Cool, fresh air brushes against your skin giving you a sense of a renewed life. Your breath feels relaxed as you feel in tune with the absolute wonder that nature is. Your ears sense a tingle as they absorb the gentle sounds of melodious chirping. This beautiful sensation of pure bliss is the truest promise of the bird sanctuaries in Karnataka.
A southern state of India, rich in its flora and fauna is that of Karnataka. With a forest area of about 38,720 square kilometers, the bird sanctuaries of the state are scattered across its land. It is a very popular destination for tourists and ardent lovers of birds. The bird sanctuaries in Karnataka are truly heavenly, making for a very delightful break in routine. Home to a variety of bird species, the bird sanctuaries are nothing short of a memorable experience.
On exploration of the map of bird sanctuaries in Karnataka, you are sure to be in awe of the number of pleasant homes that birds have here.
List of bird sanctuaries in Karnataka
- Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
- Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
- Attiveri Bird Sanctuary
- Bonal Bird Sanctuary
- Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary
- Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary
- Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
- Magadi Bird Sanctuary
- Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
- Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary
- Ramanagar Vulture Sanctuary
- Kokkare Bellur Pelicanry
- Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary
- Puttenahalli WS Lake
- Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary
Each of these sanctuaries is famous for a variety of charming bird species –
1. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Covering an area of only 0.67 square kilometers, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is very tiny. In spite of its small size, it is considered to be the best bird sanctuary in Karnataka having a very high bird population. It was established under the campaign of the noted ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. The sanctuary has six islets, hosting not only birds but also, a very rich spread of flora and fauna. Its crocodile-infested backwaters are a haven for avian flocks. Guided tour boats to watch the birds, crocodiles, otters, and bats are available throughout the day. This is the perfect picnic spot for many locals as well as tourists.
- Address: Ranganathittu Road, District Mandya, Srirangapatna, Karnataka 571438
- Time to visit: Between June and November (9 AM – 6 PM)
- Entry fees: Indians (Adults: INR 50, Children: INR 25); Non-Indians: INR 300
- Bird species: The Little Cormorant, Asian Open-Bill Stork, Painted Stork, and White Ibis and many more
2. Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 0.74 square kilometers, it is a very scenic bird sanctuary in Karnataka. The picturesque lake Gudavi is an integral part of it as the sanctuary gains its additional touch of beauty from the waters. However, the lake is small and seasonal, being filled with water mostly in the season of rains. In spite of this, the lake and the abundance of trees give shelter to the birds. As tabulated by a survey, as many as 217 species of birds that belong to 48 families are found in this region.
- Address: Banavasi Road, District Shimoga, Sorab Taluk, Sagara Subdivision, Karnataka 577429
- Time to visit: Between June and October (9 AM – 6:30 PM)
- Bird species: White Ibis, Grey Heron, Night Heron, Jungle fowl, Pond Heron, Indian Shag, Bittern, and many more.
3. Attiveri Bird Sanctuary
Nicely spread over an area of about 2.23 square kilometers, the Attiveri Bird Sanctuary is located in and around the Attiveri reservoir. The part of the sanctuary surrounding the reservoir is abundant in riverine and deciduous forests, making it an ideal habitat for the birds. The agricultural fields around the sanctuary attract a wide variety of aquatic creatures as well.
- Address: Attiveri Village, Mundgod Taluk, District Uttara Kannada, Karnataka 581347
- Time to visit: Between November and March (6 AM – 6 PM)
- Entry fees: Indians (Adults: INR 50, Children: Rs.25); Non-Indians: INR 300
- Bird species: The Cattle Egrets, Little Cormorants, Black-headed Ibis, Pied Kingfishers, White-breasted Kingfishers, Indian grey Hornbills, Eurasian Spoonbills, and Barn Swallows
4. Bonal Bird Sanctuary
One of the most popular bird sanctuaries of the Karnataka state, the Bonal Bird Sanctuary has its roots in the Bonal tank. Shorapur is a region prone to droughts and this tank was one of the largest among the twelve such water tanks that were built there. Its vast area gradually started attracting many migratory birds. Now, it is an expansive wetland and a home to over 21 different species of birds.
- Address: Bonal Village, Shorapur Taluk, District Yadgir, Karnataka 585290
- Time to visit: Between October and March
- Bird species: Purple Herons, White-necked Storks, Black Ibis, White Ibis, Bar-headed Geese, and Brahminy Ducks.
5. Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary
With its attractive feathers and colorful walks, peacocks are always a sight to see. The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary is the only second sanctuary in the country that is exclusively engaged in the breeding and conservation of these beautiful birds. This sanctuary rests on 139 acres of land which bears the remains of the historic Bankapura fort. The high mound and deep trenches of the land are seen to provide a perfect home for the peacocks. Your eyes have the guarantee that they will bear witness to the magnificence of the peacocks dancing away in the sprawling sanctuary, without a care in the world!
- Address: Bankapura Fort, Bankapura, District Haveri, Karnataka 581202
- Time to visit: Between October and April (9 AM – 5 PM)
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Peafowl, Woodpeckers, Babblers, Great-horned Owls, Magpies, Robins, Green Bee-eaters, Nightjars, Spotted Mainas, Paradise Flycatchers, Spotted Doves, Parakeets, Kingfishers, Grey Hornbills, Black-winged Kites, Tailor Birds, and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters.
6. Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary
The Ghataprabha Bird Sanctuary covers an area of about 29.78 square kilometres. The boundaries of this sanctuary enclose a stretch of about 28 kilometers of the pleasant river Ghataprabha. Surrounded by agricultural fields, this sanctuary is a very pleasing sight to the eye.
- Address: Gokak Taluk, District Belgaum, Karnataka 591306
- Time to visit: Between November and March (Open 24 hours)
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 25; Non-Indians: INR 70
- Bird species: Demoiselle Cranes, European White Storks and other migratory birds.
7. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary spread over an area of about 866.41 square kilometres is truly a paradise for birdwatchers from all over the world. The forests here are a beautiful mixture of dense deciduous trees interspersed with plantations of bamboo and teak. This sanctuary houses nearly 200 species of birds. It is also home to the Indian Sloth Bears, Indian Pangolins, Giant Malabar Squirrels, Dholes, Indian Jackals, and the Muntjacs which are the Barking Deer. It truly is a lush region, fully alive with a rich view of fauna.
- Address: Dandeli, District Uttara Kannada, Karnataka 581325
- Time to visit: Between January and March (6 AM – 6 PM)
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 40; Non-Indians: INR 80
- Bird species: Great Indian Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Black Rock Pigeon, Malabar Parakeet, Black-hooded Oriule and others.
8. Magadi Bird Sanctuary
With its origins at the tank of Magadi, the Magadi Bird Sanctuary is of the major biodiversity hotspots of Karnataka. Usually, birds are known to feed on fish, molluscs, amphibians, and snakes, but the manners of migratory birds are quite different. They eat agricultural produce, which is very interesting as it ignites a curiosity in the mind. During winters, they feed on barley, rice, and wheat and can, therefore, be damaging to the crops. However, this sanctuary is indeed a sight to be seen!
- Address: Magadi Village, Shirhatti Taluk, District Gadag, Karnataka 582117
- Time to visit: Between November and March (Open 24 hours)
- Bird species: Bar-headed Goose, Eurasian Spoonbills, Comb Ducks, Oriental Ibis and others.
9. Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
The Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is one of the only few bird sanctuaries in the region of Malnad which has a spread of about 1.14 acres of land. A small island is formed by the flowing river Tunga which makes for a truly tranquil visit. This region is also surrounded by thick forests and is a popular picnic spot. It attracts some very spectacular migratory birds which come here from across the globe during the month of May for breeding.
- Address: National Highway 13, Mandagadde, Theerthahalli taluk, District Shimoga, Karnataka 577220
- Time to visit: Between May and September (7 AM – 7 PM)
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Median Egrets, Little Cormorants, Darters, Snake-birds and many more.
10. Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary
The Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary is perched at an altitude of 700 – 1000 m above sea level and is a very soothing trip for the senses. It was mainly established for the protection of peacocks and thus, peacocks are found in abundance here. Besides peacocks, this sanctuary is home to a variety of butterflies as well. Fruits Bats, Mongoose and Bonnet Macaques are also found in the Adichunchanagiri Bird Sanctuary.
- Address: College Road, Adichunchanagiri, District Mandya, Karnataka – 571811
- Time to visit: Between August and April (6 AM – 6 PM)
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 15; Non-Indians: INR 50
- Bird species: Peafowl, Yellow-throated Bulbul
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11. Ramanagar Vulture Sanctuary
Watching the mighty birds conquer the sky is truly an experience everyone must have! What is better than to witness the swift movements of vultures reigning their turf?
The Ramanagar Vulture Sanctuary is Karnataka’s only vulture sanctuary and an absolutely captivating sight. It houses up to 20 long-billed vultures that are critically endangered. The hillock area, spanning a 346.41 hectares was the famous shooting spot for the all-time superhit Hindi movie ‘Sholay’.
- Address: Shri Phatthabi Rama Temple Sri Rama Hill, Thibbegowdanadoddi, Ramanagara, Karnataka 562159
- Time to visit: 9 AM – 4:30 PM
12. Kokkare Bellur Pelicanry
‘Kokkare’ is the local name for ‘Painted Storks’ while ‘Bellur’ means the ‘village of jaggery’. A village of Painted Storks and jaggery, this is Kokkare Bellur for you!
This is the first largest Painted Storks sanctuary in South Asia. Kokkare Bellur lives on the droppings of the birds called “guano” which are known to be very high in potassium.
The villagers use them as manure for their cultivation. They are also of the belief that the birds bring great luck and flourishment. This is the true beauty of this village, the birds love their habitat and the people love the birds!
- Address: Rudrakshipur – Halaguru Road, Kokkare Bellur, Maddur Taluk, DIstrict Mandya, Karnataka
- Time to visit: between November and June (Open 24 hours)
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Spot-billed Pelicans and Painted Storks
13. Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary
The second largest Painted Storks sanctuary in South Asia right after Kokkare Bellur is the Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary becomes a haven for bird watchers and tourists as the exuberant birds can be seen nesting in the area during their season.
In August, a few of the remaining birds, which are called the “lazy birds” by the locals can be seen. The storks are of great importance to the villagers here to aid with their cultivation. In order to keep the natural habitat of the birds in a preserved condition, they have planted many tamarind trees for the birds to roost and nest on.
- Address: Kaggaladu, Sira Taluk, District Tumkur, Karnataka 572139
- Time to visit: between February and August (8 AM – 6 PM)
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Painted Storks
14. Puttenahalli WS Lake
Covering an area of around 10 hectares, this is a very frequented bird sanctuary by the locals and tourists. Biodiversity experts have found over 49 different species of birds that breed here. A sighting of about 7,000 birds can be witnessed during the season of breeding. Some of the endangered species of migratory birds from the cold areas of Siberia and Northern Himalayas visit the Puttenahalli WS Lake for their breeding.
- Address: Puttenahalli, Yelahanka, Karnataka 560076
- Time to visit: Between December and March
- Bird species: Darters, Painted Storks, Little Grebes, Purple Moorhens and others.
15. Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary consists of an area of 370.37 square kilometres. Abundant in west coast tropical evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, and mixed deciduous forests, the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is very rich in flora and fauna. Tigers, Besides birds, Sambars, Pythons, Muntjacs, and Indian Bison are also found here. This sanctuary is blessed with the flowing of the perennial Chakra and Sowparnika rivers through its land area. The famous Kodachadri hills are also found within the boundaries of the sanctuary.
- Address: Kollur, District Udupi, Karnataka 576220
- Time to visit: Between November and March (6 AM – 9:30 AM; 3:30 PM – 6 PM)
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Jungle Mynas, Peafowls, Great Indian hornbills, Brahminy Kites, Red-vented Bulbul, Purple Sunbirds, Golden Orioles, Scarlet Minivets and scores of others.
Indeed, the state of Karnataka is very rich in its population of birds! Watching the birds nest in their natural habitat, chirping their hearts away is truly a sight of magnificent beauty. Their purity and liveliness will kindle a kind of warmth that nothing else can give.
For an experience that will leave you with the most gratifying memory, hurry up! Do not miss the chance to indulge in the tranquil trance that the beautiful bird sanctuaries in Karnataka have to offer!