Blessed with a vast expanse of the natural heritage site of the Western Ghats, Karnataka is home to a rich flora and is without a doubt, a wildlife & nature enthusiast's and photographer's delight. From the reserve forests to the rainforests to the beautiful national parks and sanctuaries, the landscape of Karnataka has so much to offer for those who love exploring the wilderness.
Enjoying the wilderness is one thing, but birdwatching needs a great deal of patience. And if you are a serious birdwatcher, then here's a list of some of the top birdwatching destinations of Karnataka that you mustn't miss.
Located in the Mandya district of Karnataka, Srirangapatna is a culturally and historically significant town. Apart from its most popular attractions, including the Ranganathaswamy Temple and Srirangapatna Fort, it is a famous destination among the birdwatching community because of the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
The bird sanctuary is located about 5 km from Srirangapatna and is a home to a myriad of birds including painted stork, spot-billed pelican, heron, Stork-billed kingfisher, common spoonbill among many other resident and migratory birds. The best time to visit the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is from November to June.
Nestled in the Western Ghats, close to the Goa and Maharashtra borders, Dandeli is a popular destination for the adventure seekers. White-water rafting in the Kali river, cave exploration at Kavla, and hiking up to the massive limestone rock formations at Syntheri are some of the thrilling experiences one can have at Dandeli.
With huge forest cover, Dandeli is home to a rich wildlife. The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka and is a natural habitat for animals like tiger, leopard, panther, deer, bear, elephants, etc. The sanctuary houses nearly 200 known species of birds and is literally a birdwatcher's paradise. Among the number of species, the most famous ones are the great hornbill and the Malabar pied hornbill.
PC: Karthik Easvur
The little town of Mundgod is located in the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka and falls on the route of Sirsi to Hubli. It is a perfect offbeat destination for those seeking some quiet time. Mundgod is known for the Bachanaki Dam and the tranquil Buddhist Monastery. Located about 15 km from Mundgod, the Attiveri Bird Sanctuary is the most famous attraction. Species of birds one can spot in the sanctuary are Eurasian spoonbill, white-throated kingfishers, Indian grey hornbill, among the others.
The best time to visit the Attiveri Bird Sanctuary is from November to March when one can see a number of other migratory birds along with the residents of the sanctuary.
The historical town of Bankapura is located in the Haveri district of Karnataka. Along with a visit to the stunning temples and archaeological monuments of Haveri, the nature-lovers must visit the Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary - which is one of the two peacock sanctuaries in Karnataka. The peacock sanctuary is located inside the Bankapura Fort and is home to more than a thousand peacocks and peahen.
Apart from the peafowls, the sanctuary houses a number of other species of birds including the Indian robin, magpie, grey hornbill, blue-tailed bee-eater, kingfisher, woodpecker, nightjar, etc.
PC: Hein waschefort
Not far from Bangalore, Ramanagara is the popular weekend getaway from Bangalore. Nicknamed the silk town or the silk city, it is well known for its sericulture industries. Ramanagara is also famous for its massive granite sites, and therefore, is a popular rock climbing & trekking destination for the adrenaline junkies.
Another popular attraction of Ramanagara is the Ramanagara Vulture Sanctuary, which is the only vulture sanctuary in the country. Officially declared a vulture sanctuary in 2012, the place had been home to these scavengers for several decades. The species of vultures found in Ramanagara are long-billed, Egyptian and white-backed vulture that are 3 of the only 9 species found in the country.