Karnataka has diverse flora and fauna with a quarter of the geographical area covered with forests. It has many wildlife sanctuaries and is the home for some of the most endangered and rare species along with many common species. The wildlife of Karnataka is among the main attractions for people visiting the state. If you are touring Karnataka visiting wildlife reserves should be part of your itinerary. Listed below are some of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka.
Bandipur National Park
It is a forest reserve that is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere. Located in Gundlupet taluk it spreads around 874 sq km and is one of the best places in South India to spot tigers. This forest reserve was a hunting ground for the Mysore Maharajas is now home for some 100 species of animals. This beautiful and well-maintained national park houses Indian Elephants, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Chital, Dhole and as many as 350 species of birds apart from Tigers. Note that traffic is banned from 9 PM to 6 AM to prevent the death of wildlife and hence plan your travel accordingly. Apart from being the best wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, it is also a great holiday destination as it is close to Bangalore and Mysore. The best time to visit this place is from October to March.
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
Dandeli Wildlife sanctuary is one of the largest in Karnataka. It has many species of animals like the tiger, panther, gaur, sloth bear, langur, jackal, spotted bear, the giant flying squirrel and many varieties of colorful and beautiful birds. The sanctuary arranges wildlife safaris in jeeps, birdwatching trips, crocodile sighting, nature walks, etc. For the adventurous, there is whitewater rafting, trekking and coracle boat rides. The surrounding areas have rich flora and fauna and are a major attraction for tourists. The best time to visit this park is between March to October.
Nagarhole National Park
This park is listed among the best national parks by Karanata Tourism and located in close proximity to the famous Mysore city. This park known as the Rajiv Gandhi National park is 80 km away from Mysore and has wild animals like the leopard, tiger, wild elephant, gaur, muntjac, hyena, mongoose, sloth bear, four-horned antelope, jackal, porcupine and much more. The best time to visit this place is between November and February.
Bannerghatta National Park
This is one of the best tourist places to visit in Karnataka and especially if you are visiting Bangalore. This park is not just known for various species of animals but also for its biodiversity. The park provides shelter to many wild animals like the lions, sloth bears, Bengal Tiger panther, etc and has several species of birds and butterflies. The park also has a safari which is a must-visit to spot the wild animals. A visit to the butterfly park which is on the same premises is a must especially if you have kids. To enhance your experience of being amidst flora and fauna opt for accommodation like the Discovery Village which offers a serene stay out of the hustle of the city traffic. The best time to visit is from September to January.
Dubare Elephant Camp
This camp is in the Kodagu district of Karnataka and houses many Asiatic elephants. The famous Dusshera elephants which carry the Howdah in a procession are all trained here. When in this camp, you can watch the daily activities of those elephants closely and know more about them. It is one of those places that you should visit at once in a lifetime, such is the beauty of this place. Apart from watching the elephants play in the water, you can also enjoy whitewater rafting and spot animals like leopards, gaurs, bears, tigers, leopards, and crocodiles.
Kabini Wildlife sanctuary
This nature’s paradise has many species of trees and flowers apart from the Wildlife Reserve. It is situated around 80 km from Mysore and 250 km from Bangalore and is a perfect destination for fun and leisure. The sanctuary is on the banks of the river Kabini and shelters animals like panter, sambhar, leopard, bison, chital, Asiatic Elephants, and some rare and endangered species. Along with the wildlife, the accommodations like Discovery Village here are great. The resort arranges many activities including trekking and bird watching. The best time to visit Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is July and October.
If there is one place which has beautiful fauna in India, Karnataka has to be at the top. It has the perfect blend of wildlife and adventure which is sure to make the trip a memorable one.