colonialists and the East India Company in this biodiversity hotspot in 1805, igniting India’s independence movement.
  • Inside the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, anti-poaching stations have been placed to prohibit any activities risking the life of animals.
  • Eucalyptus plants are found here in abundance.
  • You will be restricted to the sanctuary’s outer zone regardless of the biosphere tourism activity that you have chosen. Only forest authorities and wildlife researchers have access to the inner zone, which has a higher concentration of vegetation and species.
  • Some scheduled adivasis, such as the Paniyas, Kattunaikkans, Kurumas, Ooralis, Adiyans, and Kurichiyas, live in these forests.
  • Vultures such as the Red-headed and White-rumped Vultures, are endangered species which are seen in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. The number of vultures in the forest, as well as the number of vulture nests, has been steadily decreasing. The decrease is linked to the continued usage of a prohibited drug in this region. Visit as soon as possible to view these endangered vultures before they go extinct.
  • Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary has 45 species of mammals, 203 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, 59 species of fishes and 30 species of amphibians.

The best time to visit Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Winter season

The winter is pleasant, and all of the flowers blossom in this season. The weather is ideal for visiting the sanctuary, so plan a trip in winter season.


The monsoon season is highly humid, making the trip unpleasant. Visiting this location during the monsoon is not recommended. The visibility is poor, making it both inconvenient and fruitless to go out looking for wild animals.

Summer season

Summers are quite hot, and the area frequently experiences forest fires. However, this is an excellent time to visit because the animals are more active.

How to Reach Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary?

By air

Kozhikode International Airport or Calicut International Airport at a distance of approximately 125 kilometres from the sanctuary is the nearest airport. You can hire a cab or catch a bus from here to reach the destination.

By train

The nearest railway station is Kozhikode Railway Station around 110 km away. A cab is easily available from here to reach the destination.

By road

Sulthan Bathery, 14 kilometres away, is the major bus station near Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. Travelling to Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary in a car is the most convenient option.

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