Bhadra situated in the midst of Western Ghat in Chikmagalur and Shimoga districts of Karnataka is surrounded by lofty hill ranges of Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri & Babaudangiri. and also the pictures Bhadra river and its tributaries like Somavahini, Thadabehalla and Odirayanahalla. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary a protected area and a Project Tiger Reserve located 38 km (24 mi) northwest of Chikmagalur town in Karnataka state, Bhadra sanctuary has a wide range of flora and fauna. The 1,875 m (6,152 ft) above MSL Hebbe Giri is the highest peak in the sanctuary.
The area was first declared as ‘Jagara Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’ in 1951 by the then government of Mysore covering an area of 77.45 km2 (29.90 sq mi). After a systematic survey of the flora and the fauna of the area and its surroundings, the area was extended to its present extent and renamed to Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in 1974.
The Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a Project Tiger Tiger Reserve in 1998. Bhadra is the first tiger reserve in the country to complete a successful village relocation program. The original relocation plan was introduced in 1974 and was implemented completely by 2002 when the 26 villages in the sanctuary were successfully relocated to M C Halli which is about 50 km (31 mi) from the Sanctuary
Bhadra supports more than 120 plant species. One typical 2 ha (4.9 acres) of tropical dry deciduous forest had 46 species, 37 genera and 24 families. Combretaceae was the most abundant family in the forest. indigoberry (Randia dumetorum) was the dominant species. Throughout the sanctuary the common species include Crepe myrtle (lanceolata), Kadam, thaasal (tiliaefolia), Simpoh (pentagyna), teak, kindal, Indian-laurel, rosewood, Indian kino tree, white teak, fig tree sp., mangosteen sp., Kydia calycina, indigo, toddy palm, Ceylon oak, Jalari, jamba tree, axlewood and Slow Match Tree. Thorny bamboo and clumping bamboo are quite common throughout the sanctuary.
Mammals:An estimated 33 tigers are found in Bhadra. Other mammals in the sanctuary include: elephant, gaur, sloth bear, wild boar, black leopard, Jungle Cat, Jackal, wild dog, jackal, sambar, and spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, slender loris, small Indian Civet, common Palm Civet, pangolin, porcupine, flying Squirrel and the malabar giant squirrel. Small carnivores found in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary include: leopard cat, rusty-spotted cat, ruddy mongoose, triped-necked mongoose and otters.
Reptiles:Some of the reptiles commonly sighted in this park are common vine snake, king cobra, common cobra, russell’s viper, bamboo pit viper, rat snake, olive keelback, common wolf snake, common Indian monitor, draco or gliding lizards and marsh crocodiles.
Birds:Bhadra sanctuary has more than 300 species of birds, some endemic to this region and some migratory. Some of the species found in Bhadra are grey junglefowl, red spurfowl, painted bush quail, emerald dove, southern green imperial pigeon, great black woodpecker, malabar parakeet and hill myna, also the ruby-throated bulbul, shama, malabar trogon, malabar whistling thrush, four species of hornbill and racquet-tailed drongo.
Butterflies:Some of the butterflies in Bhadra sanctuary are yamfly, baronet, crimson rose butterfly, southern birdwing, tailed jay, great orange tip, bamboo tree brown, and blue pansy.
- The wildlife sanctuary is called so after the Bhadra River which flows through the lush forests.
- Reptiles found here are common vine snake, king cobra, common cobra, Russellâ€™s viper, bamboo pit viper, rat snake, olive keelback , common wolf snake, common Indian monitor, draco or gliding lizards and marsh crocodiles.
- The Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a Project Tiger Tiger Reserve in 1998. Bhadra is the first tiger reserve in the country to complete a successful village relocation program. The original relocation plan was introduced in 1974 and was implemented completely by 2002 when the 26 villages in the sanctuary were successfully relocated to M C Halli which is about 50 km (31 mi) from the Sanctuary.
- More than 250 species of bird life many of which are endemic to the Western Ghats, are spotted here.
- The lush green vegetation of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary consists of mostly moist and dry deciduous forests. More than 120 species of trees grow here, which include Teak, Rosewood, Mathi, Honne, Nandi, Tadasalu and Kindal.