Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the midst of Chikmagalur and Shimoga in Karnataka. This sanctuary covers an area of 492 sq. km and is surrounded by Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri and Bababudangiri hills and has tributaries like Somavahini, Thadabehalla and Odirayanahalla of river Bhadra flowing through it.
Not hard to guess, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary gets its name from river Bhadra. It is also popularly known as Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary, named after the village on its periphery. The reserve consists of two main areas, Muthodi and Lakkavalli. The area was declared as a sanctuary in 1951 by the Government of Mysore. However, it wasn’t until much later, in the year 1974 when it was reconstituted ‘Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.’
The forest of the sanctuary is replete with southern tropical dry deciduous trees, dry teak, northern tropical dry deciduous trees, dry deciduous scrub, and dry bamboo brakes. More than 120 species of trees grow here, including teak, rosewood, mathi, honne, nandi, tadasalu and kindal. A diverse range of fauna is found in the sanctuary: from elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, wild dog, mongoose, porcupine to jackal and common langur.The southern part of the Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary is where you’ll spot all the birds, butterflies and reptiles.
There are about 250 species of resident and migratory birds here: among them being the ruby-throated bulbul, shama, malabar whistling thrush, four species of hornbill, racquet-tailed drongo, and the paradise flycatcher.
Reptiles like crocodiles and various kinds of snakes are also found here. The sanctuary is home to exotic butterflies as well, such as the yam fly, baronet, crimson rose, tailed jay, great orange tip, bamboo tree brown and blue pansy.
Apart from going on a wildlife safari in a jeep inside Bhadra, there’s a lot you can do here in terms of adventure activity. There’s water-based adventures, trekking, island camping, bird watching and rock climbing to choose from. Other attractions of Bhadra include the ancient temples like the Mhakta Markandya Temple of Khandya and the Bhavani Shankar Temple of Hebbe built during the Hoysala rule. Best season to visit the sanctuary is between October and March.