Lesser Known Wildlife Destinations In Karnataka

Karnataka, a biodiversity hotspot in India, offers a multitude of wildlife destinations, from the dense jungles of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary to the pristine habitats of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
A herd of fallow deer or Chital in a forest backdrops at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka
A herd of fallow deer or Chital in a forest backdrops at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, KarnatakaShutterstock

Karnataka is one of the best hotspot for biodiversity in India, all because of the immense variety of wildlife and lush forest habitats. Tourists and nature enthusiasts from around the world have been drawn to the area by the region's abundant and diverse fauna. However, there are still many areas in Karnataka that have not been fully explored. Check out these lesser-known wildlife refuges that you should go to on your next trip.

Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) in Karnataka
Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) in KarnatakaShutterstock

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary 

An elephant crossing the road at Bhadra Tiger Reserve
An elephant crossing the road at Bhadra Tiger ReserveFlickr

Nestled amidst the Western Ghats lies the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread over 490 square kilometres, this sanctuary is a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Explore the diverse ecosystems, flora, and fauna that make this sanctuary unique. Upon entering, you are greeted by a symphony of colours and sounds. Towering trees, cascading waterfalls, and glistening streams create a backdrop for thriving wildlife. Elephants, tigers, leopards, Indian bison, and various deer species inhabit the sanctuary, with the elusive black panther occasionally spotted. Nature lovers can enjoy jungle safaris guided by experienced naturalists who share their knowledge of the region's rich biodiversity. Trekking enthusiasts can traverse winding trails leading to viewpoints offering panoramic vistas of the sanctuary's pristine beauty. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary also offers bird-watching and photography opportunities. With over 300 bird species, it's a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

Getting There: One can reach Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary from Bangalore, by road enjoying a picturesque journey of around 280 kilometers. Nearest railhead and airport is in Mangalore, approximately 190 kilometers away. From Mangalore, one can hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach the sanctuary.

Entry Fee:  The entry fee to visit Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is INR 400 per person for adults (Indians) and INR 600 per person for foreigners.

Timings: Safari 6:30 am - 8:30 am and 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm on all days

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in KarnatakaWikimedia Commons

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary spans approximately 181 square kilometres and is named after the prominent Brahmagiri peak. The sanctuary is known for its diverse landscapes, including evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, shola grasslands, and bamboo forests, which create a rich habitat for various plant and animal species. The sanctuary holds tremendous ecological importance as part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It serves as a vital connection between the Eastern and Western Ghats. The sanctuary is home to endangered wildlife species such as elephants, tigers, leopards, dholes (Indian wild dogs), gaur (Indian bison), sambar deer, bonnet macaques, lion-tailed macaques, and Malabar giant squirrels. It also boasts a diverse avian population, with over 200 bird species, including the great pied hornbill, Malabar trogon, and Nilgiri laughing thrush. Visitors to Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary can hike and trek along well-marked trails, providing opportunities to appreciate the sanctuary's natural beauty and observe wildlife. The famous trek to Brahmagiri Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views. Additionally, the sanctuary is significant from a religious perspective, housing the revered Iruppu Falls within its boundaries.

Getting There: Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is 270 kms from Bangalore. The nearest rail station is in Mysore, approximately 120 kilometers away, while the nearest airport is in Kannur, Kerala, about 110 kilometers away. From either point, visitors can hire taxis or use public transportation to reach the sanctuary.

Entry Fee:  The entry fee to visit Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is INR 50 per person for adults and INR 25 per person for children.

Timings: 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM on all days.

Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
Cauvery Wildlife SanctuaryBikash R Das/Flickr

The Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary is a remarkable natural refuge renowned for its stunning biodiversity. Covering an area of 102 square kilometers, this sanctuary serves as a vital conservation zone, housing a wide variety of plant and animal species. Named after the majestic Cauvery River that winds through its terrain, the sanctuary owes its thriving ecosystem to the life-giving waters it provides. This protected area boasts diverse wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, dholes, sambar deer, and many bird species. The sanctuary's verdant forests and grasslands offer ideal habitats for these magnificent creatures, enabling them to flourish undisturbed in their natural surroundings. Visitors to the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary are treated to a unique and immersive experience. It offers opportunities for nature enthusiasts to partake in activities such as birdwatching, wildlife photography, and trekking, facilitating a meaningful connection with the natural world. 

Getting There: Driving from Bangalore offers a picturesque journey of around 100 kilometers to reach Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. The nearest rail station and airport is in Mysore, approximately 80 kilometers away. From either point, visitors can opt for taxis or public transportation to reach the sanctuary.

Entry Fees: INR 400 per person

Safari Timings: Morning from 6 AM to 10 AM, and evening from 4 PM to 6 PM.

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