The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary hosts an extensive range of plant life and fauna – but, this biodiversity hotspot stays off the crushed song for most vacationers. Having visited Nagarhole and Bandipur on a previous excursion, this year we decided to go to this lesser-regarded Tiger Reserve of Karnataka.
From Mangalore Airport, the drive to Agumbe is going past Karkala, which is known for its rich Jain history, in particular, the single stone forty-one. Five feet high statue of Gommateshwara or Lord Bahubali. We took a halt for clear out espresso at Srisathyanarayana in Sitanadi. This keep-cum-eatery is a good area to buy neighborhood merchandise like jack fruit chips and pickles. Sitanadi, additionally spelled Seethanadhi, gets its call from the Seetha river, which flows usually in Udupi district, passing via the Agumbe forests and flows close to Hebri, Barkur and joins the Suvarna river, earlier than flowing into the Arabian Sea. Boat journeys are possible and, at some stage in monsoons, while the river rises better, white water rafting is popular.
Soon after Seethanadi, the road started to ascend the Agumbe Ghat, passing the rich tropical wet evergreen forests of Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. We noticed troops of bonnet macaque; however, the highlight changed into spotting a pair of lion-tailed macaque, who spend a majority in their lifestyles inside the upper cover of tropical wet evergreen forests, however, appear to have come right down to feed on the roadside. We were given a view of the waterfalls plunging down the hillside, earlier than coming to the village of Agumbe, approximately 643 m above sea stage. We took a prevent for an early lunch at Dodda Mane, a heritage house this is now run as a homestay by using Kasturi Akka and her family. We were seated in front of wood plank tables on a gallery supported with the aid of timber pillars and going through a courtyard, with a banana leaf positioned in the front of us. The circle of relatives individuals came round to fill the leaf with rice, saaru, koshimbar, vegetables cooked in neighborhood fashion, curd and accompaniments. After we had completed, we have been informed to voluntarily depart as an awful lot as we felt the meal turned into worth on a thali.
After lunch, we drove via Agumbe, that is a well-known center for rainforest studies – many botanists come right here to look at vegetation and medicinal vegetation, at the same time as herpetologists arrive searching for the king cobra and different reptiles. Though there are numerous viewpoints in Agumbe overlooking valleys and waterfalls, we determined to give them leave out and persisted downhill closer to Tirthahalli, crossing the Tunga river. From Tirthahalli, we drove thru the agricultural countryside to Lakavalli, from where we could revel in a view of the Bhadra Dam, positioned on the Bhadra River (a tributary of Tungabhadra River). The Bhadra Reservoir, created by using the dam, is alongside the northern boundary of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. The reservoir has some of the islands – within the spring and summer seasons, these islands emerge as a haven for nesting birds, especially river terns. We checked in at the River Tern Lodge and selected a cottage on an island reached by using a suspension bridge. The bedroom turned into spacious with a wonderful view of the water frame from its window.
We have been just in time for a late-afternoon jeep safari. A short while from the resort, we entered the gate of Bhadra Tiger Reserve and drove via deciduous forests and grasses. Herds of spotted deer had been grazing within the meadows, with langurs on treetops and peacocks or peahen nearby – a symbiotic relationship wherein every warns the other approximately the presence of predators. Our female manual and our driving force confirmed their recognizing abilities nicely by means of pointing a screen lizard at the department of a tree and a ruddy mongoose within the undergrowth. A little while later, the guide noticed a sloth bear – as we observed her directions, we noticed that it became a mother undergo with two cubs. As we drove onwards, we saw gaurs, better referred to as the Indian bison, and a majestic sambar stag. We also saw a jungle chook, crested serpent eagle, hornbill, drongos, and different birds. As evening approached, we started out heading lower back – all at once, the manual requested the motive force to stop, she had noticed a leopard. As we scanned the trees via our binoculars, we noticed of them perched on special branches.
We said our interesting pressure at the reception and settled for dinner with a spread of delectable bird, fish, and veggies cooked in nearby style.
The subsequent morning, we rose early for the boat safari. The motorized boat covers plenty of the reservoir, whose backwaters lap the foot of the forested hills. From the boat, we could watch herds of noticed deer grazing the luxuriant boom of grasses alongside the waterfront. We noticed the Indian darter, which has a protracted and slender neck (because of which it’s also called snake fowl) with a pointed bill, cormorants, grebe and storks, and even an osprey – a fish-consuming hen of prey with a sleek brown frame, white breast, and greyish head. The boatman too had good spotting abilities – he showed us an elephant the various wet deciduous forests protecting the slope of a hill. The dreaded Indian wild canine, referred to as dhole, comes to drink alongside the backwaters, and on the day before today, a tiger had been sighted at some stage in the boat safari.
We were given again to the inn where a steaming breakfast became awaiting us.