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In 1951, the Government of Mysore had declared this area as Jagara Valley Wildlife sanctuary. And in 1974, In 1974, it was reconstituted as the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and was brought under Project Tiger in 1998.
The sanctuary gets its name from the Bhadra River, which flows through reserve. It's tributaries also feed this reserve. A dam has been built on the Bhadra near Lakkavalli.
Water-based adventures, trekking, island camping, bird watching and rock climbing are the added attraction along with the wildlife viewing on jeeps.
The reserve offers a 3.5-km long nature trail at Muthod. Talbidrekere is the place where the watering hole is located and one can spot plenty of wildlife here. Melgiri and Kesarhalla too offer excellent sightings. Tigers are seen in Doddahadlu, Chandanahadlu.
Park entry fee : Rs 25; Parking Fee: Rs 30
The vegetation is predominantly of Tropical moist mixed deciduous forest, tropical dry deciduous forest, semi-evergreen forest. The terrain is mostly covered with 120 species of flora. Main species are Teak, rosewood, mathi, honne, nandi, tadasalu and kinda. Inside the sanctuary, a big teak tree aged about 300 years, known as the Jagara Giant, whose girth is a whopping 5.21m, is one of the attractions of the sanctuary.
The ravines of this sanctuary are home to a large variety of fauna. The southern part of the sanctuary is rich in butterflies and reptiles. Besides 28-30 Tigesr, the great Indian Gaur,Wild Boar, Wild Dog, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Giant Indian Squirrel, Flying fox, Mongoose, Elephant, Panther, Babbler, Barbet all have made their home in the forests of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Among 200 species birds, one can spot the Black winged kite, Malabar whistling thrush, Great horned owl, Great pied hornbill, Indian tree pie, Quaker babbler, Yellow bulbul, King vulture, Black-naped blue flycatcher and the open billed stork.
There are plenty of butterflies. Yam fly, Baronet, Crimson rose, Southern birdwing, Tailed jay, Great orange tip, Bamboo tree brown and Blue pansy have all made their home here.
The reptile species consists of Flying snake, Rock python, Marsh Crocodiles, Bronze backed tree snake, Common garden lizard and Monitor lizard, Atlas moth and the Indian pond turtle.