7 Best Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks in Tamil Nadu

Explore Tamil Nadu’s wild side! Discover tigers, elephants, marine life & more in these top sanctuaries & national parks.

Look beyond the cultural marvels and scenic delights of Tamil Nadu. A world of diverse wildlife awaits in its many sanctuaries!

Beyond the rich cultural tapestry and historic marvels adorning the southern tip of India’s Tamil Nadu, lies a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. This scenic state undergoes a metamorphosis into a sanctuary for nature aficionados and conservationists, hosting 18 wildlife sanctuaries. These havens provide refuge for the region’s distinct flora and fauna, fostering their growth and preservation. Let’s embark on a journey to explore some of these extraordinary sanctuaries.

Elephant Passage Resort

Arignar Anna Zoological Park – Vandalur Zoo

Located in the bustling heart of Chennai, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, also known as Vandalur Zoo, is home to a diverse array of animals, from majestic lions to playful monkeys, graceful elephants, and elegant deer.

Embark on an exhilarating safari to witness these creatures in their natural habitat. The park also boasts a state-of-the-art reptile house, where visitors can marvel at various species of snakes, lizards, and crocodiles. Families can enjoy the park’s amenities, including playgrounds and picturesque picnic spots.

For bird enthusiasts, the zoo features an enchanting aviary housing tropical birds, as well as an aquarium showcasing mesmerizing marine life.

Key Information:

  • Visiting Hours: Open from 9 am to 5 pm daily, except on Tuesdays. Ticket bookings close at 4:30 pm.
  • Entry Fees: INR 200 for adults above 12 years, INR 50 for children aged 5 to 12, and free for infants between 0 and 5 years.
  • Special Attractions: Lion and Deer Safari Parks, Exotic Birds, Walk Through Aviary, Biocentre, Forest Museum, Butterfly Park, Aquarium, Children’s Park, Nocturnal Animal House, Forest Birds, Reptile Session, and Wetland Aviary.
  • Getting There: The zoo is conveniently located 6 km from Tambaram, 4 km from Mudichur, and approximately 15 km from Chennai Airport.

Grand Southern Trunk Rd, Vandalur, Tamil Nadu

Elephant Passage Resort

Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary ( Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary )

The Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary, sprawls across 485.2 sq. km nestled between the Andipatti Hills and the Tirunelveli district. Established with a noble mission to safeguard the endangered grizzled giant squirrel, it serves as a haven for a plethora of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, Nilgiri tahr, and the elusive lion-tailed macaques. The sanctuary occasionally offers sightings of the elusive sloth bear, known to shy away from human presence.

For bird enthusiasts, this sanctuary is a veritable paradise boasting a variety of avian species like the white-backed vulture, great pied hornbill, and Nilgiri flycatcher.

Furthermore, it features a designated conservation zone for medicinal plants, underscoring its ecological significance.

  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Getting there: Situated approximately 100 km from Madurai, the sanctuary is accessible by bus from Madurai and Tirunelveli. The nearest railway station and airport are in Madurai.

Srivilliputhur, Tamil Nadu

Elephant Passage Resort

Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

Located 88 kilometers away from the vibrant city of Coimbatore, the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserve draws in nature enthusiasts and wildlife aficionados alike. Its thick forests and plentiful prey create an optimal environment for the majestic creatures it houses. Yet, tigers are not the sole occupants of this sanctuary.

The reserve boasts a diverse array of wildlife, including elephants, gaur, blackbuck, four-horned antelope, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs.

Adding to the allure of this biodiverse sanctuary is the journey itself. To reach it, travelers must venture along the Sathyamangalam-Dhimbum ghat road, renowned for its 27 hairpin bends that offer a thrilling drive amidst picturesque landscapes.

  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • How to get there: Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve can be accessed via Coimbatore Airport, approximately 105 km away.

Talamalai R.F., Tamil Nadu

Elephant Passage Resort

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

Located in the western region of the State, this biodiversity hub stands as India’s pioneering Sanctuary and is contiguous with Kerala and Karnataka, thus forming an integral component of the extensive Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Encompassing a diverse range of flora, from lush tropical evergreens to majestic teak forests, alongside grasslands and marshes, this area is a testament to nature’s abundance.

Visitors may have the privilege of encountering a variety of wildlife including elephants, tigers, gaurs, and leopards, amidst a vibrant community of avian species and a plethora of aquatic and terrestrial creatures.

Enhancing the safari experience, opting for attire in muted hues is a simple yet effective tip.

Best time to visit: October to February

Getting there: Mudumalai National Park is conveniently accessible by air, with Coimbatore International Airport being the nearest at 160 km. The Ooty railway station, located 60 km away, provides train connectivity, while the park is well-connected by road.

Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu

Elephant Passage Resort

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

Nestled along the picturesque Coromandel coast, this park proudly holds the distinction of being the first marine biosphere reserve in South Asia. Comprising 21 islands, it presents a breathtaking panorama of estuaries, sandy shores, and mudflats, enhancing the region’s natural charm.

Beyond its terrestrial features, the park teems with a diverse marine ecosystem. From thriving algae colonies to lush sea grass beds, vibrant coral reefs to serene salt marshes and mangrove forests, these elements synergize to support a rich biodiversity, encompassing approximately 3600 species of flora and fauna. The national park also serves as a habitat for various marine creatures, including five distinct species of turtles, dolphins, whales, sea cucumbers, and dugongs.

  • Ideal time to visit: October to March
  • Access: The park can be explored via glass-bottomed boat rides, available at Mandapam and Rameswaram.

The nearest airport is Madurai International Airport, roughly 150 km away, with Rameswaram Railway Station located approximately 7 km from the park.

Elephant Passage Resort

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

This sanctuary, alternatively referred to as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, serves as a haven for the magnificent Bengal tiger while offering a secure habitat for a plethora of other fascinating species. Among these inhabitants are elephants, leopards, gaurs, Nilgiri langurs, and Malabar spiny dormice.

Moreover, the sanctuary boasts an impressive array of avian residents, ranging from graceful cormorants and teals to delightful ducks, quails, and jungle fowls. Additionally, it hosts a diverse range of amphibians and reptiles, including snakes, lizards, frogs, and turtles.

  • Ideal Visiting Season: December to April
  • How to Reach: The Pollachi Bus Stand is approximately 24 km from the Anamalai Tiger Reserve Entry Check Post, while the Coimbatore International Airport is situated 75 km away. Furthermore, the Pollachi Railway Station is about 25 km from the sanctuary.

Pollachi, Tamil Nadu

+91 85477 70000

Elephant Passage Resort

Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary

Covering an expansive area of 686.406 square kilometers across the districts of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri, this sanctuary transcends mere landmass. It stands as a haven for elephants and serves as a vital artery for a plethora of riverine species reliant on the Cauvery River.

For aficionados of nature and admirers of wildlife, this sanctuary is an absolute utopia. It hosts a rich tapestry of captivating species, including the elusive Leith’s soft-shelled turtles, the majestic grizzled giant squirrel, the sleek smooth-coated otter, the ancient marsh crocodile, and the regal lesser fish eagle. A realm of marvels unfolds at every turn within this sanctuary, beckoning exploration and admiration.

  • Optimal visiting period: October to March
  • Access routes: The nearest railway station, Dharmapuri, lies 132 km away, with the closest airport being Bangalore, situated 145 km distant.

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