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Introducing Mudumalai National Park

In the foothills of the Nilgiris, this 321-sq-km reserve is like a classical Indian landscape painting given life: thin, spindly trees and light-slotted leaves concealing spotted chital deer and grunting wild boar. Also here are around 50 tigers, giving Mudumalai the highest tiger population density in India – though you'll still be very lucky to see one. Overall the reserve is the best place for spotting wildlife in Tamil Nadu. The creatures you're most likely to see include deer, peacocks, wild boar, langurs and Malabar giant squirrels. There's also a significant chance of sighting wild elephants (the park has several hundred) and gaur (Indian bison).

Along with Karnataka's Bandipur and Nagarhole and Kerala's Wayanad, Mudumalai forms part of an unbroken chain of protected areas comprising an important wildlife refuge.

Mudumalai sometimes closes for fire risk in April, May or June. Rainy July and August are the least favourable months for visiting.

The reserve's reception centre, and some government-run accommodation, is at Theppakadu, on the main road between Ooty and Mysore. The closest village to Theppakadu is Masinagudi, 7km east.