A nondescript little village tucked away in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, Lakkavalli is a place to be visited if you’re a true nature lover. Don’t expect the frills of civilisation in this town; it’s only backwaters, forests and clear skies as far as the eye can see. Lakkavalli is where a rather competent dam was built across the Bhadra river; the dam used mainly for irrigation and agricultural purposes.

The Bhadra Dam and reservoir is one of the oldest and the most scenic in Karnataka; it measures 186 feet in height, and is surrounded by the Western Ghats on all sides. However, it’s the biodiversity of the place that will melt the heart. Among the flora, the most commonly found are sandalwood, teak, rosewood and honne.

Lakkavalli is also famous for its wildlife park called the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary; alone home to over a 100 species of flora and fauna. The most commonly spotted wildlife here include tigers, leopard, bison, spotted deer and herds of elephant. However, keep an eye out for the diverse avi-fauna here: the most common being the ruby-throated bulbul, malabar whistling thrush, four species of hornbill, racquet-tailed drongo, and the paradise flycatcher.

The location of this park in incredible; it is adjacent to the backwaters of Bhadra Dam. A guided walk through the park (spanning across 492 square kilometers) is highly recommended.

Another interesting attraction in Lakkavalli is the Someshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located on the banks of the river Bhadra, about 5km from Lakkavalli. An annual fair takes place here in the month of December and January; it’s a treat to witness the festival along with hordes of other pilgrims.

The best time to visit this village is between October to January, but if you don’t care about a little day-time heat, June and July are great months too. Lakkavalli is well-connected to most cities by road; it is about 257km from Bangalore. The nearest railway station is in Shimoga, and the nearest airport is in Mangalore, about 200km away.