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Tamil Nadu Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
The Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary is a proposed Tiger Reserve and a fourth in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also the most expansive of all the Wildlife Sanctuaries in the south Indian state.
The Sathyamangalam Sanctuary is only 1400 sq km of the vast Sathyamangalam forest that serves as a natural genetic corridor between the Eastern and Western Ghats and also for the Nilgiri Biosphere (meaning all the surrounding sanctuaries). The geographical setting of the Sathyamangalam Sanctuary is in the Moyar River Valley, bordering the Bhavani Sagar Reservoir of the Moyar Dam in the south. Another distinction of this sanctuary is that it is in terrestrial continuum with the Madumalai, Anamalai, Bandipur and other protected areas from Tamil Nadu and neighboring states.
The Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 2008 and its areas were stretched to the present area in 2011. In 2008, the Governor of Tamil Nadu declared Sathyamangalam Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve and proposed its inclusion in Project Tiger of Government of India.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The weather of Sathyamangalam forests is subtropical and dry, which is typical to that part of the Nilgiris. The summers are hot and dry; the monsoons are wet and cooler, with river flooding. The winter is the best time to visit the Sanctuary that falls between November and May.
Places To Visit
There are many other hill stations and sanctuaries surrounding the Sathyamangalam forests that tourists can visit, which are Bandipur National Park Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai National Park, Sigur Plateau and Biligiriranga Swamy Temple.
Apart from that, the Moyar Dam and the Bhavani Sagar Reservoir is also a good destination that is nearby.
How To Reach
Coimbatore (100 km) is the closest international airport.
The Erode (80 km) railway station is the nearest but alternatively; one could also arrive at Coimbatore railway station and travel from there.
There is a good network of national and state highways around the Sathyamangalam Sanctuary. In fact, the Erode - Gobichettipalayam state highway passes through the sanctuary.
Flora And Fauna
The vegetation of the Sathyamangalam forest is dry tropical and dry deciduous forest mixture that comes from the Western Ghats and the Deccan Plateau respectively. The ravines and low-lying regions at high altitudes have evergreen foliages, with short exposed plains having shrubby and grassland vegetation.
The Indian Elephant was the flagship species during the sanctuary creation and there are other herbivores, especially ungulates like the Four Horned Antelope, Baking and Spotted deer. Other mammals include Tiger, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Striped Hyena.
The Sathyamangalam forest is known to be an Elephant corridor and hence the main species was the Indian Elephant, but in a latest survey with the help of WWF, a large number of tigers were found in the region. In another survey, almost 260 different avian species have been recorded. There is also a healthy population of reptiles and amphibians in the sanctuary.
Any non-conventional route for trekking or safari inside the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve needs the approval of the Sanctuary administration, which can be found at the Office of Conservator of Forests, Erode and the Office of Deputy Conservator of Forests, Gobichettipalayam.