Guindy National Park in Chennai is the dominant factor in contributing to the lush green cover of the city. Known to be the 8th smallest national park in the country, the land is blessed with dense forest area, scrub lands, lakes and streams etc. Boating of varied flora and fauna, and a rich wildlife, the park receives a large tourist influx throughout the year to this national park in Tamil Nadu.
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park in Tamil Nadu is a group of 21 small and breathtakingly beautiful islands, along with some adjacent coral reefs and shallow water habitats. This park is also the core area for the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and is home to a myriad of plants and animals in its marine, intertidal and near shore habitats. When it comes to marine biodiversity, it boasts of being one of the wealthiest areas. Not only does the park have three aquatic ecosystems, which are the coral reef, seagrass and mangroves, but it is also home to salt marshes and specific algal communities. The different estuaries, beaches and forests in the park further heighten its beauty and showcase nature in all its glory.
The Anamalai Tiger Reserve, more famously known as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, located in the south of India is a unique reserve which has long since protected the endemic species of both plants and animals that reside here. The reserve was officially declared a Tiger Reserve in the year 2007. It lies in the Western Ghats which is a well-known hotspot for biodiversity. This also means that the species found in the tiger reserve are truly endangered and often rare and in need of protection. A visit to national parks in Tamil Nadu will never be complete without visiting the Anamalai Tiger Reserve that has been the constant state's companion since its establishment in the year of 1848.
It was established way back in 1940 and was the first national park of Southern India and of course, the first national park in Tamil Nadu. You can expect to see a variety of animals here including tigers, leopards, striped hyenas, dholes, sloth bears, Asian elephants, and Golden Jackals.
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With an astonishing assortment of rich flora and beguiling fauna, the national parks in Tamil Nadu stay buzzed with wildlife enthusiasts as well, and the Mukurthi National Park is the living manifestation of this fact. Previously known as the Nilgiri Tahr National Park, Mukurthi National Park is situated in the western corner of Nilgiris Plateau. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was established with the prime motive of conserving its keystone species – the Nilgiri Tahr.
Situated in the city of Kancheepuram, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a protected sanctuary covering a total area of 30 hectares. This bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu is a popular migratory home for around 40,000 different species of birds from all over the world. It is said that such a vast number of birds are attracted to this location because of its various small lakes that prove to be a fertile feeding ground for the birds. As soon as one enters here, the birds can be seen eating, swimming, homemaking, diving, squawking or simple perching on the trees. They seem to enjoy every bit of their extended vacation before the long flight home. The mighty birds here are accustomed to having visitors and may venture quite to them.
Counted amongst the most famous bird sanctuaries, the Karikili Bird Sanctuary is situated in the Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu. Consisting of two irrigation tanks which are fed by the rain, the sanctuary is spread over an area of 61.21 hectares and is just 10 km from the well-know Vedanthagal Bird Sanctuary. It is a very peaceful and beautiful place to visit and is a house to many migratory birds which arrive here between September and October. Amidst the natural beauty, the bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu also serves as an amazing picnic spot giving the tourists a chance to enjoy in the middle of the chirping birds. Apart from the birds, the sanctuary also has ducks and waders to look at.
The Kalakkad Wildlife sanctuary is one of the few national parks in Tamil Nadu that houses the elusive Indian tiger. Lion tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, bonnet macaque, langur, Nilgiri tahr, sambar, sloth bear, gaur, elephant, flying squirrel, panther, wild dog and pangolin are some of the other animals found here.
India's Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is a unique site that is located in the Western Ghats in the Southern part of India. The Biosphere Reserve in Tamil Nadu has exorbitant peaks that reach up to 1,868 meters above the sea level and consists mostly of tropical forests that are home to about 2,254 species of plants (out of which 400 are endemic). The Biosphere Reserve acts as a unique genetic reservoir for cultivated plants, like- Cardamom, Jamune, Nutmeg, Pepper and Plantain. The Agasthyamalai Biosphere also holds some major wildlife sanctuaries, namely- Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
There is also a huge variety of birds of which some like flamingos and terns are migratory. There are numerous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Tamil Nadu of which one is a tiger reserve. Mudhumalai, Nagarhole and Bandipur are some of the most famous forest reserves in the state.