The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by the Western Ghats mountain ranges, particularly the Baba Budangiri range, and it creates a very picturesque scene with its lush green grasslands and deep shola trees. The sanctuary, which is spread throughout the Shimoga and Chikmagalur districts, may be reached from either of its two entrances, located at Lakkavalli and Muthodi. The Bhadra river flows directly through the sanctuary, which has a mixture of moist and dry deciduous flora. The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna, is a refuge for people who are interested in wildlife, birds, photography, and trekking.

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhadra Backwaters is created by the waters of Bhadra River in Karnataka

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: Rich in Biodiversity 


The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a hotspot for biodiversity because it is covered with green woods and wet, humid deciduous forest. Mountain meadows and, in particular, the traditional shola woodland can be found, as can a good diversity of ecotypes and ecospecies due to the varying heights of the nearby mountains and landscapes. The different elevations of this untamed but exquisitely undulating terrain range from 615 m (2,018 ft) to 1,875 m (6,152 ft), with some parts rising higher than 1,400 m (4,600 ft) above mean sea level (MSL).

  • Flora: 

In addition to valuable commercial timbers including kindal, hone, nandi, mathi, and tadalsu, as well as bamboo and numerous other medicinal plants, the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary also contains valuable teak and rosewood. In the restricted area of the canopy, where they form the under-canopy, wild ginger spreads out like a green carpet across the forest floor. Eupatorium weed grows in the open space, and patches of marshy vegetation, known locally as Hadlus, cover the low-lying valley floor.

Additionally, the sanctuary is home to over 120 different species of trees, with the Combretaceae family being the most numerous, and the indigoberry being the most common species overall. In a typical tropical dry deciduous forest area of 2 hectares, 46 species, 37 genera, and 24 families can be found.

The other widespread species that flourish in large numbers are the Ceylon oak, Kydia calycina, simpoh (pentagyna), clumping bamboo, crepe myrtle (lanceolata), kadam, thaasal (tiliaefolia), teak, kindal, rosewood, slow match tree, white teak, fig tree, mangosteen, indigo, toddy palm, jalari, Indian laurel,

The enormous teak tree, which is estimated to be a little over 400 years old and reaches 32 metres tall with 5.1 metres of girth, is the most remarkable feature of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. The Jagara Giant tree, also known as the living giant of Bhadra, is a famous landmark in the Mutthoddi district.

  • Fauna:

Despite being a well-known tiger reserve, the native fauna of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats is undoubtedly not limited to tigers and leopards. There are 40 tigers and roughly 20 leopards total in both Doddahadlu and Chandanahadlu. In the vicinity of the Jenkalgiri caves, they can also be seen on the rocky escarpment. 

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Tigers watching Gaurs in Bhadra Tiger Reserve, India

The peak summer months, when the river water recedes, the foliage is scarce, and the tigers congregate near watering holes, offer the best opportunities for sightings.

Large creatures like elephants and gaurs, who are revered as the pride of Bhadra, were also protected and conserved by the establishment of the sanctuary.Other animals that live in the shola tree groves include wild dogs, common langurs, pangolins, sambars, jungle cats, jackals, wild boars, spotted deer, sloth bears, flying squirrels, Malabar giant squirrels, small Indian civets, porcupines, black leopards, mouse deer, muntjac, chital, orangutans, bisons, and slender lorises.

Rusty-spotted cats, stripe-necked mongooses, leopard cats, otters, and ruddy mongooses are some of the small carnivores found in Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Indian Leopard at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Butterflies: 

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for being home to 56 rare butterfly species, including the tailed jay, blue pansy, southern birdwing, yamfly, bamboo tree brown, baronet, and great orange tip butterflies.

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Lemon pansy butterflies mating in Bhadra wildlife sanctuary
  • Reptiles: 

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of reptiles, including marsh crocodiles, Draco or gliding lizards, common wolf snakes, common vine snakes, bamboo pit vipers, king cobras, olive keelbacks, rat snakes, Russell’s vipers, common Indian monitors, and common cobras.

  • Avian Fauna:

More than 300 species of birds, some of which are native to the area, have been reported in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, making it unquestionably a birder’s paradise. The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is home to several different species of birds, including bee eaters, Malabar parakeets, paradise flycatchers, grey junglefowls, Malabar trogon, emerald doves, red spurfowls, Malabar whistling thrush, southern green imperial pigeons, ruby-throated bulbuls, great black woodpeckers, four different species of hornbills, and painted bush.

The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Osprey Sitting in a broken Osprey at Bhadra trunk of a tree in Bhadra Dam backwaters
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