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About The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve


The Madras High Court recently directed the Central government to release funds to relocate all 495 residents of the Thengumarahada village in Tamil Nadu (TN), as the village falls within the protected area of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

  • Situated in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu, the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve spans 321 sq. km.
  • It occupies a unique location at the confluence of three states: Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Nestled on the Northeastern and Northwestern slopes of Nilgiri hills, it is a significant part of the Western Ghats.
  • It is an integral component of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, the first of its kind in India.
  • Adjacent to Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the West, Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) in the North, and sharing boundaries with Nilgiris North Division and Gudalur Forest Division in the South and South West.


  • The landscape features undulating terrain, with elevations varying from 960m to 1266m.


  • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve encompasses diverse habitats, including tropical evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, moist teak forests, dry teak forests, secondary grasslands, and swamps.


  • The reserve is characterized by the presence of tall grasses, commonly known as “Elephant Grass,” along with towering bamboo varieties and valuable timber species such as Teak and Rosewood.
  • Notably, the reserve is home to wild relatives of cultivated plants like wild rice, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon.


  • The wildlife at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is rich and varied, including majestic creatures like Tigers, Elephants, Indian Gaurs, Panthers, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Common Langurs, Malabar Giant Squirrels, and Mongooses, among others.
  • The reserve’s fauna diversity is a testament to the vitality of the ecosystem.
Film Connection:
  • The reserve gained global attention due to the Oscar-winning documentary “Elephant Whisperers,” which was filmed within its premises at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp.
  • This camp serves as a focal point for various conservation efforts and interactions with elephants.
  • Historical Significance:
  • The name “Mudumalai” translates to “the ancient hill range,” underscoring its geological antiquity dating back around 65 million years when the Western Ghats took shape.

-Source: The Hindu


April 2024