5 Tiger Reserves You Didn't Know About

5 Tiger Reserves You Didn't Know About
Explore the lesser known tiger reserves in India Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Planning a tiger trail holiday? Head to these lesser known yet significant tiger reserves in southern India.

Roshni Subramanian
September 18 , 2019
12 Min Read

The debate over tiger tourism has been going on for eternity. Currently, India is home to nearly half of the world’s wild tiger population. According to the last official count, there are nearly 2,967 tigers in India. So, if catching a sneak peek of  a tiger in the wild is on your bucket list, then there is nowhere else better than India. With as many as 50 tiger reserves across the nation, the tiger population has made a quick recovery over the last few years. 

This majestic creature has never failed to fascinate tourists and wildlife enthusiasts. And what better way to catch a glimpse of this wild beast than in its natural habitat. But what intrigues us is the fact that most of the prominent wildlife sanctuaries are limited to the northern belt of the country. Aren’t wildlife expeditions through Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Ranthambore a done and dusted deal? Apart from Periyar in Kerala and Bandipur in Karnataka, how much do we really know about the wildlife situation in the southern part of the country? Well, we’ve handpicked a few less frequented tiger reserves in southern India. Head to these hidden treasures to spot the untamed beauties in their natural wilderness. 


Kali Tiger Reserve 

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Sprawling across an area of 873 sq. km. in Uttara Kannada district of Western Ghats, the Kali Tiger Reserve houses two protected areas: Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and Anshi National Park. The tiger reserve is located next to the Dandeli forest overlooking Kali river. While the Dandeli sanctuary came into existence in 1998, the Anshi National Park was opened in 2003. As part of Project Tiger, these two natural parks were merged into one, thus forming the present day, Kali Tiger Reserve. From deciduous to semi evergreen to rainforests, the fauna in the region is diverse and is home to a plethora of life forms. In addition to being a tiger reserve, it also doubles as a habitat for black panthers and elephants. The best time to visit this place is from November to May.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve 

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Nestled between Coimbatore and Kodaikanal, the Indira Gandhi National Sanctuary or what is more popularly known as Anamalai National Park is home to all kinds of exotic species. With a diverse vegetation ranging from evergreen forests to moist deciduous to dry deciduous and even dry thorn and shola forests, this tiger reserve is the perfect weekend getaway.The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is home to more than 25 tigers and also supports a long list of endangered species in the region. Considered one of the ‘hottest hot spots’ of the western ghats, this tiger reserve houses 6 indigenuous communities including the likes of Malai Malasar, Kadar, Muduvan, Malasar, Pulayar and Eravallar. Given the anthropological diversity, several proposals have been put forward to designate the area as an anthropological reserve.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

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A trip to Ooty is not really complete without paying a visit to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Situated in the Nilgiri district and spread over an area of 321 sq. km. Mudumalai is an important part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. One can find three types of forests here - tropical moist deciduous, tropical dry deciduous and southern tropical thorn.What is fascinating is the origin of the term Mudumalai. Mudumalai literally means ancient hill range and it is in fact 65 million years old! Though the climate in Mudumalai is moderate throughout the year, the ideal time to visit this place is from March to June and September - October. Tourists planning a visit to this wildlife reserve must keep in mind that though tigers were a predominant species in this region at one point of time, they have become a rare sighting these days. 

Kawal Tiger Reserve

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One of the most prominent wildlife sanctuaries in Telangana is the Kawal Tiger Reserve. Located in Adilabad district (250 km from Hyderabad), this wildlife sanctuary consists of dry and dense forests with teak, bamboo and other varieties of trees. With species ranging from sloth to Indian bison and the majestic tiger, a visit to Kawal Tiger Reserve is a blissful adventure. This wildlife destination is also home to an array of reptiles like crocodiles, monitor lizard, star tortoise and cobra. Since the monsoons begin in June and continue till September, winters are considered an ideal time to visit this sanctuary.

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

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The minute you hear about a wildlife safari in Kerala, the only image that pops in one’s head is of the lush greenery of Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Well, high time we moved beyond Periyar and explored the plethora of options that Kerala has to offer. Located in Palakkad district is the Parambikulam tiger reserve that spreads across a total area of 643 sq. km. Often labelled as a biodiversity hotspot, this tiger reserve is part of the Anamalai sub unit.  Parambikulam is also a popular holiday destination among trekkers. It not only boasts of an enthralling view of the hill ranges but also guarantees an ideal climate to tourists to explore the abundance of wildlife. The lush flora serves as a natural habitat to around 32 - 36 tigers. The tiger reserve is also first scientifically managed teak plantation and houses the world’s tallest and oldest teak tree. 

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