Mukurthi National Park Ooty Entry Fee
15 per person for Adults
10 per person for Children (Age 5 to 12 years)
2 per person for Students
25 for Still Camera
150 for Video Camera
*No entry fee for children below 5 yrs of age
Mukurthi National Park Ooty Phone
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Mukurthi National Park Ooty Address: Pykara, O' Valley, Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu, 643237, India
Bordered by Mudumalai National Park and Silent Valley National Park, the Mukurthi National Park is one of the best trekking places in Ooty. The park is part of the Nilgiri Bio Reserve which is India’s first Bio Reserve. The vegetation, climate and appearance of the Park bear a striking resemblance to that of the Himalayas minus the snow.
Montane grasslands and shrublands on a high altitude, strong winds, low temperature and sholas scattered around – that’s what the forest is like. There are many rivers and streams running through the park and they are often frequented by the different species of fauna that inhabits the jungle.
There are also a few watch towers built by the Forest Department exclusively for researchers and bird watchers. The vegetation mainly consists of rhododendron, raspberries and black berries, otherwise seen commonly in the Himalayas. Intermittently you find fields of lush green grass in the valleys.
Being a part of the Western Ghats, the jungle is heavy with a wide range of animals, birds, reptiles and even insects. The most common among them are the Barking deer, Indian Elephant, the jungle cat, wild dogs, panther, Indian leopard, the Jackal, the list is endless.
Among the birds, you find eagles, vultures many exotic parrots and also migratory birds. The Mukurthi Park is famous for the Nilgiri Tahr, which is supposedly found only in the forests of these regions. Having said all this it is more than clear that the place is a paradise for true lovers of nature.
This wildlife sanctuary is also home to Mukurthi Peak, the fourth highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills. And at an altitude of 2,554m (8,379ft), the peak attracts many trekkers to visit these forests. But to trek your way up or to walk down the trails in the Mukurthi National Park, permission is required from the forest department.
With a considerable population of tigers and leopards, there is heavy poaching going on in these areas. Governments of all the bordering states are taking several measures to contain this menace and to a large extent, though occasionally we hear news of carcasses of elephants and tigers in the areas. If this is not stopped completely, then all that will be left of these animals for the coming generations would be fur coats, ivory showpieces and pictures of how the animals look in the wild.
Along with poaching, deforestation is also a source of grave concern. Though the previously deforested areas are being restored by periodic planting of trees, it would take hundreds perhaps even thousands of years to be actually a part of the ecological system.
The jungle and forests that we see are not just an unruly collection of greenery infested by different species of flora and fauna. It is an ecological system which like any system has a balance. Disturb it beyond its tipping point and the system will revolt. Once disturbed, it is very difficult to regain the balance. Protection is the only way forward, though restoration of the lost is highly appreciable.
Things to do in Mukurthi National Park
Trekking and Camping are the only activities available in Mukurthi National Park, and that too with the permission from the officials. They also permit and organise educational tours, but commercial tourism isn’t allowed.
So, either you can take permission to trek with your troop or go on the 3-5 days trekking expeditions organised by the government. Trekking in Mukurthi National Park is an experience full of treasures for wildlife buffs, and the organised tours also inform and educate people about conservation of the forests.
If you are in for some trekking in the peaks be sure to go in the proper gear. The treks range from medium to high difficulty. The forests were fabled for the secret routes that connect Mysore and Malabar. These routes were used for smuggling goods like cannabis, sandalwood, salt etc. Hopefully they are closed now.
Apart from trekking to and from Mukurthi peak, the routes take you through places like Mudimund, Sipara and Silent Valley among others. The length of those Mukurthi National Park trekking routes vary from 8 to 60 kilometres, and overnight stays are available at the forest houses, or in tents.
All the measures required for a successful trekking tour regarding accommodation, eating arrangements and guides, are planned and provided by the forest department.
Best time to visit Mukurthi National Park
Mukurthi National Park is open throughout the year. However, the place attracts heavy rainfall and low visibility during monsoon. The climate is extremely cold and the rainfall is always on the heavy side, whenever it happens. The visibility decreases as the monsoon progresses and is the minimum with the onset of winter. Therefore, the best time to visit the place is either between February and May or from September to November, for the trekking experience of a lifetime. The temperature remains pleasant, the sky is clear, and the paths are dry.
Entry Fee and Timings for Mukurthi National Park
Mukurthi National Park opening hours are between 9 AM and 5:30 PM, every day of the week, except Tuesday. The park remains closed for entry on that day.
However, you can go there on all other days. Mukurthi National Park entry fee is ₹15 for adults and ₹10 for children between the age of 5 and 12 years. For children studying in government schools though, the charge is ₹2. Entry is free for all children below five years.
Other than the entry fee, you’ll have to pay for vehicle parking (if any) and use of cameras. Still cameras are charged at ₹25, and the rate for video recording cameras is ₹150. But if you plan to shoot an educational documentary, you’ll have to shell out ₹2000 for the permission.
How to Reach Mukurthi National Park?
The Mukurthi National Park spread over an area of about 80 square kilometers can be entered in four ways. The Ooty-Gudalur-Mysore route being the most accessible. It is about 60 km from Mysore, but at only 30 km away, Ooty is the nearest town. Being a renowned tourist destination, Ooty enjoys good connectivity with nearby places and here are the different ways to reach Ooty.
By road – Frequent buses and taxis are available from the neighbourhood – Bangalore (300 km), Coimbatore (85 km), Mysore (125 km) and others. You can also book a private cab from top car rental companies in Ooty.
By rail – The nearest railway station is Ooty itself, which is connected to Mettupalayam by a toy train. Mettupalayam railway station is 40 km away and has trains to connect Ooty to other places in the neighbourhood.
By air – The nearest airport is at Coimbatore, which is about 90 km away from Ooty. Regular flights to Delhi, Mumbai and other nearby cities, including Bangalore. Bangalore airport provides convenient access for wildlife and trekking enthusiasts to Ooty, from different corners of India and abroad.
Once you’re there, here’s how to reach Mukurthi National Park from Ooty.
The first way is to take either a state-owned or private bus that operates on Ooty-Gudalur-Mysore route and then get off near the wildlife sanctuary. The other option, a more user-friendly one, is to book a taxi all the way to Mukurthi National Park entrance. From there, you have to walk your way to the rest house, or the start-off place as per your trekking plan.
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Places near Mukurthi National Park Ooty
When you want to spend more time in the lap of nature, here are the other nearby places popular among the adventure seekers.
1. Needle Rock View Point – The place is marked by a huge pointed rock, thus the name. It is situated near Gudalur, a few kilometres off the main road, about 35 km from the Mukurthi National Park. It offers a bird’s eye view of the nearby Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and the surrounding area. Apart from the few hundred metres of trekking experience it provides, it also puts up an amazing backdrop for some candid photographs.
2. Pykara Waterfalls – River Pykara originates from Mukurthi Peak and forms the famed Pykara Waterfalls, on the way, about 20 km from Ooty. It takes a 10-15 minute of hiking to reach there from the nearby Pykara Lake, popular for boat rides and photography. The lake, as well as those cascading waterfalls, are among the best places to visit in Ooty.
3. Wenlock Downs – One of the landscapes which add to the beauty of Ooty is the vast stretches of rolling meadows, popular as Wenlock Downs. Away from the chaos of the city, these grasslands act as apt place to spend some leisure time among panoramic views of the Nilgiris in the distance. The spots near 6th Mile and 9th Mile Ooty are the best and have been featured in many Indian movies.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Mukurthi National Park
Now that you know why and how to go to Mukurthi National Park in Ooty, here are a few things you must remember during trek planning.
1. Casual or commercial tourism isn’t allowed in this sanctuary. For camping and trekking, permission from the forest office is needed.
2. Mukurthi National Park has several trekking routes, and your path will depend on the number of days you plan to spend there.
3. Rest houses and trekking sheds are available, but they’re unfurnished. So, confirm the available amenities with the authorities in advance.
4. While the forest department arranges the tents and accommodation, the trekkers will have to bring their sleeping bags, and maybe, beddings too. Check with the office before leaving.
5. Bathing in the streams isn’t allowed.
Interesting facts about Mukurthi National Park
1. Mukurthi National Park is a wildlife reserve for the endemic Nilgiri Tahr, and therefore, also called Nilgiri Tahr National Park.
2. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.
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