Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary - 14 Things to Know Before Visiting

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About Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary, located 16 km from Sulthan Bathery is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere area connecting Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks in Karnataka with Madumalai national park in Tamil Nadu. Spread over an area of 345 square km, the sanctuary is an abode of rich flora and fauna.

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Things to Do at Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary amazes visitors with its rich fauna and an opportunity to come in close contact with some of the elusive creatures of the wild.

The sanctuary is a part of the larger Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary which consists of four ranges - Sulthan Bathery, Kurichyad, Munthanga, and Tholpetty. Separated from each other by plantations, only Muthanga and Tholpetty are open to visitors. These two places serve as eco-tourism centres, helping to create conservation awareness and the need for wildlife protection in the minds of the visitors.

Safari through the sanctuary

The sanctuary provides a safari option through the jungle for visitors. They are arranged at 7 AM to 10 AM and 3 PM to 5 PM. The tickets for the safari are issued on a first-come first-serve basis. There are no advance bookings. There are limited numbers of slots available per day (40 jeeps in the morning and 20 in the evening), so if you want to do the safari you must reach on or before the time indicated. And also, most of the time the rare animals will be seen only with the first three jeeps. They will move out as soon as they hear the sounds of the vehicles.

The safari jeep runs through a fixed trail in the forest. Elephants, Spotted Deer, Sambar (large deer native to the Indian Subcontinent), Mongoose, Gaurs (Indian Bison) and peacocks are common wildlife spotted on the trail. The area is inhabited by a small number of tigers and leopards but do not expect to see them, the sightings are extremely rare.

The jeeps are rough vehicles. Sitting in them is not the nicest experience to have. The sides of the jeeps are closed so the only opportunity to spot the animals is through the small openings on the front and the back. The path is a mud trail which gets soggy during the rains and dusty at other times. A bumpy ride should be expected and an average-sized man would have to bend a bit to avoid hitting the roof.

Trekking option to encounter wildlife in close proximity

In addition to the jeep safari, visitors have the option for a three-hour trek. There are more chances of seeing wildlife in the trek than in the safari and it is not rushed either. There are cottages inside the forest where you can stay and there is an option for an elephant ride as well. Both of these need to be booked through the forest department by phone. You can reach them on this number- +91 4936 271010.

Activities Around

History of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


Project Elephant and bio-diversity of the sanctuary

The sanctuary was established in the year of 1973. It was brought under the 'project elephant' in the year 1991-92. The 'project elephant's main objective was to prevent the killings of elephants by poachers for commercial reasons. The project is a huge success and as a result, you can see a large population of elephants roaming around the sanctuary in a carefree manner.

The sanctuary is considered to be the second largest in Kerala and has the richest bio-diversity in India. Annual rainfall of 3,000 to 4,000 mm and fertile soil create an ideal environment for the life forms to thrive.

Plants and animals at the sanctuary

In terms of fauna, here you will be able to see semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests. The common trees around the sanctuary are Maruthu (Terminalia Arjuna), Karimaruthu (Terminalia Crenulata), Rosewood, Venteak, Vengel and many more.

Rich in bio-diversity, the administration emphasizes scientific conservation with due consideration for the lifestyle of the tribes who live around the forest region. The sanctuary has a large population of wild animals. Elephants roam freely here and tigers are sighted occasionally. Various species of deer, monkeys, and birds also live here. The reserve is home to a small population of tigers, a profusion of birds, butterflies and insects. A drive along the road to Muthanga further offers chances to watch these roaming animals.

Among the commonly spotted birds at the sanctuary, some which deserve a special mention are the Malabar Grey Hornbill, peacocks, owls, woodpeckers, cuckoos, jungle fowl, babblers, herons, egrets, water ducks, bulbuls, peafowl, shrikes, eagles, cormorants, wagtails, rollers, pheasants, snipes.

Best Time to Visit Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


Although the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year, it's not recommended to go there during the rainy season if you want to see wild animals. The summer season offers an ideal occasion to spot wildlife when many animals including tigers and elephants from neighbouring sanctuaries move into the Wayanad Sanctuary in search of food and water.

Tips for Visiting Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

  1. Never get out of the safari vehicles.
  2. Come early in the morning aiming for the first two safari rides. There are more chances of spotting wild animals at the beginning of the safari.
  3. There are only 40 safari rides in the morning and 20 in the evening.
  4. Don't be disappointed if you did not spot any Tigers or Leopards, they are very elusive.
  5. The national highway connecting Wayanad to Mysore runs through the sanctuary. There is potential to see a lot of wild animals while taking a drive through the route.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

  1. The second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.
  2. In 2012, a tiger was shot dead by the Kerala Forest Department on a coffee plantation on the fringes of the Sanctuary. The tiger had been carrying away domestic animals.
  3. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary harbours different species of vultures like the white-rumped vulture and the red-headed vulture.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


It will take about two hours to complete the wildlife safari. If you plan to do some trekking, it could easily take a day.

How to Reach Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad is reachable only by road. From Karnataka, there are buses from Mysore to Suthan Bathery which pass through the sanctuary. And vice versa, from Sulthan Bathery you will get buses to here if you are coming from other districts of Kerala. The nearest railway station is in Kozhikode from where there are direct buses to Sulthan Bathery.

Entrance Fee of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

There are no additional entrance fees apart from the fee for the safari which is 300 INR per person.

Opening Hours of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is open from 7 to 10 AM and 3 to 5 PM daily. The sanctuary will be closed for the rest of the hours and no safari is possible outside of these hours.

Attractions Near Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Bandipur Tiger Reserve And National Park

Bandipur Tiger Reserve And National Park

12.8km from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

This national park is famous for its wildlife riches which covers around 874 sq km. This park suits people who love nature, photography, and adventure.

Ancient Jain Temple Wayanad

Ancient Jain Temple Wayanad

12.94km from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

The Ancient Jain Temple in Sulthan Bathery, Wayanad is believed to have been built around the 13th century. The architecture of the temple has a strong resemblance to that of the structures built by the then reigning Vijayanagar Dynasty and is made wholly of granite.

Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves

15.37km from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Edakkal Caves are two natural caves located at Ambukuthy Mala (Ambukuthy Mountain) at Edakkal, 25KM from Kalpetta and 16KM from Sulthan Bathery in the Wayanad district of Kerala in Southern India. They lie in the Western Ghats Mountain ranges at 1,200 meters above sea level in an ancient trade route connecting Mysore to the ports of Malabar.

Chethalayam Waterfalls

Chethalayam Waterfalls

16.33km from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

A seasonal waterfall deep inside the forests of Wayanad.

Ambalavayal Heritage Museum

Ambalavayal Heritage Museum

18.17km from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

One of the largest collection of artefacts in Kerala is housed in the museum.

Mudumalai National Park

Mudumalai National Park

21.71km from Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

The Mudumalai Sanctuary is an important wildlife habitat due to its strategic position as a Wildlife corridor between several other protected areas making an essential part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

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Ancient caves and carvings, tea plantations, cool climate.

Location of Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

What Visitors Say About Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


1 Reviews











Nithin Mathew

Nithin Mathew


Went here with so much expectations and came back disappointed. 

The sanctuary that is supposed to have many animals end up giving us peeks into few deers, and a baby elephant (that too on the NH highway side and not during the safari). We went their in the rainy season, that might have been the reason for the absence of animas as they usually turn up in numbers during the dry months of march to may near the waterholes.

Apart from the lack of animals, the forests are filled with greenery and large trees. It is so refreshing to see them all in perfect rows. The safari is very scenic, at least that was a minor relief.


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