7 Best Tiger Reserves in South India

India is a wildlife haven. Owing to its diverse terrain, India houses an array of animal species and brims with verdure. South India is a classic example of topographical differences; it has mountains, valleys, plains, riverbeds and is a host to a variety of flora and fauna.

Being the hearth of the Tropical Rainforest it is bestowed with dense green forests and rivers which makes an ideal habitat for wildlife.

The sprawling Western Ghats, one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots of the world brims with lush greenery and is the main reason for the natural beauty of South India.

Tiger Reserves in South India

The South Indian states are the best places in India to quench your thirst for spotting a Tiger in the wild.

India, known as the land of tigers, accommodates almost 70% of the tiger population in the world. The government of India launched the ‘Project Tiger’ in the year 1973 to save and protect the endangered species of this glorious national animal of our country.

The Tiger reserves in India are sanctums for these mighty beasts, away from anything that threatens to destroy their peace and being.

These reserves are an ideal place to conserve their population in their natural habitat.

The southern states of India house the most beautiful tiger reserves amongst the many in India.

What makes them so?

It is a mystery that we will unravel as we go forward.

Here is the list of 7 Best tiger reserves in South India for every wildlife lover

  • Periyar Tiger Reserve
  • Nagarhole Tiger Reserve
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve
  • Dandi Anshi Tiger Reserve
  • Bhadra Tiger Reserve
  • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
  • Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the most famous tigers and elephant reserves in India. Nestled high in the laps of the South Western Ghats of Thekkady, Kerala this reserve is a boastful home to tigers and elephants and other rare animals.

Spanning an area of over 777 sq. km. with enchanting surroundings and vibrant biodiversity, The Periyar Tiger Reserve is the perfect example of nature’s creation.

There are about 35 Bengal tigers, that roam around freely in their own natural habitat.

The Reserve is zealously guarded and efficiently managed. The Wildlife Safari here is an unforgettable adventure with activities like trekking and tiger viewing.

Get stunned by the exhilarating beauty of this region.

Best time to visit Periyar Tiger Reserve 

The Reserve is open throughout the year. But the best time to visit is during the winter months of November and February as the weather remains pleasant. The fog and the cool breeze make it seem like a dream!

If you are travelling by flight then Madurai Airport is just a distance of 140 km.

If a train journey is what you prefer then Kottayam Railway Station is 114 km away from the reserve.

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

Located in the Kodagu and Mysore districts of Karnataka, Nagarhole is the storehouse of fascinating flora and fauna.

This reserve is home to 48 royal tigers. Nagarhole Reserve forms the largest protected area in Southern India with the adjoining Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad National Park.

Situated on the foothills of the Western Ghats, this reserve covers an area of 643 sq km.

Conserving and protecting the majestic cat species this reserve is also a haunt for other striking animals like the Asiatic Elephants and the Indian Bisons.

The deep and thick forest cover is a perfect shelter for the Tigers who thrive peacefully in here. Dominated by its splendid display of nature’s offerings, Nagarhole provides you with a complete tourist experience. The Jeep Safari is perfect for spotting the big cats and other animals.

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve is also famous for the rare Black Panther sighting in India. If you are lucky, You may also spot a Black Panther in the bushes of Nagarhole and other reserves of South India.

You can witness your breath being taken away by the waterfalls in the area during monsoon.

Best time to visit Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

The best time to visit is from October to May. It is easy to spot animals and travel easily through the park during this period.

The closest airports are in Mysore and Bengaluru.

The nearest railway station is just 80km away from the park.

Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Bandipur Tiger Reserve located in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka spans an area of 874 sq km. It was one of the first wildlife reserves to adopt Project Tiger in 1974 and is also a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Bandipur boasts a tremendous count of wildlife species and a wide variety of flora. It is home to a sizable number of tigers, sloth bears, jackals, dholes and Indian elephants.

Located between the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats, Bandipur Tiger Reserve has an alluring scenery to offer.

Considered as one of the best-managed parks of India, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve has a warm and comfortable climate. You can enjoy camping in the area and it also offers safari and bicycle tours.

Tusker trails and Tigers viewing trails are one of the most enjoyable activities.

Best time to visit Bandipur tiger reserve

If you’re looking forward to visiting this reserve then October to May is the right time to do so. Winter is the peak season.

Coimbatore airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 84 km. And Mysore railway station is the nearest for train travel to Bandipur.

Dandi Anshi Tiger Reserve

The Dandeli-Anshi (Kali) Tiger Reserve stretches over 875 sq. km. in the Western Ghats in the Uttar Kannada district.

The streams, whistling bamboos, diverse wildlife and innumerable trekking trails make it a dream destination.

The reserve is an abode of the Tiger, Leopard and Black Panthers among the big cat species. The reserve is full of trails to follow and enchanting safari rides to catch a glimpse of the animals around and savour the enthralling view.

Camping and tours form a part of the attraction.

Best time to visit Dandi Anshi (Kali) Tiger reserve

The winter climate is the most suitable to visit the reserve and hence the months of October to May are the best options for a visit.

If you’re flying to your destination the Dharwad airport is 106 km away from the reserve but connectivity to this airport can be an issue,

For Train Travel, Karwar Railway Station is 55 km away from Kali Tiger Reserve.

Bhadra Tiger Reserve

Bhadra Tiger Reserve is a protected area and a tiger reserve as part of Project Tiger, in the Chikkamagaluru and Shivmogga districts of Karnataka.

Bhadra Tiger Reserve has a wide range of flora and fauna and is a popular place for day outings. It is spread over an area of 572 sq. km. You can just let the breeze ruffle your hair as you enjoy the magnificent view of the mountains circling you!

Spotting tigers is the cherry on the cake. A fun and pristine place to visit.

The closest airport is at Mangalore at 185 km. And the nearest railway station is at Kadur, 40 km away from Bhadra Tiger Reserve.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species including the Royal Bengal tigers.  There are 48 tigers in the Nilgiri reserve across, which are free to roam in the surroundings.

The suitable time to visit the reserve is from February to June.

Coimbatore airport is located 160 km away from the reserve and the nearest railway station is in Ooty, 64 km away.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Anamalai Tiger Reserve – Img Credit @shuttertrail

Anamalai Tiger Reserve is located in the Anamalai hills in Tamil Nadu. Covering an area of about 958 sq. km. the reserve is a unique ecological tract in the Western Ghats.

This tiger reserve is home to all kind of exotic wildlife, much of it rare and endangered- including leopards and 30 elusive tigers.

The amazing climate makes it a great place to unwind. A thrilling place to see some of the wild animals at close quarters. Safaris and trekking make an unforgettable experience.

This place is open all year round- May, June and October to February are the favourable time to visit the reserve.

The nearest airport is at Coimbatore which is 75 km away. The railway station is at Pollachi, 35 km away.

All these reserves offer a plethora of wildlife viewing opportunities and have affable temperature all year around. It will be a visit like never before, the memories always vivid in your mind. 

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