Bannerghata National Park, Karnataka
in 1971, the Bannerghata National Park, in Karnataka, lies
twenty two kms fromBangalore. Teeming with exotic species
of wildlife, the park boasts an astonishing variety of trees
like sandal, jalari, chujjullu, neem, tamarind, zizyphus amongst
others. The park spans 104 sq. kms which includes ten reserve
forests of Anekal Range of the Bangalore Forest Division.
It is surrounded by scenic hills, with many ancient temples
perched on them.
The principal inhabitants of the national park are elephants,
which migrate from Kollegal and nearby Tamil Naduterritory,
for the major part of the year. The abundant bamboo growth
provides fodder for these magnificent animals. Some of the
other inhabitants of the park include wild pigs, panthers,
bears, sambar, spotted deer, and the black buck. Huge monitor
lizards as well as cobras, pythons, kraits and Russell vipers
roam the park. The avian population comprises pelicans, cormorants,
painted storks, white ibis and spoonbills among others.
The Bannerghata National Park project comprises the National
Park, the Safari Park with a Herbivore Safari and a Lion Safari,
Picnic Corner, Crocodile Farm, Serpentarium, Pets Corner,
and a Museum besides a Park of pre-historic animals.
The beautiful Suvarnamukhi stream running through the park,
originates in the Suvarnamukhi hills. These hills spread out
to a huge rock, about a kilometre long. At the foot of the
rock is the famous Champaka Dhama Swamy temple, built in the
Dravidian style of architecture, belonging to the Hoysala
age. The temple enshrines an image of Vishnu with his consorts
Sridevi and Bhudevi. The Suvarnamukhi hill also houses a small
shrine dedicated to Narasimha, and two kms away is the Suvarnamukhi
pond the waters of which are believed to have curative powers.
A trip to Bannerghata National Park promises to be a memorable
experience, for nature, history, botany and wildlife buffs.
How to get there
The nearest city, air and rail head is Bangalore, 22 kms from
Bannerghata (one kilometre from the park itself). Government
buses ply between Bangalore and Bannerghata. The Forest Department
has arranged for mini buses and vans to take visitors around
the Lion Safari.
When to visit
September to June is the best time to visit. The park is open
throughout the year.
Where to stay
The Forest rest house is available for accomodation.
ACF, Bannerghata National Park, Bangalore-83.