Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve

Location  Andhra Pradesh, India 
Nearest city Srisailam, Hyderabad
Area  3,568 square kilometres (1,378 sq mi)
Established  1983
Governing body  Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Project Tiger
Summer Temperature 43 °C (109 °F)
Winter Temperature 16 °C (61 °F) 
Weather  Hot Sunny
One of the largest tiger reserves of South Asia and the largest in India, Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the home for many animals. Located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the reserve is stretched over the districts of Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Kurnool, Prakasam and Guntur. The tiger reserve is spread over a total region of more than 3500 square kilometers, out of which around 1200 square kilometer is the main area of the reserve. The water reservoirs along the Krishna River flowing through the reserve and the temples at Srisailam attract a huge number of tourists as well as pilgrims.
The height of the reserve above mean sea level varies from almost 300 feet to 3000 feet. The reserve receives a annual rainfall of about one thousand mm which is complimentary to the water reservoirs of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar located here. The terrain of the reserve ranges from plains to hilly with maximum area being of Nallamala Hills. Maximum portion of the reserve consists of hills, gorges, canyons etc with a large number of plateaus. Srisailam, Sivapuram and Amrabad are some the plateaus in the reserve.
The Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve came under notified area in late 70’s and in the year 1983, was included in Project Tiger. In pre-independence era of Indian history, the Reserve has been under the joint control of British and independent Hyderabad State’s Royalty. It was used as hunting area for the Royal family and their visitors. It has been reincarnated as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary by the Government of India in the year 1992.  The number of tigers which was recorded in early 80’s as around 40 has been on decline ever since. The decline was mainly due to the large scale hunting, grazing, poaching, timber smuggling and forest fires. Thereafter many upgrading steps have been implemented for the inclusion of modern and scientific steps towards optimizing water resources, water checks, terrain development and other features to improve this habitat. During late 80’s there was a increase in the number of tigers by more than 100% from the previous census.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The weather of the reserve varies from 40 degrees Celsius in summers to around 8 degree Celsius in winters with the monsoon rains coming in the months of June, July August & September.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the reserve is in winters i.e., between November and March.
Places To Visit
Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve has the following places worth to visit
Nagarjunasagar Dam
The Dam is built upon the River of Krishna with tag of tallest brickwork dam of the world. Located very near to the Nagarjunasagar Bus Terminal, the Dam stands 124 meters tall and 1000 meters wide. Built with more than 25 ridge gates, its construction was finished in 1966 with its lake having the distinction of being world’s third largest. The construction of the Dam was one of the initial hydro power projects in India with irrigation of more than 10, 00,000 acres of land in the districts of Prakasam, Khammam, Guntur and Nalgonda. The Dam site can be viewed with all its adjoining landscape of amazing beauty from viewpoints available around the area for the tourists. In monsoon rains, the site offers a panoramic view of the opened crest gates oozing water from some 100 odd meters to the visitors.
Srisailam (Hindu pilgrimage site)
Around 230 kilometers from Hyderabad, Srisailam is an important religious hub to the Hindus as it houses the Jyotirlingas and Lord Shiva is worshipped at this place. Located along the Krishna River, in the Rishabgari Hills, this sacred Hindu Worship place comes in the district of Kurnool. The temple was built with typical style Dravidian fashion depicting typical Vijayanagar structural design. Placed at more than 400 meters above the mean sea level, the temple is supposed to be built around 2nd century as manuscripts from the 2nd century have references to it. This place holds historical, architectural and religious value in today’s modern world. The temple has received many donations from the rulers of Vijayanagar and Kakatiyas and has a full topic written about it in Skanda Purana. Aadi Sankara, the great spiritual head has poised Sivananda Lahiri for his immortality in this temple. This temple is unique due to the fact that Jyothirlingam is situated in combination with Mahasakthi in one place here.
Nagarjuna Konda
The Nagarjuna Konda is an island in the Nagarjuna Sagar Lake, located at around 20 kilometers from the Nagarjunasagar Bus Terminal. It houses the dug out remnants of the Buddhist city from the second century. In 1926, he remnants were discovered of the settlements and the education centre and were kept in the museum in the island. The museum is built according to the Buddhist architecture and artifacts related to religion, culture and art including an ear ring of Buddha are kept in it.  The relics of Lord Buddha are contained in the Mahachaitya, the main stupa of the Island. A statue of Lord Buddha and scattered remains on the island attracts visitors and historians to this museum in the island. Andhra Pradesh Tourism organizes the water transport so as to facilitate the boat ride for the visitors coming here.
How To Reach
By Air
The two nearest air bases that can be reached by air are Vijayawada and Hyderabad.
By Road
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and Devasthanam Buses operate from the nearby towns and cities to Srisailam. Major places that are connected by road transport are Hyderabad, Tirupati, Guntur, Nalgonda, Vijaywada etc.
People Can Drive Into This Place As Well With Distances From Some Of The Places As Mentioned Below
  • Bangalore: 538 kms
  • Chennai: 470 kms
  • Hyderabad: 216 kms
  • Guntur: 220 kms
  • Kurnool: 190 kms
  • Mannanur: 85 kms
  • Macheria: 29 kms
  • Markapuram: 85 kms
  • Vijayawada: 248 kms
Flora And Fauna
The reserve contains mainly deciduous forest found in tropically dry areas, Thorn Scrub forests of Deccan and other types as well. Plant species found here are Cleisthanthus collinus (odcha), Tectona grandis (teak), Mandelia suberora, Anogeissus latifolia (axlewood), Pterocarpus marsupium etc.
Mammals that can be found in the reserve are Tiger, chinkara, sambar deer,  Indian Pangolin, Indian leopard, Bear, blackbuck, dhol, chowsingha etc.King Cobra, Python and crocodile can also be found here.
Around 25 tigers are resident in the Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve, with the reserve also being habituated by Chital, Wild Dogs, WildBoar, Panthers, Bears, Crocodiles and Chinkaras.
Hornbill and Peafowl Grey are among the other more than one hundred and fifty species of birds found in the Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve.
Where To Stay
Guest Houses in the forest and cottages in Srisailam town area are the best places to stay where purely vegetarian Andhra food is served. The vehicles for visitors can be hired from private transport providers as there is no provision of such from the Department of Forest. Visitors have to register with the office of the Field Director before being authorized to enter the reserve that too only in daytime as vehicles are not allowed in the reserve at night.
General Information
Between 9:00 pm in the night to 6:00 am in the morning the road connecting Hyderabad with Srisailam is kept closed for vehicles and as such this route should be avoided by the travelers in these hours. Further authorities should be contacted by visitors to check that the travel intended is authorised for their own safety.
Fir all travel permissions and reservations the conatct address is as follows: The Field Director, Project Tiger, Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve, and Sunnipenta Srisailam-5181 02.
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