Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Karnataka     North Karnataka    

Anshi National Park

North Kannada district, Karnataka
Nearest town
: Dandeli (37.5 kms)
Main attraction

Black panther

Best time to visit

November to June

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The Anshi National Park is an evergreen tropical rainforest situated in the North Kannada district in Karnataka. The park  covering an area of 340 sq km is considered as India’s most endangered wildlife park. Anshi lies on the Karwar- Londa highway and is part of the Dandeli wildlife sanctuary. Anshi  got the designation as National Park in1987. Dandeli is a small town located on the banks of the Kali river in Karnataka. The forests around this town was established as Dandeli wildlife sanctuary in 1975 with an area of around 500 sq kms. The Anshi National Park and the adjoining Dandeli wildlife sanctuary together make up the Dandeli Wildlife Division of the Karnataka Forest Department. 

The topography of the park is such that it has deep valleys, steep hill slopes and dense forests. The altitude of the park varies from 200 m to 927 m and the temperature ranges between 16-37 degree Celsius. The best time to visit the park is between November and  June.  The unique feature of the park is that it is the only place in Asia where black panther is found, naturally.

The forests of Anshi and Dandeli  is rich in rare species of flora and fauna. A wide variety of  trees such as Teak (Tectona grandis), Silver Oaks (Grevillea robusta), Eucalyptus, Weeds (Lantana, Eupatorium, Parthinium), Bauhinia, Diodspyrus, Xylia xyrocarpa, Diospyrous Acacia and Bambusa are found here.

The forest area was known for its manganese in the past, the mining for which resulted in wildlife moving away from the forest. In the recent past, the mining has been stopped and the animals are slowly returning back. So chances of seeing Elephants /bison/panther are very less and limited. Black panther,  spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, common langur, sloth bear, gaur (Indian bison), wild boars, fox, bonnet macaque, slender loris, mongoose, tiger, jungle cat, jackal, pangolin, elephants, Malabar giant squirrel and the porcupine are now seen in the park. Reptiles include King cobra, python, rat snake, viper and the krait.

Approximately 200 species of birds are found in the park. Some of them are Malabar hornbills, Ashy swallow shirkes, drongos, minivets, iora, brahminy kites, Ceylon frogmouth, yellow footed pigeon, crested serpent eagle, adjutant stork, black crested baza and peafowls.

There is trekking facility from the Anshi nature camp located 3kms off the park. All the 4 trekking routes commence from here. The treks are 1) Anshi NC -Maingani village- Dodpoda nala- Anshi NC (5.0 kms) 2) Anshi NC- Anshi range office- Nesar temba-  Anshi range office- Anshi NC (10kms) 3) Anshi NC-Matgaon- Chandkunga- Vaki Road- Kadra veiw point-Kadra (20 kms) 4) Anshi NC- Matgaon-Devarmane-Vaki Dam site- Anshi NC (20 kms). The third trek is the most difficult. The Nature Camp is well maintained with tented and dormitory accommodation and food arrangement. There are ordinary and deluxe tents and a dorm has 16 beds and the price ranges from 50- 70 for Indians and foreigners respectively. 

There are many small brooks, springs and cascades in the park. There are also small villages within the park area. The steep roads inside the park takes one to the villages of Shivapura, Nethurga and Sulageri in the deep desolate forests. Some of the tourist spots nearby are the Ulvi Channabasaveshwara Temple just outside the southeastern boundary of the Park, Kadra Valley view point (12 kms) and Karwar beach (55 kms). The park is open to tourists from 6.00 in the morning to 6.00 in the evening. The scenic and rustic river Kali flows through Dandeli wild life sanctuary. This is the only river south of Himalayas where white rafting is possible, making this place a unique destination.