Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve in India | My Experience

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is named after the Bhadra River, which flows within the forest. From tigers to gorgeous birds, this forest on the Western Ghats has it all. This forest shares border with both the Chikmagalur and Shimoga districts of Karnataka. If you are looking for a break, Bhadra Tiger Reserve welcomes you.

Muthodi and Lakkavalli are the two main regions that fall in this Sanctuary. The forest first received sanctuary status in 1951 from Mysore Government as the Jagara Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. It was later reconstituted and renamed as Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in 1974. Thus Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve in India
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve in India

Table of Contents

How many tiger reserves are in Karnataka?

There are a total of five tiger reserves in Karnataka. These are Bandipur, Bhadra, Nagarahole, Dandeli-Anshi, and BRT Tiger Reserve.

Where is Bhadra wildlife sanctuary located?

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is in the Lakkavalli town of Tarikere Taluk in Karnataka. Ranganathaswamy Temple is a famous landmark near the forest gates.

Can we go in a private vehicle to Bhadra wildlife sanctuary?

Private vehicles are not permitted within the boundaries of Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary, toured only in jeeps authorized by the forest department.

Are there buses from Shimoga to Bhadra wildlife sanctuary?

The distance between Shimoga to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is 32.5 km. Daily buses ply between the two places. These bus journeys take around 45 to 50 minutes to reach the forest entrance from Shimoga.

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary famous animals

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was named a Tiger Reserve in 1998 under the Indian Government’s. Project Tiger was an initiative taken by the Indian Government in the 90s to demarcate areas with increasing tiger populations as Tiger Reserves.

Bhadra was the 25th tiger reserve under this project. With an increase to 40 tigers from 32, Bhadra has the highest population of tigers out of all other sanctuaries and national parks in Karnataka. The sanctuary is also known for its impressive population of elephants, bison, black leopard, deer, gaur, boar, sloth bear, wild cat, jackal etc.

Read Chintamani Kar bird sanctuary

bhadra wildlife sanctuary bison
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary Bison

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary flora and fauna

The highlands of Western Ghats, along with the river Bhadra, makes up the forest ecosystem and contributes to the said diversity. 

Vegetation found here are typical plants and trees that are common in peninsular India. The forest is a dry deciduous type with deciduous and tropical trees in the majority. To date, a total of 120 varieties of plant life has been observed here. These include the likes of Teak, Rosewood, Mathi, Honne, Nandi, Kindal, Bamboo, etc.

Fauna, on the other hand, is not restricted to only tigers and elephants. Carnivores other than tigers include panthers, leopards, jackals, bears, wild boars, panthers, etc. Sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, mongoose, porcupine, and gaur are commonly seen here. 

Birds like junglefowl, red spurfowl, painted bush quail, Osprey, pigeon, great black woodpecker, dove etc are found here.

How to reach Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible in many ways. Well-defined roads allow daily public transports from different places of the state to here. You can reach here by train by air or by road.

How to reach Bhadra wildlife sanctuary by train

The nearest railway station to the tiger reserve is Kadur. It’s at a distance of 51 km from the forest. This distance can be covered in an hour by car.

How to reach Bhadra wildlife sanctuary By Air

Mangalore Domestic Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 185 km from the sanctuary. Cars and buses available here can take you to your destination.

How to reach Bhadra wildlife sanctuary By Road

NH 75 connects Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary to Bangalore, Kunigal, Channarayapattana, Hasan, Belur, Chikmagalur. It takes more than 5 hours to travel from Bangalore to Bhadra.

Bangalore to Lakkavalli Bhadra wildlife sanctuary

The distance between Karnataka’s capital Bangalore and Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary at Lakkavalli is 285 km.

Distance from Shimoga to Bhadra wildlife sanctuary

The distance between Shimoga and Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary is 32.5 km.

Chikmagalur to Bhadra wildlife sanctuary distance

The distance between Chikmagalur and Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary is 79 km.

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary entry fee

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is open every day in two shifts – morning and afternoon. It’s open in the morning from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and from 3:30 am to 6:30 pm. We reached here in the second half. Entry is allowed only by forest jeep safaris. The ticket fee for both shifts is the same. The ticket price for adults is Rs. 400. For children below age 10, it’s Rs. 200. 

Inside of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Inside of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Best time to visit Bhadra wildlife sanctuary

October to February is the ideal time to visit Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. As it’s the dry season, your forest experience will be completed peacefully without any accidental rainfalls to ruin it. Temperature is also on the lower side during this period.

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary timings

It’s open in the morning from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and from 3:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Read Alipore zoological garden Kolkata | Chiriakhana entry, timings, animals

6 Things to do at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

  1. Wildlife safari: Explore the jungle through jeep, boat, or canter safari.
  2. Trekking: Trek the beautiful mountain ranges of the Western Ghats for an adventure day.
  3. Island camping: Camping is allowed on the islands of the Bhadra river. Explore the wild in a new way through island camping.
  4. Bird watching: Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is filled with different varieties of birds attracting tourists from everywhere.
  5. Rock climbing: Try rock climbing on the acclaimed highest peak of Karnataka, Mullayanagiri Range in Chikmagalur.
  6. Boating: The River Tern Lodge provides boating facilities for guests on the Bhadra river.

Read Ballavpur Wildlife Sanctuary | Deer Park Bolpur West Bengal

The Malabar Pied Hornbill in Bhadra Tiger Reserve Karnataka
The Malabar Pied Hornbill in Bhadra Tiger Reserve Karnataka

3 Type of Safaris in Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

1. Jeep Safari

Official jeeps of the Karnataka forest department are the only vehicles that are allowed to enter the forest. Book one of these safaris to see the natural vegetation along with exotic birds and animals. You might also get lucky enough to experience tiger sightings too in one of these trips. The accompanying forest ranger acts as a guide for the trip. One jeep can have 6 tourists with one guide and one driver.

The cost for adults is rupees 400 per head. Ticket prices drop to rupees 200 for children below the age of 10.

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary jeep safari timings

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary jeep safari timings are from 6:30 am and 4:00 pm.

2. Boat Safari

The boat safari is unique to this sanctuary. Only a few other places conduct safaris on waterways. It’s a great way for bird watchers and enthusiasts to explore the forest, as boat rides are much quieter than jeeps or buses. Boat safari shows both land and aquatic ecosystems of Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. The safari takes place on the Bhadra river and reservoir located around the forest.

A maximum of 6 people can go on a boat at once. Cost per head starts from rupees 800 and can go up to rupees 2000 depending on the boat’s infrastructure and condition.

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary Boat safari timings

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary Boat safari timings are from 6:30 am and 4:00 pm.

3. Bus or Canter Safari

The bus or canter safari follows a more or less similar pathway to the jeep safari. This bus takes tourists deep into the forest and shows the beauty of the wild. Being bigger in structure, it avoids narrow and more rugged areas, but the experience remains unmatched.

Bus or canter can take 25 visitors at once. The ticket price is 300 rupees per person.

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary Bus or Canter Safari timings

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary Bus or Canter Safari timings are from 6:30 am and 4:00 pm.

Read All about Epping forest and 9 walks

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve in India | My Experience
Bhadra Tiger Reserve deer

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary Stay

Most accommodations are found in the nearby cities of Bhadravathi and Shimoga. Regular hotels, homestays, and guest houses are available in abundance for tourists to spend a beautiful holiday. A few accommodations are available near the forest, at the foothills of Western Ghats, or in the jungle itself. Some of them are as follows:

River Tern Jungle Resort Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Out of all the resorts and homestays, The River Tern Lodge is the closest to the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. It’s on a small highland at the edge of the Bhadra reservoir, named after the Tern birds that flock to the nearby island during the breeding season.

This resort provides a view of the wild and mysterious jungle together with the calmness of the water. They also provide safaris to explore the jungle. Other activities provided by the resort are Kayaking, swimming, etc. The in-house restaurant provides both vegetarian and non-vegetarian buffets. The resort is at a distance of 4 km from the entrance of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary Govt Guest House

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary Government Guest House is also on the bank of Bhadra reservoir. It’s a cheaper option than Tern Resort. The Forest Department of Karnataka maintains it. The infrastructure of this accommodation is simple and homely, but the view is mindblowing.

8 Places to visit near Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

1. Mullayanagiri Peak

 Mullayanagiri peak is among the most well-known peaks of the Western Ghats in Karnataka. A mere 45 minutes drive will take you to this beautiful peak from the sanctuary. It’s a part of the Baba Budan Giri Hills and reaches up to 1930 m above sea level. In recent years, Mullayanagiri has become a favourite hiking route. The trek to the top is of moderate level difficulty. The adventure and view add to the tourists’ adrenaline, and the spot becomes a memorable place.

2. Hebbe Falls

Hebbe Falls is located in the beautiful Kemmangundi hill station in Chikmagalur. The waterfall cuts through the mountains and descends on a coffee plantation. The water is rumoured to have healing properties of its own. The rumours originated due to medicinal plants on the river bank, which form the falls. Many people are attracted to this place for this reason and go for a dip in the water to check the healing properties themselves.

3. Jhari Waterfalls

Jhari Waterfalls or Buttermilk Falls is 24 km from Chikmagalur. This magnificent waterfall cuts through the steep mountain slope to drop down and form a small pool at its foot. Tourists often visit the waterfall for its natural beauty. Some are also found taking a swim in the pool for a splash of freshness.

Waterfalls in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary Chikmagalur Karnataka India
Waterfalls in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary Chikmagalur Karnataka India

4. Belavadi

Belavadi is a small village 29 km away from Chikmagalur. This place is famous for its Veera Narayana Temple, popularly known as Belavadi temple. The temple is known to be 1000 years old. It’s built-in Hoysala architectural style and is an important historical element of the state.

5. Coffee Plantations

Southern India is well known for its coffee and extensive coffee plantations. Many famous towns and hill stations are known for their coffee plantations, and Chikmagalur is one of them. Most of the plantations provide homestays for tourists to spend the night in the coffee vicinity. A few of these homestays are just at a stone’s throw distance from Bhadra Tiger Reserve. Visit these for the incredible scenic beauty or a pleasant hike through the plantations.

6. Inam Dattatreya Peetha

Inam Dattatreya Peetha is a symbol of religious harmony. It is structurally a cave on top of the Baba Budan Giri Hills. According to historians, this place has provided shelter to both Guru Dattatreya and Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar.

People from any religion can visit this cave. The journey to the cave is also a beautiful way. You can choose to hike the mountain or ride a car on the circling mountainous roads.

7. Hirekolale Lake

Hirekolale Lake was developed for the sole purpose of providing water for irrigation to Chikmagalur and surrounding villages. The location of this artificial lake is in a rather exquisite place. Its view with the surrounding green hill ranges makes it a postcard-worthy scenery. Sunrises and sunsets from here look even more magical.

8. Bhadra Dam

Excellent sunset and a wide forest area watching from the Bhadra Dam.

Tips before you visit Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

  1. Since it’s a forest, always carry and use insect repellent.
  2. Wear sun-shielding gears like caps and sunglasses during your safari to save yourself from the heat.
  3. Cell reception is not very good at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and the surrounding areas. Make sure to carry a SIM card that can provide network connections in such remote areas.
  4. Book your safari through the hotel to avoid any unnecessary hassles.
  5. Wear dark coloured clothes on your safari trip as bright colours might agitate elephants and other wild animals who in turn might attack you.
  6. Try to be as quiet as possible while inside the forest. Any unnecessary noises might be dangerous.
  7. Always pay attention to the forest ranger and follow his instructions strictly.
  8. October to February is the ideal time to plan your trip to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. The weather is clear of unnecessary rains, and the temperature is also on the cooler side. All in all, a favourable climate persists during this period.
A snell
A snell

What are the best places to visit in Chikmagalur?

Mullayanagiri peak, Hebba Falls, Inam Dattatreya Peetha, beautiful Coffee plantations are some of the best places to visit in Chikmagalur.

Which are the best Wildlife sanctuaries in Bengaluru?

The best wildlife sanctuaries in Bengaluru are Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Nagarhole National Park, Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, and Bannerghatta National Park.

How do I plan a trip to Chikmagalur for 2 days?

Book your accommodation before reaching Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Pack your luggage with your essentials and take a road trip or the train to get Chikmagalur. Once there, check into your hotel and book your safari trip at your convenient time with the staff’s help. Go to the safari the next day and also check out other beautiful places nearby.

I Need 5 Second More From You To Share My Work On Your Circle.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *