South India is probably one of the greenest places one will ever see. This peninsular part of India enjoys unique geographic features having the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats mountain ranges in the middle, networked by many rivers and Bay of Bengal in the east and palk strait, which links India to Sri Lanka, in the south. These natural features have made it a popular tourist destination all over the world.
This part of India has got a lot of unique reasons to be called a paradise. An moderate climate, long shorelines with unperturbed beaches, clear and calm extension of bright green backwaters, luxuriant and succulent hill stations and unusual and rare wildlife, meandering rivers, beautiful waterfalls, straggling plantations and charming and delighting art and painting forms, wonderful festivals, and historical and cultural buildings and the things alike offer a unique and unforgettable experience.
South Indian states have lots of things for nature lovers in the form of strange flora and fauna and natural green forest cover full of rare species of birds and wild animals. Seemingly South India is a land of extremely large natural beauty and gives splendid view of lush green forests magnanimously full with singing waterfalls, dancing rivers, whispering trees, vivid blooms, animals and birds with chirping sound.
It’s a pleasure to be there in India, the land of 5,000 years old civilization, and it is far more exciting to be in a wildlife sanctuary of any South Indian state. It gives a thrilling moment and creates a ‘never to forget’ experience in the life. Wildlife heritage of peninsular India is more enormous varied than the cultural heritage this country posses.
The southern part of India is famous for attraction of its wildlife sanctuaries and that’s why this part has become the tourist hub. South India is the natural place for the wildlife enthusiasts of the world. The reasons are simple but exciting. India currently has 92 national parks, 440 wildlife sanctuaries and more than 40 tiger reserves. These all provide a natural habitat to mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and other species of insects.
More than 500 species of mammals have made South India their natural home. Apart from the mammals, South India is also blessed with n number of species of birds, of reptiles and of amphibians. Besides, it has thousands of species of insects including butterflies having brightly colored wings.
Some famous Wildlife Sanctuaries of South India
Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary is the most beautiful and very famous national park of India. It is situated in Karnataka. The Bandipur National Park is at a distance of about 80 Km from Mysore and Ooty and 215 km from Bengaluru, capital city of Karnataka. Created in 1930′s from the hunting lands of maharaja Voodiyar, this Sanctuary was declared a tiger reserve under the famous Project Tiger Plan. In 1974, it attained the status of a National Park.
Bestowed with a fairly good climate and a large variety of geographical features, Bandipur sanctuary has a vast variety of plants and animals. Kabini, Nagur and Moyar rivers flow through this sanctuary and thus provide it with a unique scenic beauty. The flora of this sanctuary varies from deciduous and evergreen forest to pasture woodlands. Main trees of this national park are Teak, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Indian laurel, and Clumping Bamboo.
Bandipur National Park is famous for large population of Elephants. Besides, significant numbers of predators like Tiger, Leopard, Hyena are also found here. Gaur, Sambar, Chital, Barking deer and four horned Antelope are other common species of animals in this sanctuary.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is among the most attractive wildlife sanctuaries of South India. This is situated at the border of the three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. Located in the southern and south-western side of the Nilgiris in Tamil nadu, the Mudumalai National Park has also been declared a tiger reserve now. It covers an area of around 321 sq km. Moyar River separates Mudumalai National Park from Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. The Mysore-Ooty highway runs through this Park. This Sanctuary is also a part of Nilgiri Bio-sphere Reserve.
It has a large variety of Flora and Fauna. There are three main types of forest in the sanctuary. One is Tropical moist deciduous forests which occur in the western Benne Block. Second is Tropical dry deciduous forests which occur in the middle and the third is Southern Tropical dry thorn forests which are in the east.
The mundamalai wildlife sanctuary has the largest wild elephant population. It is known as the home for deer, specialy the Chittal which is also called spotted deer. Other most commonly found wild animals in the Mudumalai National Park are Tiger, Leopard, Gaur, Hyena, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Muntjac, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Mongoose, Porcupine, Four Horned Antelope, Langurs ,Otter and Giant Flying Squirrel, Bonnet Macaque.
B.R.Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
The B.R. hills Wildlife Sanctuary is situated between the southern rivers Kaveri and Tungabhadra in Karnataka. This sanctuary is also known as Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or BRT Wildlife Sanctuary. The reason behind this is the famous temple of Lord Ranganatha or Lord Venkatesha which is called Biligiriranga by the native people.
Known as the ‘Heaven of Nature’ this sanctuary is famous for a vast range of wildlife variety such as Gaurs, Bears, Elephants, Panthers and Tigers. The most clearly visible mammals of this sanctuary are the wild elephants. The forest of this sanctuary are the only forest east of the main Western Ghats mountain ranges in the central southern peninsula part of the country which is the habitat of these giants in large numbers. It is also famous for the beautiful birds.
The area of this sanctuary is covered with Tropical dry forests which have broad leaves. And Deciduous dry forests also have their presence there in the sanctuary. These forests provide a significant corridor to the wild animals of Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats.
Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary
Set up in 1955 this sanctuary is also called as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary is a part of Nilgiri Bio-sphere Reserve which spreads across Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The park is amongst the best in south India to spot wild elephants, especially when they come out in hordes to the watering holes in the evenings. It is known as the home of four horned Antelope sloth wear, Jungle cats, Flying Fox, Tiger, Panther, Spotted deer, Elephant etc. Species of lizards, snakes, crocodiles and pythons also find here.
The sanctuary is also home to over 200 species of birds. It is famous for beautiful birds like bee-eater, bulbul, dove, hornbill, peacock, woodpecker, warbler eagle and the like.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Known as the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most famous and sought after sanctuaries in India. It is perhaps the finest sanctuary in South India. Situated in the natural scenic beaty of the Western Ghats mountain ranges in Kerala, this Sanctuary spreads in an area of around 777 sq km. This is one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries in India. Established in 1934 as the Nelliampatty Sanctuary it got the present day name in 1950.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary has a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is mainly comprises of thick evergreen forest. It is famous for its diverse wildlife. Around 62 different species of wild animals are found in Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Among these animals Tigers and Elephants are the main attraction for the tourists coming here round the year. Besides these two, Horse deer, Gaur, Barking deer, Indian wild dogs, Mouse deer and leopards are also found here.
Apart from large variety of mammals, many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects are also found in Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Around 300 different species of birds have been noticed in Periyar till date. Kingfisher, Malabar hornbill, Darters, racket tailed Drongos and Cormorants are some kinds of birds that are here.