Andhra Pradesh in southern part of India is replete with tourist attractions like wildlife sanctuaries and parks. Pilgrimage centers like the Tirupati Temple, limestone caves at Bora, Charminar, Golconda Fort, Falaknuma Palace, hill stations, wild life sanctuaries- all these spots make the state a popular tourist destination all over the county. One of the important attractions is the Srisailam sanctuary that is located almost 29 km from Macherla. The variety of rare species and unique biotic communities are the major highlights of the sanctuary.
This sanctuary is also known as Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam sanctuary. It is one of the largest Tiger Reserves in India. It is named after the Nagarjunasagar Reservoir that is formed by a large dam in the northeastern part. The western and central parts of the sanctuary consists of a plateau that represents "Archaean", one of the oldest geological formations and it dates back some 2000 million years.
In the past, the forest in this area was always open for visitors. It was in the year 1973 that the area was declared as a sanctuary. Later it was incorporated under Project Tiger.
Area and Location:
Covering a total area of 3568 sq km, this sanctuary is situated some 29 km away from Machlera. It is 150 km away from Hyderabad, the state capital. It covers areas from Guntur, Kurnool, Nalgonda, Prakasam and Mahaboobnagar district.
The pristine setting of the sanctuary is simply awesome. It is surrounded by the Nallamalai hills on the southern and eastern sides; the Krishna River surrounds the park on the other side.
The sanctuary is marked for the richness of its flora and fauna. The main vegetation of the forest is dry deciduous mixed forest with scrub and bamboo thickets. This provides shelter to the vast range of wild animals found here. Rugged terrain and winding gorges segments through the Nallamalai hills characterize the flora of the Srisailam sanctuary.
The faunal species include Indian Giant Squirrels, Black Bucks, Sambhar, Chousingha Nilgai, Wild Boars, Tree Shrews, Rayels, Wild Dogs, Jackals, Wolves, Foxes, Sloth Bear, Panthers, Spotted Deer, Mouse Deer, Mugger Crocodiles and Tigers. Many tourists visit the sanctuary to view the nocturnal species here; that is the tigers.
The tiger population of the sanctuary gradually started decreasing and many measures were taken for the conservation of these species. Even then these species faces the threat of extinction.
Best time to visit:
The best time for touring this sanctuary is from June to October. March to June remains the hottest months. The temperature ranges from 12° C to 43° C. the south-west monsoon brings heavy rainfall and the average rainfall is from 590m-760m. But some areas of the sanctuary receive up to 1500 mm respectively.
There are 3 guest houses in the forest area. Hotel Sudarshan, Hotel Rajdhani, Quality Inn Dy Manor, Hotel Balaji Residency, Sri Sai Cyber Guest House, etc. are some of the best hotels near Macherla. Otherwise you can stay in luxurious hotels in Hyderabad.
How to reach the park?
Hyderabad airport is the nearest airport that is 316 km away from Srisailam.
Nearest railway station is the Markapur Railway Station that is 85 km away from the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is connected to all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh. For example it is 90 km from Kurnool and 470 km from Chennai. So travelling by road is not a problem at all.
What else do you get?
If you want to visit some attractive spots along with this wildlife sanctuary, then there are a lot of options for you. You can visit the Chenna Kesava Swamy Temple and the monuments of Macherla.
The Srisailam sanctuary is truly worth a visit. You will be astounded by the pristine setting. Roaming around the Rollapadu grasslands while exploring the nearby areas would be really very exciting. So embark in a meaningful journey along with your partner or family in this park amidst nature.