Geographically Andhra Pradesh stands the fifth largest state in India and has the biggest coast line extending over 1000 km. This is the only state which is bestowed with two mighty rivers. Those are –
1) River Krishna
Andhra Pradesh has wide and varied vegetation types enriched by a variety of flora and fauna. Andhra Pradesh being located strategically in the central region of the Indian sub-continent has some of the representatives of the magnificent Indian plants and animals. Its varied topography from the hilly ranges of the Eastern Ghats and the Nallamallas, to the shores of Bay of Bengal supports varied ecotypes which in turn support a variety of floral and fauna forms. The state can broadly be divided into four major biotic provinces.
DECCAN PLATEAU: 53%
CENTRAL PLATEAU: 35%
EASTERN PLATEAU: 11%
EAST COASTAL PLATEAU: 1%
The type of vegetation found in the state is largely of dry deciduous type with a mixture of Teak, Terminalias, pterocarpus, Anogeissus etc., The hills especially the Eastern Ghats, add greatly to the biological diversity, and provide centers of endemism for plants, birds and lesser forms of animal life. The varied habitat harbors a variety of fauna which includes
4) Wild dog,
6) Sloth beat,
8) Black buck,
13) Sambar and a number of birds and reptiles.
The long sea coast provides the nesting ground for sea turtles’ the back waters of Pulicat Lake are the feeding grounds for Flamingo and Grey Pelican; the estuaries of river Godavari and Krishna support mangrove vegetation. The state has some rare and endemic plants like Cycas beddomei, Pterocarpus santalinus, Terminalia pallida, Syzygium alternifolium, Shorea talura, Shored tumbuggaia, Psilotum nudam etc., Similarly the Double banded or the jerdon’s Courser and the Golden gecko are very rare and endemic to the state.
Andhra Pradesh has a network of 20 Sanctuaries and 4 National Parks covering an area about 11,982sq.km.
SOME OF THE IMPORTANT WILD LIFE SANCTUARIES AND NATIONAL PARKS ARE AS FOLLOWS with complete details
1) KAWAL SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: Adilabad district; 893 sq. Km
FLORA AND FAUNA: Dry deciduous Teak forests with Bamboo
terminelia, pterocarpus etc. Animals found are Tiger, panther, Gaur, Cheetah, Sambar, Nilgai, Barking deer, Chowsingha, Mouse deer, Sloth bear and a variety of birds
ACCESSIBILITY: 50 Km from Mancherial railway station (South central Railway) 260 km, from Hyderabad road, nearest airport – Hyderabad
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest house at Janna rams.
SEASON: November to May.
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer (WLM) Janna ram
2) PRANAHITHA SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: Dry deciduous Teak forests along river pranahita, a tributary of river Godavari. The terrain is undulating and supports Tiger, Panther, Sloth bear, Cheetah, Black buck, Nilgai and a variety of birds including Brahmani duck, Teals, Storks and Herons.
ACCESSIBILITY: 70 Km, from Mancherial railway station (south central railway) 300 Km, from Hyderabad by road. Nearest airport – Hyderabad
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest house at Mancherial and Chinnur.
SEASON: November to April
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer Mancherial.
3) SIVA RAM SANCTUARY
LOCATION AREA: Adilabad & karimnagar districts, 37sq. Km
FLORA AND FAUNA: Riverside forest mixed with Teak, Terminalia etc, noted for the presence of Marsh crocodiles in river Godavari with the forest harboring Tiger, Panther, Langur, Rhesus monkey, and Wild boar, Cheetah, Sambar, Nilgai and Python.
ACCESSIBILITY: 50 Km, from Mancherial railway station, 10 Km from Manthani in karimnagar district.
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest house at Mancherial and Eklaspur
SEASON: December to April
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer, (WLM) Janna ram
4) ETURNAGARAM SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: Warangal district, 806, sqKm
FLORA AND FAUNA: Dry deciduous Teak forest with Bamboo, Pterocarpus, Anogeissus, Buchanania etc. Country with low hills with tiger, Panther, Gaur, Sambar, Cheetah, Black buck, Chowsingha, Barking deer, Wild boar, Wolf, Jackal, Fox, Jungle cat and a variety of birds.
ACCESSIBILITY: 90 Km, from Warangal/Kazipet railway station (south central railway) 250 Km, from Hyderabad by road, nearest airport Hyderabad.
ACCOMMODATION: Forest cottages and a Rest house at Tadvai, ITDA Guest house at Eturnagaram.
SEASON: October to May.
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer (WLM) Subedari, Warangal
5) PAKHAL SANCTUARY
LOCATION & AREA: Warangal district; 879 km.
FLORA AND FAUNA: Dry deciduous Teak forest with Bamboo, madhuca, Terminalia, pterocarpus etc. Animals found are Tiger, Panther, Gaur, sambar, Nilgai, Cheetah, Wild boar, Sloth bear, wild dog, Hyena, Jackal, Fox and migratory birds, like Ducks, Teals, Ibises, Storks and Cormorants.
ACCESSIBILITY: 60 Km, from warangal/Kazipet railway station 230, Km from Hyderabad. Nearest airport is Hyderabad
ACCOMMODATION: Forest & Tourist rest house at Pakhal.
SEASON: November to June.
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer (WLM) subedari, Warangal
6) KINNERA SANI SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: Khammam district; 656Sq.Km
FLORA AND FAUNA: Dry deciduous Teak forests with Bamboo, Terminalias, Anogeissus etc., The Kinnerasani Lake is very picturesque. Animals found are Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Cheetah, Black buck, Chinkara, Chowsingha, Sambar, Wild boar, Wild dog, Hyena, Jackal, Sloth bear and a variety of ground nesting and aquatic birds. The Kinnerasani lake and water pools harbor Marsh crocodile.
ACCESSIBILITY: 25 Km, from Bhadrachalam
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest houses at paloncha & Kothagudem
SEASON: October to June
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer (WLM) paloncha
7) PAPIKONDA SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: East Godavari, West Godavari & Khammam districts; 591 sq. km.
FLORA AND FAUNA: Dry deciduous Teak forests with Bamboo, Terminalia, pterocarpus, etc. and other species conforming to the Eastern ghat vegetation. Animals found are Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Cheetah, Chowsingha, Sambar, Black buck, Mouse deer, Barking deer, Sloth bear, Wild dog, Hyena, Jackal, Wild boar, Marsh crocodile and a variety of birds both resident and migratory.
ACCESSIBILITY: 50 Km from Rajahmundry railway station, nearest airport-Rajahmundry
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest houses at Rajahmundry, Maredumili and Kannapuram.
SEASON: October to May
For details please contact, Conservator of Forest (WLM) Rajahmundry.
8) CORINGA SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: East Godavari district; 236 sq. km
FLORA AND FAUNA: The sanctuary is part of the estuary of river. Godavari and supports a rich growth of mangrove vegetation with plants like Rhizophora, Avicennia, Sonneratia, Aegiceros etc. Animals found are fishing cat, otter, jackal, sea turtle and Estuarine crocodile which are found in the creeks. Among the birds, most common are Sea gulls, Storks, Herons, Snipes, Ducks and Flamingos
ACCESSIBILITY: 20 Km, from Kakinada railway station and 70 Km from Rajahmundry railway station. Nearest airport- Rajahmundry
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest house at Coringa and Rajahmundry.
SEASON: October to May
For details please contact, Deputy. Conservator of Forests (WLM) Rajahmundry
9) KOLLERU SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: West Godavari district; 673 sq. km
FLORA AND FAUNA: It is a wetland, marsh habitat supporting a large variety of water birds, Garganys. Teaks, Pochards, Spot bills, Brahmani ducks, open bill storks, Herons, occasionally Flamingos, & Grey pelicans.
ACCESSIBILITY: 60 Km by road from Vijayawada railway station.
ACCOMMODATION: Forest rest houses at Vijayawada and Eluru.
SEASON: October to May
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer (WLM) Eluru.
10) KRISHNA SANCTUARY
LOCATION AND AREA: Krishna and Guntur districts; 195 sq. km
FLORA AND FAUNA: Mangrove Forests on the estuary of river Krishna, harboring Fishing cat, Otter, Jackal, Estuarine crocodile and a variety of seasonal birds.
ACCESSIBILITY: Forest rest houses at Vijayawada.
SEASON: October to February
For details please contact, Divisional Forest Officer (WLM) Eluru.
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Air India’s Boeing 747 ‘Kanishka,’ named after Emperor Kanishka who ruled an Indian state in the second century, cruised over the Atlantic at 31,000ft as it flew towards London, Heath row. The aircraft, registration VT-FOE, was operating Flight 182 on the east bound journey on a trip between India and Canada. Flight 181 from India had transited Frankfurt when traveling westbound to Toronto, then had doubled back to Montreal. There the flight number had changed to Flight AI182 for the return trip to London, New Delhi and Bombay. On Flight 181`s Toronto to Montreal sector, therefore, some passengers were inbound to Montreal from India while others were outbound from Toronto on the way to India. Over the Atlantic, Air India Flight 182 continued on its way to London, blissfully unaware of the events unfolding. All airlines, of course, are subject to the threat of sabotage, although some more than others, but most have implemented careful checks to safeguard against such a happening. Air India was no exception. Internal strife in the northern State of Punjab, brought about by extremist demands for a separate nation of Khalistan, had created civil unrest in India. The trouble came to a head in June 1984 in Amritsar with the Indian Army’s storming of the Golden Temple Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest of shrines.
India is a vast country and one that hosts a variety of cultures and landscapes. Whether on a spiritual quest, a cultural sojourn or a relaxing vacation, it makes sense to plan a trip in India so as to cover a few destinations in a particular region. The country can be divided into the North, South, East and West and each one of these regions nurture cultures that are unique to them. It’s not impossible to cover popular tourist destinations like the Golden Triangle, Rajasthan, Goa and Kerala in a single visit. However, if pressed for time, choose a single region and travel across it. Trying to pack in as many destinations across the four regions during a two-week trip can be exhausting.
South India Travel
Temple towns of south India are the greatest contribution to the world of this region. Backwaters of Kerala, wildlife sanctuaries of Nilgiris, and beaches of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar, and Lakshadweep are one of the best you can find in this part of the world. The architectural remains of Northern Karnataka have attracted tourists from all over the world, who explore the lost empire of Vijayanagar at Hampi.
Popular Bird Watching Tours of South India
South India has some of the best Bird Sanctuaries in the world. The landscape of South India with the dense forests and adequate waterfalls is suitable for the migratory birds to make it as their dwelling place.
1. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Located on the banks of Vembanad Lake in Kerala, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home for local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck, and migratory birds like the Siberian stork, Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, egret, darter, heron and teal. The sanctuary is spread across 14 acres. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region.
2. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is home for the birds like Peacock, Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl, Grey Partridge Quails, Goggle Eyed Flower, Malabar Whistling Thrush, large Racket-Tailed Drone, The Magpie-robin, Spotted Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Green Pigeons, Brown Dove, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Bulbuls, Mynas, etc. Among them, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons and King Vulture are predominant, besides some migratory water birds. It is also home for many animals.
3. Vedathangal Bird Sanctuary
Vedathangal Bird Sanctuary is the oldest Bird Sanctuary in India, located in Tamil Nadu of India. Every year, a large number of migratory birds like Grey Heron, Cormorant, Egrets, Darter, Open-billed Stork, Spoonbill, White Ibis, Grebes, Night Herons and Grey Pelican visit this Sanctuary. It is home for other birds like Cormorants, Darters, Herons, egrets, Open billed Stork, White Ibis, little Grebe, Indian Moorhen, Black Winged Stilts etc. This sanctuary can be visited on the way to Mamalapuram, which is just 53 km away and 85 km from Chennai.
4. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a small sanctuary, comprising of six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River, and is very close to the historic town Srirangapatanam in Karnataka. The sanctuary is now a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers and bird watchers. It is home for the Birds like Painted Stork, Asian Open bill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, White Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons.
5. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, located on the northern bank of River Periyar, is one of the popular National Parks in Kerala. Dr. Salim Ali, The famous ornithologist designed this sanctuary. It is home for birds like Indian Roller, Cuckoo, Common Snipe, Crow Pheasant, Jungle Night jar, Kite, Grey Drone, and Malabar Trojan etc.
6. Kolleru Bird Sanctuary
Situated in Andhra Pradesh in Godavari District, 60 km from Vijayawada, this picturesque bird sanctuary of India is a great tourist attraction. The prime attraction of birds are Painted storks, open bill storks, Grey Herons, cormorants, white Ibises, glossy Ibises, egrets, Reef Herons, Ducks, Coots, Shovellers, Terns, Jacanas, Moorhens etc.
7. Manjira Bird Sanctuary:
Located near Sangareddy in Medak District, Andhra Pradesh (50-km From Hyderabad), and the Manjira Bird Sanctuary is a haven to a variety of migratory as well as domestic feathered species. The birds include Painted Storks, Herons, Coots, Teals, Cormorants, Pochards, Black and White Ibises, Spoon Bills, and Open Billed Storks etc.
8. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
Located 40 km from Thodupuzha, just above the arch dam, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district spreading over 77sq. km. With the picturesque lake on the three sides of the sanctuary, a majestic arch dam across two hills and roaming wild animals like elephants and gaur in herds in the semi-evergreen and deciduous forests is a great tourist attraction. It is home for birds like Jungle Fowl, Myna, Laughing Thrush, Black Bulbul, Peafowl, Woodpecker, Kingfisher etc. Apart from birds, it is also home for many wild animals.
9. Kunthakulam Bird Sanctuary
Kunthakulam Bird Sanctuary is located 33kms south of Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Kunthakulam is a small and natural scenic village, which is covered with natural forests and ponds. Many birds migrate here during January to April from countries like Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, USA, and Australia.
10. Kawal Sanctuary
Located 50-km from Mancherial in Andhra Pradesh, Kawal Sanctuary is home for birds like Peacocks, Partridges, Quails, Vultures, Eagles, Kites, Owls, Mynas, Pigeons, Tree – pies, Kingfishers. Also animals like Sloth Bear, Panther, and Tiger etc are here.
11. Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, located 25kms away from Calicut (Kozhikode), is haven for migratory birds like Terns, Gulls, Herons, Sand pipers, etc. Many migratory birds flock from the month of November and returns only by the end of April.
A trip to these Bird sanctuaries in Southern India is both enchanting and adventurous experience.