Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the Indian state of Kerala is a part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve and is contiguous to three other protected areas of Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai.
Established in the year 1973, the sanctuary also falls under project Elephant which was launched in 1991 to save the dwindling tusker population.
The sanctuary is situated in one of the least populous districts of Kerala which lends a unique charm to the place. A thrill and excitement of being away from the more populous areas combined with trespassing into unmanned territory makes for a special holiday experience.
Wildlife Attractions in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Despite the fast depleting forest cover and human intrusion, the park still houses a number of animal and bird species. Some of the major animals found in the area include elephants, tigers, gaur, sloth, cheetal, leopards, dholes, jackals and otters among other species of fauna.
Besides animals, the sanctuary is home to a large number of avifaunal species which include crested serpent eagle, red-wattled lapwings, crested hawk eagle, king vulture, malabar grey hornbill and nightjars. Some species of butterfly can also be spotted including the common leopard butterfly.
There are no safaris offered by the forest department, however there are plans to start one in the near future. You can take your own vehicle into the sanctuary but taking along a local guide is mandatory. Chances of spotting animals are best in the early hours of morning as also during the evening. It is better to start the day as early as 6 in the morning. Prior permission has to be obtained from the forest department.
A drive around the park can be rewarding where you can expect to see animals such as Elephants, Gaur, different species of Deer, wild boars and if you are lucky, may be a leopard or even a tiger. It is important though to keep silent and observe the rules of the park.
Wayanad is an ideal place for bird lovers. A variety of birds can be commonly seen around the park flying in the skies or frolicking about the trees.
How to Get There
By Air :
Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode is the nearest airport. Indian Airlines operates daily flights to Kozhikode from Delhi (6:30) & Mumbai (9:15). Another connection to Kozhikode is from Chennai (1840, Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), (12:30, Sat) & (12:50, Tue)
By Rail :
Mysore is the nearest railhead connected to Delhi through the Swarna Jayanthi (6:00, Mon). Mumbai is connected through the Sharavathi Exp. (21:30, Tue) while Bangalore through the Mysore Pass (23:55, Daily), Mysore Exp. (4:10, Daily) and Chennai through the Mysore Exp. (21:45, Daily)
By Road :
The sanctuary is demarcated into the upper and lower regions. To reach upper Wayanad from Kozhikode, take the NH212 to Kalpetta. From there, take the state highway to Kartikulam via Mananthavady from where a district road will take you to Tholpetty. To reach from Bangalore, take the state highway to Mysore via Maddur and Mandya. From here, follow the NH212 to Sulthan Bathery via Gundlupet.
Distances from Major Cities
Sulthan Bathery :
15 km (E)
22 km (E)
125 km (NE)
94 km (SW)
Travel Tips/Important Information
- Some of the park charges include Entry fee : Rs. 10 (Indians) & Rs. 100 (foreigners), Guide : Rs. 100, Vehicle Entry : Rs. 50-150 (depending on vehicle size), Camera : Rs. 25-150 (depending on camera type)
- Sanctuary timings are 6 to 9 AM and 3 to 6 PM.
- Confrontations between man and wildlife is not uncommon, so observe the rules of the park strictly for your own safety.
- Wear dull colored clothes, follow the instructions of your guide and never get off your vehicle, especially in the presence of animals.