Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful and biodiverse places in India. Located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, this wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 431.23 sq km. It is known for its diverse wildlife, scenic waterfalls, and lush green forests. In this article, we will take a closer look at this wildlife sanctuary, its history, wildlife, flora and fauna, things to do, and much more.
History of Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1972 with the aim of conserving the flora and fauna of the region. The sanctuary is named after the Sharavathi River, which flows through it. The sanctuary was originally a game reserve during the British era, and it was later converted into a wildlife sanctuary. Today, it is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka and attracts a large number of tourists every year.
Geography and Climate
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats, which is a biodiversity hotspot in India. The sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 200-800 meters above sea level and covers an area of 431.23 sq km. The climate of the region is tropical and experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. The sanctuary is home to several waterfalls, including Jog Falls, which is one of the highest waterfalls in India.
Flora and Fauna
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is home to several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The sanctuary is also known for its rich diversity of butterflies and insects. The following are some of the key species found in Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is home to several species of mammals, including tigers, leopards, elephants, wild boars, sambar deer, spotted deer, and giant squirrels.
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is a birdwatcher’s paradise and is home to over 200 species of birds, including the Malabar trogon, Malabar whistling thrush, hornbills, and several species of eagles and owls.
Reptiles and Amphibians
The sanctuary is also home to several species of reptiles and amphibians, including snakes, lizards, frogs, and toads.
The sanctuary is home to several species of freshwater fishes, including the mahseer, which is considered a game fish.
Insects and Butterflies
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its rich diversity of butterflies and insects. Several species of butterflies, including the Malabar banded peacock, Malabar tree nymph, and Tamil lacewing, can be found here.
Trees and Plants
The sanctuary is home to several species of trees and plants, including teak, rosewood, sandalwood, and bamboo.
Things to Do in Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary offers a wide range of activities for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Some of the things to do in the sanctuary are:
There are several trekking trails in the sanctuary, ranging from easy to difficult. The trails take you through the lush green forests, waterfalls, and scenic vistas.
Camping is allowed in some areas of the sanctuary with prior permission. It is a great way to experience the wilderness and the night sky.
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The best time to spot birds is early morning or late afternoon.
The sanctuary offers several opportunities for nature photography. From waterfalls to wildlife, the sanctuary is a photographer’s delight.
Jog Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in India, is located within the sanctuary. It is a popular tourist spot and offers stunning views of the falls.
Boating is allowed in some areas of the Sharavathi River. It is a great way to explore the sanctuary and spot wildlife.
How to Reach Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. The nearest airport is in Mangalore, which is around 185 km away. The nearest railway station is in Shimoga, which is around 56 km away. The sanctuary is well-connected by road, and buses and taxis are available from Shimoga and other nearby towns.
Best Time to Visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
The best time to visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is from October to May when the weather is pleasant and the sanctuary is open to visitors. The monsoon season from June to September is not recommended as the sanctuary remains closed due to heavy rainfall.
Accommodation in Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
Accommodation options are limited in Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary. Forest department guesthouses and tents are available for visitors. It is advisable to book in advance as the number of rooms is limited.
Tips for Visiting Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
- Respect the wildlife and maintain a safe distance from animals.
- Do not disturb the natural habitat of the animals.
- Do not litter the sanctuary.
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for trekking.
- Carry sufficient water and snacks with you.
- Follow the rules and regulations of the sanctuary.
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is a hidden gem in Karnataka that is waiting to be explored. From its diverse wildlife to its scenic waterfalls, the sanctuary has something to offer to everyone. Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure enthusiast, Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit destination.
- What is the entry fee for Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary?
The entry fee for Indian nationals is INR 50 per person, and for foreign nationals, it is INR 300 per person.
- Can we visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary in the monsoon season?
No, the sanctuary remains closed during the monsoon season from June to September.
- Is there any restriction on the number of people allowed to visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary?
Yes, only a limited number of visitors are allowed in the sanctuary at a time. It is advisable to book in advance.
- Can we go boating in the Sharavathi River?
Yes, boating is allowed in some areas of the Sharavathi River within the sanctuary.
- What is the best time to visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary?
The best time to visit Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is from October to May when the weather is pleasant and the sanctuary is open to visitors.