The Unsung the Unknown but a Must Visit Tiger Reserve near Bangalore
If you ask anyone from Bangalore who are planning a wildlife tour about their destination, the most common answer likely to be either Bandipur National Park or Nagarhole National Park (Kabini or Coorg) followed by Mudumalai or Wayanad. Surprisingly, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary (aka Bhadra Tiger Reserve) is not a popular destination.
Bhadra is not very far from Bangalore – about 285 Kms to the northwest. For comparison, Bandipur and Nagarhole are around 235 kms to the south – both about a 5 hour drive on the busy Bangalore-Mysore highway. Although Bhadra is about 50kms farther, the super-fast Bangalore-Hassan highway should ensure a drive of around 5 hours, or lesser. Given this, it’s surprising that more people aren’t heading towards Bhadra.
Bhadra is one of those rare places where you are likely to spot black leopards and leopard cats, and if you are really lucky – a majestic tiger too and amazing birds!!
I would like to call out an excellent documentary about Bhadra called “The Unsung” that was released recently. Prashanth S Nayaka, director and team leader, of the 37-minute documentary narrates the untold story of a silent movement deep inside one of the most pristine jungles of Karnataka.
“Besides showcasing the untainted beauty of Bhadra, the film follows the footsteps of forest guards who protect the reserve with dedication and passion.”
“It was tough making a movie covering 500 sq. km. of forest. We started our work in October 2013 and completed it in May 2014. We worked for nearly 122 days shooting, facing tigers and elephants deep inside the jungle. We had to shoot at night for several days. Usually, tigers moved at nights as they are nocturnal. There were snakes on our way also. We saw an Indian rock python, bears, gaurs and many other animals,”
– Prashanth S Nayaka
The documentary has also captures the beautiful streams, rivulets, waterfalls, thick clouds, humming of birds, and the majestic trees that thrive under the watchful eyes of the forest department.
Today, 36 anti-poaching camps protect the tiger reserve, with jeeps patrolling day and night and forest watchers covering nearly 15 km on foot.
“Once, I noticed a tiger at very close range. I did not know what to do. I just stood still and stared at it for five minutes. It quietly left,” recalls Govindaraj, watcher, anti-poaching camp.
According to Prashanth, the film aims to create awareness among public about the need to protect forests and animals. “We have not taken money from anyone for the project. The team members pooled in money and spent nearly Rs 1.5 lakh. We plan to screen the documentary in schools and colleges. The intention is to convey the message that guarding forests is as important as guarding our nation.”
You can find that amazing video here.
Planning a trip to Bhadra
The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year for the visitors. The best time to visit Bhadra, though, is between the months of October and March.
Best time to Visit: October to March
Open: Round the year
Safari Details: Safari in Bhadra is conducted by River Tern Lodge in their jeeps. There is no safari undertaken by the forest department.
To get complete details of Safari, timings, location, cost and info related to booking please download our app or send us an inquiry:
Park/Forest Status: Wildlife Sanctuary, Tiger Reserve
Animals: Tiger, Gaur, Elephant, Wild dogs (Dholes), Sloth bears, Chital (Spotted Deer), Sambar Deer, Leopards (including black Leopards), Jackals, Wild boars, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Mongoose etc.
Birds: Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Painted Bush Quail, Emerald Dove, Southern Green Imperial Pigeon, Great Black Woodpecker, Malabar Parakeet, Hill Myna, Ruby-throated Bulbul, Shama, Malabar Trogon, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Hornbill, Racquet-tailed Drongo
Reptiles: Common vine Snake, King Cobra, Common Cobra, Russells Viper, Bamboo Pit Viper, Rat Snake, Olive Keelback, Common Wolf Snake, Common Indian Monitor, Draco or gliding lizards and Marsh Crocodile
Geo Coordinates (Lat Long) : 13.446898, 75.574075
How to Reach there:
By Air: Nearest Airports: Bangalore, Mangalore
By Rail: Nearest Railway Station: Kadur Railway Station.
By Road: The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is well connected by roads and distances with various cities can be calculated as follows: Chikmagalur (40 km), Bangalore (285 km) and Mysore (200 km). Nearest town/city: Chikmagalur
JLR’s River tern lodge is there and many other accommodations nearby. To get complete details of all possible accommodations & for booking please download our iOS/Android app.
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PS: Please be a responsible wildlife tourist; No littering, No sounds, No feeding, no getting down from the safari jeep (when on safari), No phone calls. Remember that we are visiting their home and when we are there, let’s follow their rules.
[The WildTrails of India is the best way to get all the details about Indian wildlife sanctuaries (best travel times, safari details, animal sightings, forest accommodations pairing, wildlife related activities, prices, etc). Learn more about WildTrails of India here. ]
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