The historical state of Karnataka in India is a paradise for the travelers. Karnataka proves to be a treat for those who like to explore things and unwind amidst the Nature-. Known for its palaces, ancient architectures and temples, Karnataka satiates the aesthetic tastes of the tourists from every nook and corner of the country. The thick dense forests, misty hills, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantation, undulating streets and sizzling views of all these drive one mad. All these parks and sanctuaries are established in the state to preserve wild animals. Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is one of the significant attractions in the state.
One of the main features of the sanctuary is that it is blessed with the perennial beauty of hills and rivers. Surrounded by Gangegiri, Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, and Bababudangiri hills, the sanctuary also boasts of the beauty of rivers flowing through it. The tributaries of the Bhadra River like Thadabehalla, Somavahini and Odirayanahalla lend mystical charm to the place.
The park is named after the Bhadra River that flows through the forests. The sanctuary was earlier named as Jagara Valley wildlife sanctuary. This name is derived from the Jagara village that is located very near the sanctuary.
The sanctuary was established as Jagara Valley wildlife sanctuary in the year 1951. At that time the sanctuary covered an area of 77.45 sq km. Afterwards an organized survey of the surrounding forests and its flora and fauna has resulted in the formation of the today's Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. The area was extended in 1974 from 77.45sq km. to 492.46 sq km.
The sanctuary was declared as the 25th Tiger Reserve of the country in 1988.
Area and Location:
The park is a pride of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary is located 38km North West of Chikmagalur town in Karnataka. Kallahathigiri is the highest peak here that stands at a height of around 1875 meters.
Bhadra wildlife sanctuary showcases diverse range of flora and fauna. Mammals, butterflies, birds, carnivores and reptiles- all these are in plenty in the park.
Mammala include Gaur, Tiger, Wild Dog, Jackal, Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Sambar, Bonnet Macaque, Common Langur, Slender Loris and the Malabar Giant Squirrel.
Reptiles are King Cobra, Common Cobra, Common Vine Snake, Bamboo Pit Viper, Rat Snake, Russell's Viper, Common Wolf Snake, Common Indian Monitor, Draco or Gliding Lizards, Olive Keelback and Marsh Crocodiles.
The beauty of butterflies like Baronets, Bamboo Tree Browns, Crimson Roses, Yam Flies, Tailed Jays, Great Orange Tips, Southern Bird Wings and Blue Pansies will allure you.
You can't just miss the avifauna species like Peacock, Parrot, Munia Bee eaters, Red Spur fowl, Emerald Dove, Painted Bush Quail, Grey Jungle fowl, Southern Green Imperial Pigeon, Malabar Parakeet and Hill Myna, Great Black Woodpecker, Shama, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Ruby-Throated Bulbul, Four Species of Hornbill, Racquet-Tailed Drongo, etc. More than 250 species of birds find refuge here.
Not only faunas, the sanctuary is also rich in floral species. Deciduous forests and green bamboos are the source of survival of many wild animals like Elephant. More than 120 tree species grow here. These include Rosewood, Teak, Mathi, Tadasalu, Kindal, Hone, Nandi, Kindal, etc. But the major attraction is the Jagara Giant that is almost 300 years old.
Best time to visit:
October to February is the ideal time to come here.
You can opt for safari facilities at the River Tern Lodge. It is a jungle lodge and resort run by the Karnataka State Govt.
How to reach the park?
Mangalore and Bangalore are the nearest airports. These are 180 km and 275 km away from the sanctuary.
Kadur that is 40 km away is the nearest railway station.
Chikmagalur that is 30 km away is the nearest town. You can hire private cars.
Bhadra wildlife sanctuary also known as Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary proves to be a paradise for the birdwatchers, nature-lovers and environmentalists. So whoever you are, you can experience the diverse wildlife of the sanctuary.