SANCTUARIES &NATIONAL PARKS OF KARNATAKA

ADICHUNCHUNAGIRI PEACOCK SANCTUARY

Adichunchunagiri (0.88 sq. km) was declared a sanctuary on 21st October 1981. It has mainly scrub forest and plantations and is intended especially for the protection of the peacock.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Mandya district, from 1301' to 1301'N latitude and 7640'E longitude. Altitude varies from 773 to 1006 m, and temperatures range from 14 to 38C. Mean annual rainfall is about 700 mm.

FLORA: Thorn scrub vegetation with Acacia nilotica, Euphorbia hirta, Calotropis gigantea, Azadirachta indica and species of Ficus cover most of the sanctuary area. Eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis have been planted in the sanctuary.

MAMMALS: Mammals include bonnet macaque, fruit bat, jungle cat, common mongoose and hare. The sanctuary has an interesting butterfly and bird diversity. The rare yellow-throated bulbul has also been recorded here.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: The Chunchanagiri temple and pilgrim centre lie to the east of the sanctuary. Hence this sanctuary and particularly the peacock gets religious protection. There is a forest rest house inside the sanctuary, and a rest house of the Public Works Department near the temple.

Approach: By road from Bangalore to Nagmangala (90 km) and then 26 km on to the Sanctuary, via Nelligere.


Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a very important sanctuary both from the point of view of its unique location and biological diversity. It is very compact and unique in its formation, which occupies almost wholly the saucer type basin enclosed within the horse-shoe-shaped Bababudangiri Hills. The sanctuary is surrounded by the lofty hill ranges of Mullainagiri, Gangegiri and also the picturesque Bhadra river and its water spread. There are many beautiful islands in the Bhadra water spread. Jagara Valley was a place of unfathomable interests to some, for others it was a game park, which challenged them for years with diversified fauna.

The sanctuary is stunningly grand and wondrous in creation and has made its way into the local legend "if the bamboo swings to the voice of the wind and the tiger wanders with gaiety then it must be Jagara Valley".

FLORA: The area is rich in bamboo, both Dendrocalamus stictus and Bambusa arundinacia throughout the sanctuary. Big bamboos occur all along the river and valley portions. In higher altitudes and dry patches small bamboos and seebu are found. There are extensive teak plantations in the sanctuary which were raised by clear felling of the forests.

FAUNA: The fauna found is that of a typical south Indian jungle. Most of the carnivores like tiger, leopard, jungle cat, wild dog and hyena are found in the sanctuary. It is also home to some of the rare animas like the giant malabar squirrel, flying squirrel, pangolin, besides rare birds like the Malabar grey hornbill, Great black woodpecker, Golden backed woodpecker and the Green pigeon.

MAMMALS

Herbivores: Elephant (Elephas maximus), Gaur (Bos gauras), Sambar (Cervus unicolor), Chital or spotted dear or axis deer (Axis axis), Muntjac or barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), Chevrotain or mouse deer (Tragulus meminna), Four horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), Wild pig (Sus scrofa), Hanuman langur( Presbytis entellus), Bonnet macaque( Macaca radiata), Slender loris (Loris tardigradus), Black-naped hare (Lepus nigricollis), Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica), Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica), Malabar squirrel, Large brown flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista), Three striped palm squirrel (Funambulus palamarum), Giant fruit bat (Pteropus giganteus).

Carnivores Tiger: (Panthera tigris), Leopard (Panthera pardus), Leopard cat (Felis bengalensis), Dhole or Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus), Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), Common palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), Small Indian civet (Viverricula indica), Golden jackal (Canis auereus), Common mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi), Striped necked mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis), Brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus), Ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii).

Birds / Reptiles: Babblers, swifts, barbets, bulbuls, orioles, bee-eaters, drongos, doves, pigeons, eagles, vultures, kites, Mynas, flycatchers, minivets, woodpeckers, hornbills, sunbirds, parakeets and owls. Cobra, Russel's viper, common krait, Indian python and green snake.


Attiveri Bird Sanctuary

Attiveri (92.23 sq. km) was declared a bird sanctuary on 3rd October 1994. The Attiveri Reservoir was formed as a result of the construction of a dam across Tayawwanahalla in the village of Attiveri This reservoir attracted many birds, especially aquatic species and was therefore developed as a bird sanctuary. The reservoir covers an area of 1.01 sq. km, and the remaining area of the sanctuary is covered by riverine and dry deciduous forest. The agricultural fields surrounding the sanctuary are host to a variety of aquatic creatures which are a major source of food for the birds of the sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Uttara Kannada district, from 1514' to 1515'N latitude and 7502' to 7503'E longitude. Temperature ranges from 10 to 35C, and mean annual rainfall is 1500 mm.

FLORA: The part of the sanctuary surrounding the reservoir has riverine and deciduous forests with species such as Albizzia lebbeck, Acacia arabica, A. leucophlea, Artocarpus integrifolius, Syzygium sp., Callophyllum sp., Dalbergia latifolia, Tectona grandis, Bombax malabarica, Borassus flabellifer and Bambusa arundianacea.

FAUNA: Birds that inhabit this area include Indian shag, cattle egret, little cormorant, spoonbill, pied kingfisher, white ibis, white-breasted kingfisher, common grey hornbill and common swallow.

APPROACH: By road from Bangalore to Shiggoaon (365 km) along the Bangalore Hubli highway, then to Mundagod (20 km), and on to Attiveri (17 km). Otherwise by road from Hubli to Attiveri (43 km) via Tadas.


Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary

Arabithittu (13.5 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 30th April 1985. The area has scrub forests and plantations, and is surrounded by agricultural fields.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Mysore district, from 1217' to 1220'N latitude and 7622' to 7628'E longitude. Altitude varies from 780 m to 856 m. Temperatures vary from 17 to 35C, and mean annual rainfall is 800 mm.

FLORA: The area is covered mainly by scrub forest enclosed by a chain-link fence, which protects the sanctuary from illegal grazing and woodcutting. There is a large patch of eucalyptus and sandalwood plantations. Other species include Anogeissus latifolia, Emblica officinalis and Acacia sundra.

FAUNA: Mammals found in this sanctuary include leopard, fox, spotted deer, wild pig, porcupine, hare and common mongoose.


Bilgiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary

Bilgiri Rangaswamy temple area (539.52 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary of 322.4 sq. km. On 27th June 1974, and extended to its present size on 14th January 1987. The sanctuary is unique in that it is situated at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats, and therefore has floral representatives of both regions. Its southern boundary adjoins the state of Tamil Nadu.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Chamarajnagar District, from 1143' to 1209'N latitude and 7701' to 7715'E longitude. Altitude varies from about 750 to 1816m, the highest point being Kattari Betts in the southern part of sanctuary. Temperatures range from 8C to 36C and the mean annual rainfall varies between 625 and 1770 mm.

FLORA: The sanctuary has a great variety of vegetation ranging from dry scrub jungle to evergreen forests and high altitude shola grassland habitat. The scrub forests along the periphery of the sanctuary were originally good dry deciduous forests which were degraded by over-exploitation and are now recuperating.

The deciduous forests have species such as Anogeissus latifolia, Dalbergia paniculata, Grewia tilaefolia, Terminalia alata, T. belerica, T. paniculata, Stereospermum personatum, Boswellia serrata, Commiphora candata, Pteracarpus marsupium and Sterculia urens in the top canopy. The lower canopy includes Buchanania lanzan, Careya arborea, Hymenodictyon excelsum, Kydia calycina, Schleichera oleosa, Sterculia villosa, Cassia fistula, Phyllanthus emblica and Radermachera xylocarpa.

The evergreen forests are found both along perennial water course and in the areas that receive rain fall of over 1500 mm and include species such as Elaeocarpus tuberculatus, Salix tetrasperma, Syzygium cumini, S. malabaricum and Vibernum punctatum. The evergreen vegetation of the sholas is characterised by stunted trees of Schefflera capitata, Meliosma sp., Xantholis tomentosa and Symolocos sp. The grasslands are dominated by Cymbopogon flexuosus, C. nardus, Themeda cymbaria and T. triandra.

There are private coffee plantations in the southern parts of the sanctuary. A very small portion of the area is occupied by plantations of teak Tectona grandis, Eucalyptus, Artocarpus sp. and Cedrella sp.

FAUNA: There is a good population of elephant in and around the sanctuary. Other mammals include tiger, leopard, wild dog, jungle cat, sloth bear, civets, mongooses, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, porcupine, common langur, bonnet macaque, wild pig, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four horned antelope and perhaps even some black buck on the periphery of the sanctuary.

There are over 215 species of birds in the sanctuary and some interesting ones include the Malabar whistling thrush, yellow throated bulbul, Nilgiri wood pigeon, velvet fronted hawk eagle and peregrine falcon. Among amphibians, Icthyophis ghytinosus, an endangered ceacilian, has been reported from the sanctuary. 116 species of butterflies and 48 species of ants have also been recorded here.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between November and March the dry season is the best time to visit the sanctuary. A forest rest house at K Gudi can accommodate upto 4 persons and one on BR Hills has one double room. Apart from this, Jungle Lodges and Resorts, a Government of Karnataka undertaking runs a resort at K Gudi, near the western boundary of the sanctuary.

Accommodation is available in 8 twin-bedded tented cottages, an ethnic on stills and well furnished rooms at the Maharaja's Hunting lodge. A typical package for a night's stay includes a jeep ride through the forests in the evening, a wildlife film show and a campfire at night and another ride through the forests in the morning.

On the hilltop of BR Hill in the north western part of the sanctuary, is the temple of Biligiri Rangaswamy, which has been a place of pilgrimage for more than 500 years. Another site worth visiting is the Dodda Sampiga mara (large Michelia Champaka tree.), which is revered by the Soliga tribals and others alike.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Mysore (140 km), on to Chamarajanagar (60 km) then by road to Biligiri Rangana Betta (BR Hill) (50 km) via Nagavalli, inside the sanctuary. Kyathadevara Gudi (K Gudi) is 28 km from Chamarajanar, also via Nagavalli.


Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Brahmagiri (181.29 sq. km) was declared a sanctuary on 5th June 1974. Being part of the Western Ghats, it has evergreen and semi green forests as well as shola grassland habitat. The sanctuary is surrounded by agricultural fields and coffee plantations. The eastern tip of the sanctuary almost touches the north western edge of the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, separated only by a narrow strip of coffee plantations. The southern boundary adjoins Kerala State.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Kodagu District, from 1155' to 1209' N latitude and 7544' to 7604'E longitude. Altitude varies from 65 to 1607 m, the highest point being the Brahmagiri peak on the south eastern boundary of the sanctuary. Temperatures range from 5 to 32C, and mean annual rainfall varies from 2500 to 6000 mm.

FLORA: The area has mainly evergreen and semi-green forest, and in the higher altitudes, there are grasslands with shola forest patches. Tree species in the evergreen forest include Artpcarpus sp, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Knema sp., Cedrela toona, Alstonia schlaries, Callophyllum apetalum, Hydnocarpus laurifolia, Zanthoxylum rhetsa and Vitex altissima. There are no bamboos in these forests, but cane Calamus sp. is present in the lower storey.

The semi-evergreen forest is made up of trees such as Termunalia paniculata, T. tomentosa, T. belerica, Logerstroemia Ianceolata, Diospyros sp., Holigarna sp., Ficus sp. Albizzia sp., Anthocephalus cadamba,Mallotus philippinensis, Careya arborea, Randia dunetorum and Casearia tomenosa. Bamboos are well represented in these forests, with Bambusa bambos being dominant, and Dendrocalamus strictus occasionally found. Climbers in the semi-evergreen forest include Entada phaseoloides, Spatholobus roxburghii, Calycopteris floribunda, Vetilago sp., Eleagnus sp. and Acacia pennata.

The sholas are made up of dwarf evergreen trees or 'krummholz', stunted due to the strong winds at higher altitudes. Sholas are surrounded by grasslands.

FAUNAMammals in the sanctuary include gaur, elephant, tiger, leopard, jungle cat, leopard cat, wild dog, sloth bear, wild pig, sambar, spotted deer, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, bonnet macaque, common langur, barking deer, mouse deer, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, Nilgiri marten, common otter, brown mongoose, civets, porcupine and pangolin.Python, cobra and king cobra are some of the snakes found in the sanctuary. Interesting birds in the sanctuary include emerald dove, black bulbul and Malabar trogon.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between October and May is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Nature camps are undertaken for school children at the Narmalai camp, and further on to the Brahmgiri peak and to the Munikal caves.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Mysore (140 km) then by road to Hunsur (45 km), Gonikoppa (40km), and onto the sanctuary (18 km). Otherwise by road from Mangalore to Madikeri (105 km), then to Virarajendrapet (30 km), then on to the sanctuary (7 km).


Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

The Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (526.96 sq. km) was declared a sanctuary on 14th January 1987. For a major part, the river Cauvery forms the northern and eastern boundary of the sanctuary. To the east and northeast, the sanctuary is flanked by Tamil Nadu State. Deciduous and riverine forests cover much of the area, especially the eastern parts.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in the districts of Mysore, Bangalore and Mandya from 1157' to 1221'N latitude and 7715' to 7747'E longitude. Altitude varies from about 125 to 1514 m, the highest point being Ponnachi betta on the southern edge of the sanctuary. Mean annual rainfall is 830 mm.

Flora: The sanctuary has riverine and dry deciduous forests and some patches of scrub forest. Along the river, trees such as Terminalina arjuna and Syzygium cumini dominate the vegetation. Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Hardwickia binata, Acacia amara, Feronia sp., Ficus sp. and other species of acacia represent the vegetation in the rest of the sanctuary.

FAUNA: The tiger is sighted very occasionally in the sanctuary. Other mammals include leopard, elephant, wild pig, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four-horned antelope, Malabar giant squirrel, grizzled giant squirrel, common otter, and hare. This sanctuary is possibly one of the last refuges of the highly endangered grizzled giant squirrel in Karnataka.

Reptiles include marsh crocodile, turtles, python, cobra, russell's viper and banded krait. Birds found in the sanctuary are typical of drier areas. They include the sirkeer, cuckoo, greenbilled malkoha, white browed bulbul and pigmy woodpecker. The sanctuary is known for its masheer fish (Tor sp.)

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: The best season to visit the sanctuary is between November and March. Interesting tourist spots along the stretch of river Cauvery within the sanctuary include Hogenekal Falls, Mekedatu, and Sangam.

APPROACH: By road from Bangalore (87 km) via Kanakpura. By road from Mysore (100 km) via Malavalli and Halaguru or via T Narsipur and Kollegal. Jungle Lodges and Resorts, a Government of Karnataka undertaking, runs the Cauvery Fishing and Nature Camp at Bheemeshwari, just inside the northe astern boundary of the sanctuary. The camp can be reached by road from Bangalore to Kanakapura (56 km), then to Halaguru (28 km), and on to Bheemeshwari (16 km). Accommodation is available in 8 loghuts and 10 tented cottages overlooking the river and 6 tents in a satellite camp at Doddamakali, further upstream.


Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary

Dandeli (475.02 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 10th May 1956, but at that time covered only 204.33 sq. km. This was enlarged to 5725.07 sq. km on 10th May 1975. This was too big to manage with the industrial and mining pressures and it was reduced to 834.16 sq. km on 31st August/1st September 1988 and further to its present size on 29th April 1994.

A relatively undisturbed area of 250 sq. km. in the southern part of the sanctuary became Anshi National Park.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Uttara Kannada district from 1452' to 1512'N latitude and 7416' to 7444'E longitude. Altitude varies from 100 to 970 m, the highest point being Hegada Temba in the south west. Temperatures range from 16 to 36C and annual rainfall varies between 1250 and 5000 mm, with an average of 2500 mm.

FLORA: Most of the area has moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. Teak plantations for various ages exist in the park and planting continues to be carried out. Fruit trees have been planted in gaps across the sanctuary but account for a negligible area. Common natural forest tree species include Dalbergia latifolia, Terminalia paniculata, T.tomentosa, T. bellerica, Logerstroemia Isnceolata, Xylia xylocarpa, Pterocarpus marsupium, Mitragyna parviflora, Adina cordifolia, Grewia tiliaefolia, Cordia macleodic, Kydia clycina and Vitex altissima.The area is also rich in bamboo, and some herbs and climbers of medicinal value.

FAUNA: Mammals in the sanctuary include elephant, gaur, wild pig, sloth bear, tiger, leopard (black panther), wild dog, jackal, slender loris, common langur, bonnet macaque, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel and mongoose.A bird list of 196 species has been made for the sanctuary by Dr. J C Uttangi of Dharwad, and includes interesting species such as the Malabar pied hornbill, great pied hornbill, peregrine falcon, imperial pigeon, blue-throated barbet, blacknaped oriole, ruby throated bulbul, Ceylon frogmouth.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between October and March is the best time to visit Dandeli, Entry is open to visitors between 6 am and 6 pm. The Forest Department's mini bus takes tourists around the sanctuary. Several rest houses inside the sanctuary provide accommodation to visitors. At the Kulgi nature camp there is a provision for staying in tents. This camp with 10 ordinary and two deluxe tents can accommodate upto 24 people and is convenient for bigger groups, especially those on educational tours. There are two more rest houses inside the sanctuary, one at Mundorli and the other at Gund, each with two suites.

The Jungle Lodges and Resorts, a Government of Karnataka undertaking, runs the Kali Wilderness and Adventure Camp at Dandeli. It is located on the river Kali and is 10 km from the boundary of the sanctuary. Accommodation is available in airy tented cottages facing the river and in deluxe rooms with modern amenities. Activities include boat rides on the Kali river, safari rides into the sanctuary and white water rafting on the river. Treks into the forest can also be made, camping overnight at Molangi. Visits to Kavala caves and Syntheri rock, viewing the Kali valley (from Syke's Point) and the Nagihari valley are also on the programme.

APPROACH: By rail from Bangalore to Dharwad (479 km) on to Alnavar (31 km), then to Dandeli (32 km) and on to the sanctuary by road (11 km). Otherwise by road from Dharwad to Dandeli (57 km) and on to the sanctuary (11 km).

MORE ABOUT THE PLACE: A wonderful spectacle during August and September is when the Malabar pied hornbill visits fruiting trees around the Jaladarshini forest rest house in Dandeli town and on the banks of the Kali river flowing by the rest house. There are a few places of interest inside or in the vicinity of the sanctuary. From Dandeli, the Ulvi Channabasaveshwara temple 48 km away, the Kavala caves 23 km, Syke's viewpoint from which a lovely view of Kali valley is visible is 21 km away, the Nagihari valley viewpoint is 14 km and the Syntheri rock and waterfall is 32 km away.


Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary

Doraji (55.87 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 17th October 1994. This is the only sanctuary in Karnataka specially created to protect the sloth bear. The sanctuary has rocky terrain, boulders and caves which is ideal habitat for the sloth bear.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located near Hospet in Bellary district from 1514' to 1517'N altitude and 7631' to 7640'E longitude. Average altitude in the sanctuary 647 m. Temperature ranges from 20 to 44 C, and annual rainfall from 450 to 500 mm.

FLORA: Most of the sanctuary has scrub forests consisting of species such as Carissa xarandas, Zizyphus mauritiana, Albizzia amara, Acacia catechu and A. latronum. Apart from these species, trees of Grewia tiliaefolia, Eugenia jombalana and Ficus sp. are also found in the sanctuary.

FAUNA: In addition to the sloth bear, the sanctuary is inhabited among others by the leopard, wolf, jackal, striped hyena, bonnet macaque and common mongoose. Pea fowls are also found in the sanctuary.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: From October to March is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Chances of sighting bears are best between 6 and 7 am, and again between 5.30 and 6.30 pm. Accommodation for visitors is available in a forest rest house at Kamalapura. The historical town of Hospet, the capital of the Vijayanagara empire is worth a visit. The Tungabhadra Dam at Hospet with its well-maintained gardens and colourful fountains is another major tourist attraction.

APPROACH: By road from Bangalore to Chitradurga (199 km), then to Hospet (135 km) and on to amalapura (12 km), which is 18 km from the sanctuary. It can also be approached from Ranebennur to Harihara (21 km), then to Harappanahalli (40km), then to Hospet (92 km), Kamalapura (12 km) and on to the sanctuary (18 km).


Gadavi Bird Sanctuary

Gudavi (0.74 sq. km) was declared a sanctuary on 10th July 1989. It comprises a large water tank covering 0.30 ha and a patch of dense moist deciduous forest. The sanctuary is surrounded by agricultural fields on the west and north and by moist deciduous forest on the east and south.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Shimoga district from 1426 to 1427'N latitude and 7501' to 7502'E longitude. Altitude is 560 m and temperatures vary from 15 to 38C. mean annual rainfall is 1000 mm.

FLORA: Vitex leucoxylon and Phyllanthus polyphyllus dominate the area around the water tank while the moist deciduous forest has trees such as Teminalia bellerica, T. paniculata, T. chebula, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Dalbergia latifolia, Adina cprdifolia, Xylia xylocarpa, Caryota urens, Ficus bengalensis, F.religiosa, Butea monosperma, Santalum album, Diospyros melanoxylon and Madhuca indica. The major tree species in which birds nest are Vitex leucoxylon, Kirangamelia reticulata and Phyllanthus polyphyllus.

FAUNA: This small sanctuary is known mainly for its bird life. 191 species have been recorded here, of which 63 are water-dependent. The major nesting takes place between June and November and 20 species are known to breed here. Water birds in the sanctuary include the white ibis, darter, little cormorant, Indian shag, cattle egret, little egret, large egret, spoonbill, grey heron, purple heron, pond heron, night heron, coot, pheasant-tailed jacana, purple moorhen, common sandpiper, little ringed plover, little grebe and cotton teal. An average of about 8000 white ibis is known to visit this sanctuary every year.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between June and November is the best time to observe nesting birds. Entry is open to visitors form 6 am to 6 pm.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Shimoga (265km) on to Sagar (70 km), then by road to Soraba (30 km) and on to the sanctuary (12km). Otherwise by rail or road from Mangalore to Shimoga (160 km), then on to the sanctuary via Sagar and Soraba.


Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary

Mookambika (247 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 17th June 1974. It is named after the goddess Mookambika, the reigning deity of the famous Mookambika temple at Kollur. The sanctuary is divided into a core zone (114 sq. km), a buffer zone (90 sq. km) and a tourism zone (43 sq. km). It has evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests covering the steep slopes typical of the Western Ghats mountains. The sanctuary shares its north west boundary with the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Udupi district from 1341' to 1358'N latitude and 7438' to 7456'E longitude. Altitude varies from about 20 to 1343 m, the highest point being the Kodachadri peak on the sanctuary's north eastern boundary. Temperatures range from 10 to 35C, and mean annual rainfall is above 5500 mm.

FLORA: The sanctuary has evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forest and small patches of teak plantations. Some of the dominant evergreen tree species Dipterocarpus indicus, Poeciloneuron indicum, Calophyllum tomentosum, Hopea parviflora and Machilus macrantha. Myristica sp. and Elaeocarpus sp. are found in the middle storey. Canes (Calamus sp.) are abundant in the under-storey. Calamus thwaitsii is a cane found at the lower altitudes and can grow to heights of 100 m. This cane is used to pull the temple chariot at the Mookambika fair every year. Another species, C. pseudontenuis occurs at higher altitudes. An interesting local observation used as a way to distinguish the two species is that C. thwaitsii and the range of the lion-tailed macaque (which inhabits the higher altitudes of the sanctuary.Terminalia paniculata, Artocarpus hirsuta, Hopea parviflora, Vitex altissima, Eugenia sp. and Cinnamomum sp. dominate the top storey of the semi-evergreen forests.Bombax celiba, Mangifera indica, Dalbergia latifolia, Dillenia pentagyna and Adina cordifolia are conspicuous among the moist deciduous tree species. A rare climber Coscinium fenestratum was recorded in the sanctuary by Anand Hudar during his term as Range Forest Officer at Kollur. This endangered plant locally known as Arashina balli or Marada arshina is of very high medicinal value and has therefore been heavily exploited in the past. Efforts are on to protect this plant by the creation of preservation plots.

FAUNA: Mammals in this sanctuary include the lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, common langur, slender loris, sloth bear, gaur, wild pig, tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, chital, sambar, barking deer, otter, porcupine, Malabar giant squirrel and flying squirrel. This tiger is only very rarely sighted in the sanctuary. There are reports of a lone elephant tusker occasionally seen in the north western parts and this animal allegedly moves between the sanctuaries of Mookambika and the adjacent Sharavathi valley. Three groups of lion-tailed macaque of around 30 animals each are known to inhabit the sanctuary. Among reptiles, the monitor lizard, king cobra and python are encountered frequently. The endangered cane turtle is also found in the sanctuary. Birds in the sanctuary are represented by the Malabar whistling thrush, Malabar grey hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, great Indian hornbill, southern treepie, yellow bulbul, scarlet minivet, racket-tailed drongo, blacknaped blue flycatcher and quake babbler.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between November and March is the best time to visit the sanctuary since it rains during the rest of the year. There is a facility to conduct nature camps for students at Aane-jhari, wonderfully located on the banks of the Sowparnika stream and an ideal location to observe birds. There are also may hotels and rest houses in Kollur which provide accommodation to visitors. The Mookambika temple at Kollur has its annual fair in February-March for which people visit in large numbers and accommodation at this temple is not easy to get. Apart from this, there are the temples of Belakallu and Kodachadri both in the north-eastern part of the sanctuary. The annual fair of the Belakallu temple is in December. Other interesting places nearby include the Arasingundi waterfall (6 km from Kollur, via Dhalli). Belakallu Tirtha waterfall (12 km from Kollur via Nuksal), Kodachadri hill station (51 km from Kollur by road, 15 km by trekking path) Maravanthe beach (25 km from Kollur) and Hosadu Abbi waterfall (10 km from Byndoor).

APPROACH: By rail or road form Bangalore to Shimoga (270 km) and then by road to Sagar (85 km) and then by the Hosanagara- Nagodi Ghat road on to Kollur (75 km) which is inside the sanctuary. Otherwise by road from Mangalore to Byndoor (105 km) and then on to Kollur (27 km).


Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary

Melkote (49.82 sq. km) was declared a sanctuary in 17th June 1974 specifically to protect the wolf. The sanctuary is divided into two blocks, Mudibetta (4.48 sq. km) and Narayandurga (45.34 sq. km). In between the two blocks are a number of villages and cultivation. The landscape is rocky, with dry deciduous and scrub vegetation.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Mandya district, the major block from 1237 to 1244'N latitude and 4634' to 7639'E longitude and the other block from 1241' to 1243'N latitude and 7639' to 7641'N longitude. Altitude varies from 880 to 1127 m, the highest point being Gavikallu Betta in the south. Temperatures range from 17 to 38C, and the mean annual rainfall is 700 mm.

FLORA: Deciduous scrub forest dominates the area. Cycas circinalis, an endangered gymnosperm is characteristic of this area. A few pockets of Shorea talura exist in the sanctuary. Other species include Acacia leucophloea, Angogeissus latifolia, Santalum album and Zizyphus sp.

FAUNA: Mammals of the area include wolf, leopard, jungle cat, Indian fox, black buck, spotted deer, wild pig, bonnet macaque, langur and pangolin. The sanctuary is quite rich in bird life.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between October and April is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Accommodation is available outside the sanctuary. The Melkote Narasimhaswamy temple also on the outskirts of the sanctuary is worth a visit.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Mysore to Srirangapatna (16 km) and on to Pandavapura (10 km) then by road to Melkote (20 km) and on to the sanctuary (5 km). By rail or road from Bangalore to Mandya (100 km) and then by road to the sanctuary (35 km).


Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary

Nugu (30.32 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 17th June 1974. Being situated just north of Bandipur National Park, the flora of the two areas is similar except that the Nugu area is still recovering from earlier degradation. Much of the north western part of the sanctuary is occupied by the Nugu reservoir.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Mysore district from 1153' to 1159'N latitude and 7626' to 7629'E longitude. Altitude varies from 742 to 959 m the highest point being Mullur Betta near the north eastern edge of the sanctuary. Temperatures range from 14 to 38C an the mean annual rainfall is 1000 mm.

FLORA: The area is covered by scrub forest and cultivation adjacent to the reservoir and by degraded dry deciduous forest in the southern portion of the sanctuary. Common species include Anogeissus latifolia, Emblica officinalis, Santalum album, Albizzia sp. and Dendrocalamus strictus.

FAUNA: Mammals of the Sanctuary include elephant, leopard, jungle cat, wild pig, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, jackal, hare, common mongoose, common otter, small Indian civet, common palm civet and porcupine.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Tourism has not yet been developed in the sanctuary. Between October and April is the best time for wildlife viewing. Accommodation is available in the PWD and Forest Rest houses near the north eastern boundary of the sanctuary.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Mysore (140km) then by road to HD Kote Hand Post (50 km) and on to Nugu (16 km) via Sargur.


PUSHPAGIRI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Pushpagiri (102.92 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 2nd September 1987. Situated in the Western Ghats, the area has thick evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and the shola grassland habitat in the higher areas. The steep terrain of the sanctuary has resulted in some impressive waterfalls along the various streams that originate in these mountains.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Kodagu district from 1229' to 1242'N latitude and 7538' to 7542'E longitude. Altitude varies from 160 to 1712 m, the highest point being the Pushpagiri Peak in the north of the sanctuary. Temperatures range from 10 to 38C and annual rainfall is above 6500 mm.

FLORA: The area has mostly evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and shola grasslands in the higher altitudes. The evergreen forests include species such as Dysoxylum malabaricum, Dipterocarpus indicus, Hopea parviflora, Mesua ferrea, Canarium strictum, Sterculia alata, Artocarpus hirsuta, A. integrifolia, Palllaquim ellipticum and hydnocarpus wightiana. The semi-evergreen forests are made up of species such as Artocarpus lakoocha, Caralia integrima, Eleocarpus tuberculatus, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Polyalthia fragrans, Albizzia lebbeck, Zanthophyllum flavescens, Terminalia tomentosa and T. paniculata. The lower storey is dominated by canes, bamboos, Strobilanthus sp. Leea sambuciana and Pandanus factorius. The reeds Ochlandra rheedii and O. travancorica are also found. Shola species include Schefflera capitata, Meliosma sp., Xantholis tomentosa and Symplocos sp. Rhododendrons are also found in the sholas.

FAUNA: Mammals of the sanctuary include elephant, leopard, jungle cat, wild pig, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, jackal, hare, common mongoose, common otter, small Indian civet, common palm civet and porcupine.

APPROACH: By road from Mysore to Mercara (120 km), and on to the sanctuary (25 km). It is also approachable from Subramanya, Sommwarpet and Sulya.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between November and March is the best time for wildlife viewing in the sanctuary. There is no accommodation available in the sanctuary. There are two trekking routes to the Pushpagiri peak, where a temple is located. One is from Subramanya on the west and the other from Heggademane on the east. Due to its relative inaccessibility, the sanctuary has remained quite untouched and has great potential to be developed further for trekking and related eco-tourism activities. Interesting tourist spot nearby include the Mallikarjuna temple at Heggadenabe, the Subramanyaswamy temple (28 km from the sanctuary) and Harangi Reservoir (50 km). Areas in and around Madikeri are also worth visiting and among others are the Abbey falls, the Raja seat garden, museum and fort in Madikeri and the Omkareshwara temple.


Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary

Ranebennur (119 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 17th June 1974, especially with the view to protect the black buck. It comprises two unconnected portions, an eastern and a western bit. The sanctuary has a core zone of 14.87 sq. km and a buffer-cum tourism zone of 104.13 sq. km. The area is covered mainly by scrub forest and eucalyptus plantations, and is also inhabited by the highly endangered Great Indian bustard and the wolf. Agricultural fields surround the sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Dharwad district, the two portions lying between 1434' and 1446'N latitude, and 7530' and 7547'E longitude. Altitude varies from 546 to 762 m. Temperatures vary from 13 to 38C, and mean annual rainfall is 619 mm.

FLORA: The original vegetation until 1956 consisted mainly of Acacia catechue, Prosopis juliflora, Dodonea viscosa and Carissa auriculata. In an attempt to increase vegetation cover in the area, it was planted with eucalyptus and some indigenous species. Today, the top canopy is made up almost only of eucalyptus, along with some Hardwickia binata and Albizzia amara. The middle and lower storeys consist of Acacia catechu, Prosopis juliflora, Dodonea viscosa, Acaxia sundra, Zizyphus mauritiana, Lantana camara, Randia sp. and Cassia auriculata. The western portion has more open scrubland. Subabul (leucana leucocephala) has been planted in patches in some parts of the sanctuary. Cassia fistula, neem (Azadirachta indica), Holoptelia integrifolia, Madhuca indica, Ficus sp. and bamboo have been planted along the sanctuary's roads.

FAUNA: The sanctuary is known for its blackbuck and wolf populations. Other mammals include wild pig, fox, jackal, langur, porcupine, common mongoose, hare and pangolin. Hyenas are also found in the Harinigudda area of the sanctuary. The population of blackbuck has seen a constant increase since the establishment of the sanctuary.The Great Indian bustard, a large cursorial bird, which was quite common in the short grass plains and semi-arid areas of the Indian subcontinent 100 years ago, was indiscriminately hunted, and its habitat destroyed, resulting in a drastic decline in its population, until it came under stringent protection in the 1970s. The highest estimate of bustard in the Ranebennur sanctuary is 14 birds. Apart from the Great Indian bustard, avifauna in the sanctuary include peafowl, sirkeer cuckoo, large grey babbler, baybacked shrike and black drongo.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Chitradurga (199 km), then to Davanagere (66 km), Harihara (15 km), and on to Ranebennur (21 km). Otherwise by rail or road from Dharwad to Shiggaon (63 km) and on to Ranebennur (64 km) via Haveri. The park is 8 km from Ranebennur town.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between October and March is the best time for observing blackbuck, while the bustard is most easily sighted from February to May. A Forest rest house situated on the sanctuary boundary at Gangajala, has six rooms and can accommodate upto 12 persons. Forest watcher, Somanna Gowda, reports of a bustard nest in March 1998. He has also observed wolf pups in March and mentions that the wolves thrive on sheep that graze on the outskirts of the sanctuary. Black bucks are known to raid jowar, bajra, ragi and other crops in the fields surrounding the sanctuary.


Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Ranganathittu (0.67 sq. km) was declared a bird sanctuary on 1st July 1940 then Maharaja of Mysore, at the instance of Dr. Salim Ali, who visited the area during his survey of birds. Although the sanctuary is made up of two unconnected clusters of islets along the Cauvery river, very few people are aware of the existence of the eastern (downstream) portion at Gendehosahalli, which has not yet been developed for tourism. The western portion of the sanctuary attracts a large number of tourists who come to observe water birds nesting on the island's trees in thousands. The islets are surrounded by the water of a reservoir formed by the construction of a check-dam in the mid 1600s, when Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar was the ruler of Mysore. The agricultural fields surrounding the sanctuary are host to a variety of aquatic creatures, which are a majorsource of food for the birds that nest in the sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Mandya district, the western portion from 1224' to 1225'N latitude and 7639' to 7640'E longitude, and the eastern portion from 1222' to 1223'N latitude and 7649'E longitude. Altitude varies from 690 to 715 m and temperature from 15 to 35C. Mean annual rainfall is 800 mm.

FLORA: Most of the sanctuary area has riverine forests, as well as some deciduous forests. Bamboo, eucalyptus, figs, jamun and acacia have been planted in the area. The unique species Lphigenia mysorensis is found here. Other species include Terminalia arjuna, Albizzia amara, Barringtonia racemosa, Pandanus spp., Sygium cumini and Derris indica.

FAUNA: Mammals on the islands include bonnet macaque, common mongoose, palm civet, common otter and flying fox (fruit bat). Among reptiles, the marsh crocodile is regular sight. The birds that visit this are in large numbers for nesting include little cormorant, large cormorant, shag, darter, white ibis, spoonbill, open billed stork, painted stork, egrets and herons. The great stone plover, river fern, cliff swallow and streaked weaver also prefer the safe islands for nesting. Other birds in the sanctuary include the white-necked stork, spot-billed duck, lesser whistling teal, common sandpiper and kingfishers.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Srirangapatna (125 km), which is 3 km from the sanctuary; by rail or road from Mysore to Srirangapatna (16 km), and on to the sanctuary (3 km).

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between June and November when the water birds are nesting is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Accommodation for visitors is available at Srirangapatna. The historical town of Srirangapatna, which was Tippu Sultan's capital is worth a visit. The Brindavan Garden, another major tourist attraction is just 12 km from the sanctuary by road.


Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Sharavathi (431.23 sq. km.) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 20th April 1972. Lying in the Western Ghats, it has dense evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. 123.63 sq. km (and an additional 5.07 sq. km of islands) in the eastern portion of the sanctuary is occupied by the Linganamakki Reservoir, a result of the dam on the Sharavathi river, which was constructed in 1964-65. The remaining area has been divided into core zone (74.33 sq. km.), buffer zone (170.67 sq. km) and tourism zone (57.53 sq. km.). The sanctuary shares its south western boundary with the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Shimoga district, from 1354' to1412'N latitude and 7438' to 7500'E longitude. Altitude varies from 94 to 1102 m, the highest point being Devarakonda on the southern edge of the sanctuary. Temperatures range from 15 to 38C, and mean annual rainfall is 4500 mm.

FLORA: The area has mainly evergreen, semi-green and some moist deciduous forests. The top canopy of the evergreen forests are made up of species such as Dipterocarpus indicus, Callophyllum tomentosum and Machilus macrantha. The middle storey has among others Caryota urens and Aporosa lindleyana. Climbers include Calycoteris floribunda, Gnetum scandens, Entada scandens, Acacia consinna and A.intia. In the semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests, common species include Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Hopea parviflora, Dalbergia latifolia, Dillenia pentagyna, Careya arborea, Emblica officinalis, Randia sp., Terminalia sp. and Vitex altissima.

FAUNA: The sanctuary has a good population of gaur and 3 or 4 groups of lion tailed macaque. Other mammals include tiger, leopard (black panther), wild dog, jackal, sloth bear, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, wild pig, common langur, bonnet macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, porcupine, otter and pangolin. One elephant is sometimes seen in the southern portion of sanctuary and is reported to wander between Sharavathi and Mookambika sanctuaries. Reptiles include king cobra, python, rat snake (some almost black), crocodile and monitor lizard. The possibility of seeing snakes in this sanctuary is very high. Apart from the water-dependent bird species that frequent the reservoir, interesting avifauna in the sanctuary include three species of hornbill, paradise flycatcher, racket tailed drongo, blue-throated barbet and Indian lorikeet.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Talguppa (352 km) via Tumkur, Shimoga and Sagar, then by road to the sanctuary (7 km). Otherwise by road from Mangalore to Talguppa (207 km) via Bhatkal, and then on to the sanctuary.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between November and May, is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Accommodation is available for visitors in two forest rest houses, one at Jog and the other at Nagavalli. There is also a nature camp facility with tented accomodation at Muppane. The spectacular Jog Falls where water from the Sharavathi river falls from a height of almost 300 m is just 5 km from Kargal on the northern boundary of the sanctuary.


Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary

Shettihalli (395.6 sq. km) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 23rd November 1974. It is divided into a core zone (100.6 sq. km.), a buffer zone (237.4 sq. km) and a tourism zone (57.6 sq. km). It lies adjacent to Shimoga town and has forests ranging from dry deciduous to semi-evergreen. There are a large number of human settlements inside the sanctuary, mainly consisting of families that were displaced by the construction of the Sharavati dam in the 1960s. On the 26th June 1988, a tiger and lion safari (0.91 sq. km) was created in the north eastern part of the sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Shimoga district, from 1342' to 1401'N latitude and 7514' to 7534'E longitude. Altitude varies from about 600 to 1031 m, and temperatures from 15 to 38C. Rainfall increases from east to west and mean annual rainfall is 2000 mm.

FLORA: The sanctuary has mostly dry and moist deciduous forests in the eastern and central parts. Towards the west, with an increase in rainfall, there are semi-evergreen forests. Trees of the dry deciduous parts include Terminalia tomentosa, T. bellerica, Gmelina arborea, Tectona Grandis, Anogeissus latifolia, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Wrightia tinctoria, Cassia fistula and Emblica officinalis. In the moist deciduous forest, species such as Adina cordifolia, Xylia xylocarpa, Grewia tilaefolia and Kydia Calycina occur. Bamboos, Dendrocalamus strictus and Bambusa arundinacea, are also typical of these forests. The semi-evergreen forests are represented by species of Dipterocarpus, Michelia, Hopea, Schleichera and Bambusa. Plantations of Acacia auriculiformis, teak (Tectona grandis) and silver oak (Grevillea robusta) exist in the sanctuary.

FAUNA: Mammals in the sanctuary include tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, gaur, elephant, sloth bear sambar, spotted deer, wild pig, common langur, bonnet macaque, common mongoose, striped-necked mongoose, porcupine, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel and pangolin. Python, cobra king cobra rat snake and marsh crocodile are among the reptiles found in the sanctuary. Birds include hornbills, kingfishers, bulbuls, parakeets, doves, pigeons, kingfishers, babblers, flycatchers, munias, swallows, woodpeckers, peafowl, jungle fowl and partridges.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Shimoga (270 km) which is on the north-eastern edge of the sanctuary. Otherwise by road from Mangalore to Agumbe (98 km), then to Tirthahalli (30 km)and on to Shimoga and the sanctuary boundary (30 km).

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between November and January is the best time for wildlife viewing. Entry is open to visitors between 6 am and 6 pm. There is a two-room forest rest house close to Hulibayi Halla and a one-room rest house at Bellur, both inside the sanctuary. The tiger safari at Thyavarekoppa, which is part of the sanctuary is 10 km from Shimoga towards Sagar on the Bangalore-Honavar road. There is also a small zoo within the safari complex which houses bears, leopards jackals, hyenas and some other animals. The safari is open to visitors between 10 am and 1 pm, and again between 2 pm and 5 pm. It remains closed on Tuesdays. The elephant camp at Sacrebyle is open to visitors between 9.30 and 11.30 am, the time when the elephants are fed. This camp is 12 km from Shimoga along the Shimoga Tirthahalli road. The bird sanctuary at Mandagadde is small island on the river Tunga. Egrets are the major species that breed here. It is best visited between July and October, when the birds are nesting. Boating arrangements for closer viewing of the nesting birds have been made by the Forest Department. The sanctuary lies 30 km from Shimoga along the Shimoga-Tirthahalli road.


Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary

Someshwara (88.4 sq. km.) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 5th June 1974. Lying in the Western Ghats, it has semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. The sanctuary comprises of two unconnected parts, the smaller part being situated to the Southwest of the major part. The Kudremukh National Park lies to the Southeast of this sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Udupi district, the major portion from 1329' to 1337'N Latitude and 7459' to 7505'E longitude and the smaller portion from 1328' to 1331'N latitude and 7456' to 7500'E longitude. Altitude varies from 75 to 870 m, the highest point being situated on the north eastern edge of the sanctuary. Temperatures range from 20 to 37C, and mean annual rainfall is 6000 mm.

FLORA: The sanctuary has evergreen, semi evergreen and moist deciduous forests. The trees of the evergreen forests include Terminalia painculata, Machilus macrantha, Lophopetalum wightianum, Mangifera indica, Hopea parviflora, Artocarpus hirsuta and Cinnamomum sp. The moist deciduous forests are represented by Dalbergia Latifolia, Terminalia tomentosa, Lagerstroemia Lanceplata, Schleichera oleosa, Dillenia penbtagyna and Careya arborea. Apart from plantations of teak, eucalyptus, casurina and cashew, there are also some mixed plantations of native species such as Bombax, Sterculia, Ailanthus etc.

FAUNA: Mammals in the sanctuary include tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, gaur, wild pig, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque and common langur. Reptiles are represented by king cobra, python and monitor lizard. Interesting birds in the sanctuary include Malabar trogon, Ceylon frogmouth, Malabar pied hornbill and Malabar whistling thrush.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: Between November and April is the best time to visit the sanctuary. Entry is open to visitors between 6 am and 6 pm. A nature camp at Sitanadi is meant for school children and group of youngsters interested in learning more about forests and wildlife and generally getting close to nature. Other tourist spots nearby that are worth visiting include the Onakabbi Falls, Agumbe Sunset Point and Jamblu Tirtha. Apart from the famous Someshwara temple from which the sanctuary got its name, several temples inside the sanctuary and in the surrounding areas might be worth a visit.

APPROACH: By rail or road from Bangalore to Shimoga (270 km) and then by road to the sanctuary (95 km) via Tirthahalli and Agumbe, which is near the south eastern boundary of the sanctuary. Otherwise by road from Mangalore to Mudbidri (38 km), then to Karkala (15 km) and on to Herbs (33 km), which is on the southern edge of the sanctuary.


Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary

Talakaveri (105.01 sq. km.) was declared a wildlife sanctuary on 31st August/1st September 1987. Situated in the Western Ghats, it is mostly covered with tropical evergreen forests. It was named after Talakaveri the origin of the river Cauvery which lies on the eastern edge of the sanctuary. A few coffee and cardamom plantations are enclosed within the sanctuary.

GEOGRAPHY: It is located in Kodagu district from 1217' to 1227'N latitude and 7526' to 7533'E longitude. Altitude varies from 64 to 1659 m, the highest point being located on the southeastern edge of the sanctuary. The river Cauvery originates from the Brahmagiri peak (1355 m) (this is not the same as the mountain in Brahmagiri Sanctuary, but only shares the name). Temperatures range from 10 to 35C and annual rainfall is above 6500 mm.

FLORA: The forests are mostly of the evergreen and semi-evergreen type. The evergreen species include Dipterocarpus indicus, Hopea parviflora, Dysoxylum malabaricum, Pallaquim ellipticum, Mesua ferrea, Canarium strictum, Hydnocarpus zeylancum, Artocarpus lakoocha, Eleocarpus tuberculatus, Terminalia tomentosa, T. paniculata, Polyalthia fragrans, Zanthophyllum flavescens and Caralia integrima dominate the semi-evergreen forests. Canes and bamboos are found in the lower storey, as also species like Strobilanthus sp., Leea sambuciana and Pandanus factorius.

FAUNA: The sanctuary is home to mammals like elephant, tiger, leopard, leopard cat, wild dog, jackal, gaur, wild pig, sloth bear, lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, common langur, sambar, spotted deer, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, barking deer, mouse deer, Nilgiri marten, common palm civet, brown palm civet, clawless otter, common mongoose, brown mongoose, striped-necked mongoose, ruddy mongoose and porcupine. Snake of the sanctuary include the king cobra, rat snake, cobra and python. The Great pied hornbill, Malabar trogon, fairy bluebird, broadbilled roller and black eagle are among the interesting birds found in the sanctuary.

APPROACH: By road from Mysore to Madikeri (120 km) via Kushalnagar and on to Bhagamandala (35 km) which is 8 km from the eastern boundary of the sanctuary. Otherwise by road from Mangalore to Bhagamandala (115 km) via Puttur, Sulya and Madikeri.

INFORMATION FOR VISITORS: The dry season, from November to March is ideal to visit the sanctuary. A two-room forest rest house at Talkaveri provides accommodation to visitors. The origin of the Cauvery river is place of religious significance for the people of Kodagu. The area is also ideal for trekking. Devarabetta and lggutappa are nearby tourist spots.

MORE ABOUT THE PLACE: The Cauvery Nisargadhama (0.26 sq. km.), an island on the river Cauvery, lies 2 km from Kushalnagar (on the way to Madikeri) and is worth a stopover. It was established in 1989, protecting the natural riverine and moist deciduous vegetation. It has eight lovely riverside cottages each of which can accommodate two adults and two children. A deluxe cottage on stilts has the river flowing around it and can accommodate five persons.