Wildlife Karnataka


The state of Karnataka has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The forests support 25% of the elephant population and 15% of the tiger population of India and there are many wildlife national parks which are just few hours drive from Bengaluru.BANDIPUR NATIONAL PARK
Bandipur sanctuary was set up by the Mysore Maharaja in 1931, at the foot of the Nilgiri Hills. Travel into the forest on well laid roads to see elephants, barking deer, quail, wild dogs, sambar, hornbill, gaur, spotted deer, sambar, chusingha, bonnet macaques and giant squirrels. It can be an enthralling experience.
wildlife tour
This stretches along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and lies on the Mysore-Ooty highway. It has an excellent internal network of roads through its hilly, forested landscape, and many water holes and salt licks, provide wonderful opportunities for wildlife viewing. Not the easiest place to spot the big cat, it is one of the largest habitats in south India for the elephant which may be encountered regularly. The elephant rides are a wonderful way to get a feel of the jungle and view the birdlife. An endless variety of flora – rosewood, teak, bamboo and sandal flourish here. Bandipur is a centre for “Project Tiger”.

General Information
Altitude- 680-1454 metres.
Climate- Winter minimum 11, Summer maximum 3o degrees. Monsoon from June to September. Access- Nearest town is Gundulpet, 20 km away and 58 km from Mysore on the main road to Ooty. Nearest railway station is Nanjungud, 55 and airport Mysore, 80 km away.
Best Time: Open throughout the year but best from March to July or September to October when park is lush green.

Suggested Programme:
Day 01
Depart for Bandipur by car. Late afternoon jeep excursion into the park to view wildlife.
Morning depart for Mudumalai by car. Game viewing on elephant back. Later return to Bandipur. Late afternoon jeep safari into the park for wildlife photography.
Depart for Bangalore by car.

By Road: 80 km from Mysore and 220 Km from Bangalore.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Mysore.
By Air : Nearest airport is Bangalore.

Click here for an article on Bandipur and back – A Perfect Holiday.



Spread over an area of 492 sq km the Bhadra Sanctuary has a variety of fauna. The sanctuary takes its name from the eponymous river, its lifeline. Popularly known as Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary, after the village on its periphery, it is a great place to sight the ferocious tiger, observe the Indian bison, hear the strange calls of the striped hyena and see the rare flying lizard glide amidst the huge trees.

The southern part of the sanctuary is rich in birds, butterflies and reptiles. More than 250 species of bird life, many of which are endemic to the Western Ghats, are spotted here.

Best Season: October to February.
Location and Area: Chikmagalur and Shimoga Districts; 492.46 sq. kms.

Flora and Fauna:
Moist and dry deciduous forests with patches of shoal-grassland habitat are found at the higher altitudes.

They include the tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, elephant, gaur, sloth bear, sambar, spotted dear, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, common langur, bonnet macaque, slender loris and the Malabar giant squirrel.

More than 250 birds have been identified. The ruby-throated bulbul, shama, Malabar whistling thrush, four species of hornbill, racquet-tailed drongo and the paradise flycatcher are some of them.

The marsh crocodile, flying lizard, monitor lizard and different kinds of snakes are some of the reptiles found here.

By Road: 35 km from Chickmagalur.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Kadur or Bhadravathi.
By Air: Nearest airport is Bangalore.


It was originally constituted into a sanctuary in the year 1955 covering an area of 258 sq. Kms and subsequently enlarged to include the adjoining areas of Mysore district and now extends over an area of 643.39 sq. kms which was given the status of a National Park in 1983. Nagarahole National Park forms apart of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and together with Bandipur National Park (875 sq. kms) and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (325 sq. kms) to its South East and Wayanad (350 sq. kms) to the South-West, is one of the last remaining and best protected habitats for endangered species like the Elephant and the Tiger.The Nagarhole National Park is an ideal getaway for nature lovers. If youNagarhole National Park want to tour Nagarhole in royal style, you can do it on elephant back! Jeeps and vans are also available. Nature is at her best at this sanctuary. One can get to see a lot of wildlife roaming around. The four horned antelope, warblers, spotted deer, panther, mouse deer, gaur and giant flying squirrel, to name a few. Nagarahole is named after NagaraHole (Cobra river in the local language, Kannada), a winding river which runs eastwards through its centre. Situated in the two districts of Mysore and Kodagu in the state of Karnataka.

Nature is at her best at this sanctuary. One can get to see a lot of wildlife roaming around. The four horned antelope, warblers, spotted deer, panther, mouse deer, gaur and giant flying squirrel, to name a few. The park spreads over an area of 571 sq km .


By Road: 96 km from Mysore.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Mysore.
By Air: Nearest airport is Bangalore.




Ranganathaittu Bird SanctuaryHome to exotic birds like storks, white ibises, egrets, herons, partridges, kingfisher, spoonbill, whistling teal and cormorants, coming all the way from Siberia, Australia and North America. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is an important tourist destination from Mysore city or the adjoining Vrindavan gardens, both of which are barely 20 km away. The bird sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Kaveri River, includes of a group of six islets as well.

The isolated islets and the abundance of aquatic insects during the monsoon make Ranganathittu a favourite abode for birds. Ranganathittu attained the status of a bird sanctuary in 1940, courtesy of the visions of India. The noted ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali, during his survey of the birds of Mysore, advocated for the establishment of such a sanctuary. The sanctuary is now a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers and bird watchers. The large number of birds at the sanctuary appears to have attracted a sizable number of tourists as well.

Area : 67 sq km

Climate: There are no extremities of temperature at Ranganathittu Sanctuary. The temperature stays between the 23. 29°C range for most parts of the year. In June, when the southwest monsoon peaks throughout Karnataka state, heavy to very heavy rainfall, accompanied by waterlogging and mild flooding, has been reported from the area.

Paradise of Birds: The sanctuary, even though it lacks a sprawling area, is a delightful place to visit. What makes it inviting is that it is an important Asian nesting and breeding ground for migratory birds from all across the earth. Some species of birds that are known to have made Ranganathittu their breeding abode are spoonbills, open bill storks, darters, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, partridge, river tern, stone plougher, snake bird, and other exotic bird species that fly to the sanctuary in large flocks. Local inhabitants like kingfishers and peacocks are also found in this avian bliss.
Boats are available at the sanctuary to take the tourists for a ride along the river and the islets, where they can witness trees full of beautiful birds of myriad varieties. Most of the oarsmen are also excellent guides and can provide tourists the exact location as to where the birds may be spotted. The Kaveri riverbank also offers excellent spots for picnics.

Accoommodation: Accommodation is available at Ranganathittu in the form of three Riverside Cottages. Most tourists, however, prefer to stay at nearby Mysore

IDEAL TIME TO VISIT: June to November.

By Road: 18 km from Mysore.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Mysore.
By Air: Nearest airport is Bangalore.



An ideal habitat to view nature closely at its best. Let us hope it remains that way for a long time to come! The Dandeli Game Sanctuary is home to some of the rare species like barking, spotted and mouse deer, sloth bear, panther, tiger, gaur, civet cat, bison, jackal, langur and giant flying squirrel, besides a variety of colourful birds and reptiles. Elephants, wild dogs and mongoose move freely here. The reptilian and amphibian fauna of the region include a variety of ruffles and frogs.
There is a cave perched up in the middle of a steep rock. Work your way up there and you will see a natural formation of stalactites and stalagmites which is naturally revered as a ShivaLinga!
The calm and peaceful Dandeli Sanctuary is reputed as the largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka. Nestling some very rare animal and birds is an unspoilt, untouched and unexplored treasure of wildlife that is sure to leave you spellbound. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary abounds with a richness of Flora and Fauna. One can enjoy captivating landscape. The sanctuary is generally undulating with steep slopes with picturesque deep river valleys and rich hilly forest terrain. The breathtaking valleys, regal looking meandering rivers and the splendid scenic beauty of the syntheri rock make it an awe inspiring experience. The forest in Dandeli is typical moist deciduous and semi evergreen types, with pockets of every green.

It spread over 834.16 sq.km and is the second largest in the state. The undulating streams, swaying bamboos, abundance of wildlife, sylvan surroundings and trekking tracts make Dandeli sanctuary a unique holiday destination. River /kali and its tributaries, Kaneri and Nagajhari, meander through the forest.
Sighting animals is difficult and always involves an element of luck.

Evening ride in a coracle (a circular boat, woven with bamboo and lined with buffalo hide), down the river Kali is memorable. The leisurely drift of the coracle allows you to watch hornbills returning to nest in tall trees on river banks, observe darters drying their plumes on deadwood entrenched in the river and admire egrets flying against an orange sky.

Syntheri rocks, is an awesome monolithic granite structure situated amidst thick forest and is 35 km from Dandeli National Park with perennial river Kaneri flowing by its side. There are innumerable trekking trails and fishing spots at Dandeli.

The park has furnished tents, dormitories, a herbarium, well stocked library, video film screening etc. Jungle safaris are arranged for tourists both during morning and evening hours. The main wildlife species include elephant, tiger, leopard, gaur, flying squirrel, mouse deer etc., and main bird species include magpie robin, golden backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle and a large variety of other birds.

Location: 485 km from Bangalore, 125 km from Goa, 75 km from Hubli, 93 kms from Karwar.
Area: 5729.07sq. Kms.
Main Wildlife Attractions: Crocodiles
Optional Visits: Ulavi Temple, Karwar and Kali Wilderness Camp for white water rafting and other adventure activities.
Enjoying the Wild : The sanctuary offers wildlife safaris in jeeps, nature walks, bird watching, crocodile sighting trips, fishing, coracle boat rides, trekking in the jungles of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.
Where to Stay: Completely furnished-tented cottages with attached baths. Rooms at spacious lodge with attached baths.

IDEAL TIME TO VISIT: December to May.

By Road: 93 km from Karwar.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Karwar.
By Air: Nearest airport is Belgaum.



IDEAL TIME TO VISIT: October to MayAt a height of 5,091 ft., this resort is a must for wildlife lovers. Dancing trees, whistling winds and swirling streams form a back drop to some very rare animals – gaur, chital, sambar, bears, elephants, panthers, tigers…

And if you’re looking for a place that is calm and peaceful, the Biligirirangaswamy Temples (from which the hill derives its name) is the right place.
The serene surroundings, the soft reverberations of the bells and the songs of the birds in the background at this complex are sure to rejuvenate your souls. You may also find the Soligas, native tribes of this range, singing a sprightly folk song or dancing to a brisk tune.
While on your visit, make sure you don’t miss the Ratha festival, held during ‘Vaishaka’ in the month of April.

By Road: 90 km from Mysore.
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Mysore.
By Air: Nearest airport is Bangalore.



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