Dancing Peacock in Bandipur National Park
Wildlife In Karnataka - A Rare Wildlife Hunt
Besides its natural splendor, Karnataka is also bountiful of its wildlife habitat, housing some of the rare and endangered species. Most of the wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka are situated of the foot of Western Ghats, making the sanctuaries splendidly picturesque as well. These parks were once the hunting ground of the kings but with the help of government, they are now protected areas. Parks like Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National park have seen a regular increase in the number of animals here. Even some endangered species also have prospered and their population too is out of the red zone. Be it birds, animals or plantation, Wildlife sanctuaries are nothing less than a treasure of nature to Karnataka.
Nagarhole National Park
Covering an area of around 640 sq. Km, Nagarhole National Park is definitely the best wildlife park in Karnataka and is among the best managed in India. On the banks of River Kabini, the park is located about 94 Km from Mysore and is covered with numerous streams, and waterfalls. Nagarhole National Park was started in the year 1955 and is covered with thick cover of forest. The park was expanded to the present size in the year 1974. Animals found in the park include tigers, elephants, sambar, panthers, gaur and hyenas. Nagarhole National Park is also home to around 250 bird species like green imperial pigeon, Malabar pied hornbill, great black woodpecker and the Indian pitta. The best time to visit the park is in October to May season when one can see the best both birds and animals.
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park is among the wealthiest national parks in India when it comes to wildlife treasure. Situated in the Chamarajanagar district, it is one of the most important project tiger reserve. According to 1997 census, there were around 70 tigers in the park. But the number of the Asian elephants was the most impressive. From just above 2000 in 1995, it has reached the high 3000 in 1997. Other variety of fauna that are found in Bandipur National Park are leopards, gaur, sambar, sloth bear, wild dog and hyena. It is home to many endangered species as well like crocodiles, python, and Indian peafowl. The greenery and the landscape of the park is also quite mesmerizing. This national park is also a great place for bird watching as species like Grey Junglefowl, Pompadour green pigeon, nilgiri flycatcher, little spiderhunter and brown hawk eagle are seen here. Best time to visit Bandipur national Park is between April and October.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
The nearest town to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is Chikmagalur, which is at a distance of about 38 Km. It has turned out to be a great excursion option for tourists in Chikmagalur district. One gets to see huge variety of flora and fauna in an area of 492 sq. Km, which the sanctuary covers. It was named as Jagara Valley Game reserve in 1974. And in the year 1988, it was reinstated as Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. It became the 25th Project Tiger. Major Fauna that is found here is tigers, leopards, elephants, gaur and sloth bear. Great variety of avian population is also seen here. Birds like great horned owl, Black napped flycatcher, billed stork, and king vulture are the most common here. While traversing through the park, keep your eyes open for some exquisite variety of butterflies like yamfly baronet, crimson rose, and great orange tip.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Situated Just 20 Km from Mysore, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is an important tourist destination. It is close to the city of Srirangapatna as well. It is among the smallest sanctuaries in India covering an area of just .67 sq. Km. It comprises of six islets of River Kaveri. The sanctuary exists due to the efforts of the famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. He noticed that the islets on the river, were attracting many birds and provided an ideal conditions for bird habitat. He then Persuaded the Wodeyar Kings to recognize the area as a wildlife sanctuary. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1940. Water birds like Stock-billed Kingfisher, Indian shag, blackhead ibis, Painted stork and Asian openbill are the most common. Other avian species that are found here are egrets, cormorants, large flock of streak-throated swallows and herons. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is not only rich in avian fauna, numerous mammal species like Bonnet Macaque, flying fox, common palm civet, and Indian gray mongoose are also found here. Best time to visit the park is from June to November. The parks is open from 9 Am till 6 PM.