Bangalore - Karnataka - Wild Life Sancturies

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, encompassing six contiguous wildlife sanctuaries, spans the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Created to protect the extraordinary biodiversity of the last surviving tracts of tropical evergreen and deciduous forests of the Western Ghats. It includes the area over which the notorious sandalwood smuggler and bandit, Veerappan, holds sway. This reserve, along with the adjacent Mudumalai Sanctuary forms one of the most important migratory corridors for animals such as the Asian elephant and the Indian bison. These parks are within convenient reach of Bangalore.

The Ranganthittoo Bird Sanctuary
Covers 540sq km ( 209sq miles) of riverine islands in the middle of the Kaveri river and attracts a large number of water birds during the nesting season, especially from June to November.

Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1931 by the then Maharaja of Mysore. It has many Chausingha and is also a project for Tiger Reserve. It spreads over 875sq km (338 sqmiles).

The BRT Wild Life Sanctuary

East of the Nilgiri iosphere Reserve, is a corridor between the western and eastern Ghats. Covering an area of 540 sq km (209 sq miles), it supports a variety of birdlife including storkes.

The Nagarhole Wild Life Sanctuary
Profusion of Rivers and swampy grass lands keep it green all year. Established in 1983, the park has 645 sq km ( 249sq miles) of deciduous vegetation. Its wildlife includes the bonnet macaque.

The Kabini Reservoir
Separating Bandipur from Nagrbole, offers fineviews. The Kabini river lodge nearby is an excellent place for sighting wildlife and a good place to stay.

The drive from Bangalore to Mudumalai runs over wellmaintained State highways. The first stretch between Bangalore and Mysore is a reasonably smooth run. Once you cross the towns of Ramanagaram and Chennapatna, the drive goes through avenues of bougainvillaea which form natural archways. If you are thirsty, you can stop at any of the coconut vendors lining the road.

Passing through Mysore is a honk - and - crawl affair till the city limits. Beyond Nanjangud, for about 20 km, the road is a narrow concrete strip with shoulders of tar. You need to be very careful on this road as the tar has eroded, leaving huge potholes. There may be times when you will be forced to go onto the tar shoulders to avoid oncoming traffic. Remember, utmost care should be taken then to avoid damage to the underbody.

Once the road enters the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary limit, it is almost straight with dense forest on both sides. Seven - and - a half kilomtres after the Bandipur reception centre, the road crosses over into Tamil Nadu and the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.

The scenery along the road is varied with a clutter of small towns on the outskirts of Bangalore. These give way to light forests and fields till Mysore. If you have time with you, a stop at the fantastic Mysore Palace is worth the extra hour to get to Mudumalai.

The accommodation and hotels for Mudumalai are on the road that runs from the reception center to Masinagudi. Though there is a sign warning that the road is very steep and that you will have to strain your car much with the kind of cars that we have today, it is redundant.

There is actually more to do at the places to stay than in the park itself. Consider yourself lucky if you see bison and deer. Should you happen to see a tiger, take a quick look around for the saint who performed the miracle to make it appear.


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