Scenic Iron Bridge of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve: Pristine Nature Overloaded - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Scenic Iron Bridge of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve: Pristine Nature Overloaded

Beautiful nature at Irumbu Palam enroute to Nalmukku, Tamil Nadu

Imagine this! Mist plays hide and seek in this dense jungle. The sun shines bright at times basking all of nature’s beauty in its glory. The constant gurgle of water bodies and the calls of the wild give it a sense of tranquillity. There are many signs of it being a thriving ecosystem. The water is crystal clear. The air is as pure as it can get. The flora that grows here is found only in the most pristine of environments. And everything about it seems to calm your senses. Overall, it is a biodiversity hotspot.

The Irumbu palam or the Iron bridge between Kakkachi and Nalumukku in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is one such location where pristine nature seems to exist and thrive in an overload mode. Located in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, this bridge is located deep inside the tiger reserve and is accessible only via a single lane forest road after getting necessary permits from the forest department for yourself and your vehicle.

Wild elephants frequent this place as they seem to absolutely love the bamboo that grows near this bridge. Apparently, the elephants find this bamboo plant to be like the sweetest dessert. Medicinal plants and herbs grow all over this place and that is what makes the herbal waters of this place a prized commodity. Wild ferns adorn the sides of the bridges and the water bodies. And just so you know, ferns grow wild only in the cleanest of ecosystems and they seem to be thriving here.

The mountain stream below this iron bridge is actually two streams, one that comes in from Kakkachi (the highest point of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve) and the other seems to come from Nalumukku (the wettest place of India during the North East Monsoon). Both of them join just a little bit upstream and together they empty themselves into the Manimuthar dam, which later becomes the Manimuthar river, which joins the Thamirabharani river just before the village of Kallidaikurichi.

The Gorgeous Iron Bridge of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

This iron bridge or irumbu palam of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is a treat for the eyes and just being here for 30 to 60 minutes is enough to charge your batteries. Such is the concentration of nature at this place. It is also the perfect pit stop while exploring the hill stations of Manjolai, Kakkachi, Nalumukku, Oothu and Kudrevetty. This destination is totally offbeat and remote and makes for a special experience in the wild western ghats of Tamil Nadu.

Spectacular panorama at Iron Bridge, KMTR

Best season to visit:

Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is open all year round unless the roads are closed due to heavy rains or landslides. Monsoon and post monsoon months are best to enjoy the best views.

How to reach there:

There are three options.

1) Take a local bus, but only if you happen to be a local resident

2) Opt for a forest van. The rates are fixed and they move only when the van is full or if you book the full van. They follow a specific route and don’t deviate from it.

3) The best option is to take a private vehicle with you so that you can stop and explore the area that interests you. It is also the only option to reach Kudrevetty. No 2 or 3 wheelers are allowed inside the tiger reserve.

How to get permits:

If you wish to travel to Manjolai, Kakkachi, Nalumukku, Oothu and/or Kudrevetty, you will have to get permits in advance from the Forest department office at Ambasamudram. The permits cost INR 200 at Ambasamudram and you will have to pay the vehicle fee and per person charge at the Manimuthar forest check post. If you book a room at the Kudrevetty forest rest house, then that booking is good enough and you don’t need to get the permits in advance.

The iconic Iron Bridge of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

Where to stay:

There are only two stay options at Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.

1) The forest rest houses at Kudrevetty, Mundanthurai and Kalakad. You need to book them in advance either at the forest office in Ambasamudram or online on KMTR website.

2) The EB guest house at Kodayar dam. You will need to know someone in the electricity department to get a booking here.

Pristine nature at the Iron bridge enroute to Nalmukku from Oothu

Where to eat:

There are only a few places to eat inside the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. You can can find some basic tea, vada and biscuits at Manjolai during the day time. But, if you want a meal, you have to call and order in advance. The places where you can find such meals are at Manjolai, Oothu and/or the forest rest house at Kudrevetty. The forest rest house at Kudrevetty will serve you food only if you are staying with them. If you want non vegetarian food, you need to ask for it explicitly in advance.

Elephant bamboo zone near Iron bridge, KMTR

Other tourist attractions inside Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

1) Manimuthar Falls: The herbal waterfall inside a tiger reserve

2) Agastyar Falls: A gorgeous waterfall on the Thamirabharani river

3) Manjolai: The offbeat hill station of Tamil Nadu

4) Kudrevetty: The remote and windy hill station of Tamil Nadu

5) Nalumukku: The wettest place of India during the North East Monsoon

6) Oothu: A quiet hilly village inside a tiger reserve and surrounded by tea estates

7) Kakkachi: The highest point of KMTR and home to a colonial era golf course

8) Karaiyar Dam: Offbeat wildlife and nature holiday destination in India’s deep South

9) Cycling through the backyards of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

Welcome to BE ON THE ROAD Travel Blog! I am Sankara, its founder, a 40 something male from Bangalore who is living his dream of exploring the world and simultaneously trying to inspire others to live their dream.
Wanna live your dream? Find Some inspiration here!
Wanna know more about me?
Track blog updates from facebook and/or twitter!

Logo Credits : Jobi T Chacko. UI/UX Credits : Murugan S Thirumalai
Copyright © 2009-2024 Sankara Subramanian C (
Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved

Join the Travel Club for FREE!!
and every fortnight get in your inbox...interesting experiential and off-beat travel stories , destination guides, handy tips (travel, photography and visa) based on personal experience, global vegetarian delights with helpful survival guides and gorgeous world travel images and videos as I (the Indian traveler) trot the globe! And a lot of other travel invites and soon to be launched goodies !

* indicates required