Spread over the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Nilgiri is the first biosphere reserve of India.Lying in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri hills, the region forms a ring around Nilgiri Plateau. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve falls under the biogeographic region of the Malabar rain forest. The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wyanaad Wildlife Sanctuary Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley are the protected areas present within this reserve.
The region comprises area of pristine vegetation ranging from dry scrub to evergreen forests and swamps thus contributing to highest biodiversity. The altitude and climatic gradients support different types of vegetation like moist evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forest, thorn forest, sholas and grasslands. Nilgiri is a home to over 330 species of plants out of which 132 are endemic to the region. The shola region is treasure of rare plant species. Some of the plants found only in Nilgiris are Adenoon, Calacanthus, Baeolepis, Frerea, Jarodina, Wagatea, Poeciloneuron.
The region is also blessed with unique fauna including 100 species of mammals, 80 species of birds and 60 species of reptiles. The Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, blackbuck, tiger, gaur, Indian elephant and marten are some of the animals found here.The region is also a melting pot of cultures. Some of the tribes found here are Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Cholanaickens, Allar,Malayan.
When to go
Winter months of November to February are the best.