Cauliflower Shola Forests from Mukurthi National Park, Tamil Nadu - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Monday, December 03, 2018

Cauliflower Shola Forests from Mukurthi National Park, Tamil Nadu

Cauliflower Shola Forests inside Mukurthi National Park, Tamil Nadu

In one of my earlier posts, I had spoken about Shola forests and why they are essential for our survival. You should definitely give that article a read if you do not already know about these iconic rainforests of South India. On my recent motorcycling holiday to Ooty, I got the opportunity to explore and experience the remote interiors of the gorgeous Mukurthi National Park. This national park located in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu is where the Bhavani and other river systems originate and is made up of pristine forests. And yes, this is also the belt of the famous shola forests.

Vast stretches of Shola forest inside Mukurthi National Park, Tamil Nadu

And not any shola forest, but Cauliflower shola forests at that. You might ask why Cauliflower? Well, because, the top of these forests resemble the vegetables ‘Cauliflower’ and ‘Broccoli’ and hence the name. These Cauliflower rainforests are an absolute treat to the senses.

Cauliflower shola forests inside Mukurthi National Park

If you look at them from far away, you can see the Cauliflower tops and be mesmerized by its sheer density and its lush green vegetation. If you happen to trek inside, you will see a whole new ecosystem that comprises of ferns, moss, grass, shrubs, parasites, climbers and more. It is montane rainforests at its very best. And when you spend significant time next to these forests, you will see tiny stream systems originating at their roots. These tiny stream systems happen to be the humble beginning of the rivers of Peninsular India.

And when you are near the Shola forest ecosystem, you are far away from the chaos of the urban world and the pollution of our cities. Here, you are one with nature. Pure air, the sounds of nature and the most pleasing and refreshing of sights keep you company. You can visit these Cauliflower shola forests either during a jeep drive to Bhavani Amman temple and/or Bhavani Sagar backwaters or you can get real close to them while staying at the super remote forest properties located deep inside the Mukurthi National Park.

This offbeat forest trail will definitely invigorate your senses!

About Mukurthi National Park:
Mukurthi National Park is blessed with a large section of these dense rainforests. And because the national park covers a large area, its shola forests also cover a significant amount of land and that’s what makes this national park even more special. Unlike the other national parks, the Mukurthi National Park is not well promoted by the Tamil Nadu forest department and hence a lot of information is not available online. But, if you somehow make the time and effort and meet the officials at the Deputy Director of Forests office or the office of the wildlife warden in Ooty, you will get a whole bunch of information. The nearest access from Ooty is Avalanche Lake, which comes right after the beautiful Emerald lake. There is a forest check post here who will handle all your ticketing and safari requirements. There are a few other entry points too. For booking forest accommodation, do reach out to the forest office in Ooty. For more information, look up Tamil Nadu forest department page on Mukurthi National Park.

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