Karnataka is the eight largest state in India area wise and the ninth largest state population wise. Karnataka is known for its Beautiful Temples, Gardens and for it being home to Bengaluru, which is the hub of Information Technology (IT) industry. However, there is a lot more to see in Karnataka. Karnataka has a recorded forest area of 38,720 km2 (14,950 sq mi) which constitutes 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state. These forests support 25% of the elephant and 10% of the tiger population of India. Many regions of Karnataka are yet unexplored, so new species of flora and fauna are found periodically. Karnataka has five national parks: Anshi, Bandipur, Bannerghatta, Kudremukh and Nagarhole. It also has 25 wildlife sanctuaries of which seven are bird sanctuaries. Today, let us have a look at the Bannerghatta National Park.
For a walk on the wild side, look no further than the southern outskirts of Bengaluru city, where you can find everything from wild animals to the various species of flora. The 25,000-acre Bannerghatta National Park is home to panthers, lions, tigers, and a large variety of birds. One could also wander through the Zoological Garden, with its canopy of shady and sturdy trees, find a quiet resting spot beside a pond. The zoo boasts of an amazing reptile collection; a snake park that lets you get up close and personal with the scaly, slithery creatures. A children s corner provides an added attraction.
There is a small museum in the Park that displays zoological exhibits. There is also a zoo over here, which has a reptile park and a small theatre.
The park offers various safaris one could enjoy. One could choose between the Tiger safari, lion safari or the Grand safari, which includes herbivores animals.
The country s first Butterfly Park was established at the Bannerghatta National Park. It was inaugurated on 25th November 2006. The Butterfly Park is spread across 7.5 acres (30,000 m2) of land. It comprises of a butterfly conservatory, museum and an audio-visual room. The butterfly conservatory has a polycarbonate roof and is a 10,000 sq ft (1,000 m²). Circular enclosure, inside which the living environment has been carefully designed to support over 20 species of butterflies. The environment inside the Butterfly Park has a tropical setting complete with the humid climate, an artificial waterfall, a narrow walking bridge and host plants and shrubs that attract butterflies. The second and third domes house the museum containing exhibits of carefully preserved exquisite butterflies.
The park has a biological reserve belonging to the forest dept. and it is home to various animals like elephant, leopards, deer etc.
Bengaluru is just at a distance of 24 kms from the National Park. A melting point of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Malls, parks, pubs, theatre, cafes, art galleries, palaces - at any given point, Bengaluru is buzzing and alive with activity. The Bangalore Palace, the Attara Kacheri (High Court), St. Marys Basilica, and the Bull Temple highlight Bengaluru s many personalities, and are monuments that mark its journey, ante-IT. Now Bengaluru is known for its thriving industry and as an IT hotbed.
Modelled on the lines of the Windsor Castle in England, the Bangalore Palace flaunts turreted parapets, battlements, fortified towers, and arches.
A visit to Tipu s Fort is an enriching experience. Built in 1791, this summer retreat of Tipu Sultan in Bengaluru is a two-storied ornate wooden structure with fluted pillars, cusped arches and balconies. It now houses a museum, which contains artefacts relating to the Tipu regime.
This ornate temple is just 10km west of Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. Built on a hillock, with granite, marble and Korean glass, this huge cultural complex was established to promote Vedic culture and spiritual learning. It houses various deities, including Krishna, Balaram, and Radha.
Completed in 1367, this grand mosque inside a Fort is a delightful monument that is still well preserved. Resembling the mosque at Cordoba in Spain, the Jumma Masjid covers an area of over 38,000 sq.ft. Five large domes and 250 arches add to the beauty of this mosque, which displays a strong Persian touch in its architecture
Established in the year 1979 and is dedicated to Infant Jesus. Devotees flock to this church to offer prayers, request miracles and seek forgiveness.
This popular weekend getaway is just 60km from Bengaluru. The bracing air and serene environs of Nandi Hills, perched at a height of 1455m above sea level, provided Tipu Sultan and the British with an idyllic summer retreat. Here, one can take leisurely strolls or experience the spine chilling thrills of paragliding. Two ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva grace the hill, one at the foot and the other at the peak.
Kolar is a treasury of ancient art. One can visit the famous Kolaramma Temple, originally built by the Gangas and later renovated by the Cholas. Some of the other spots to visit here are the Someshwara Temple built during the Hoysala period, and the Makbara with the grave of Haider Ali s relatives. Apart from temples, there are beautiful hillocks overlooking the town of Kolar, providing ideal trekking tracks for adventure enthusiasts. Kolar is reputed for its “Blankets”.
This tiny island-town is 65km east of Mysore. Forested hills and lush green valley’s cradle a small hamlet and two fine temples. Together, they provide a startlingly calm setting for the Cauvery River as it plummets from a height of 75m into a deep, rocky gorge with a deafening roar, to form two picturesque falls, Barachukki and Gaganachukki. When the Kaveri is in spate, watching the river crash into a cloud of foaming spray can be an exhilarating experience. During the monsoon (June-September), the falls are at their impressive best.
One can travel to the park by air, road or rail. The national park is on the outskirts of Bengaluru, which has the airport and the bus and railway station.
The Best time to visit the park is between September to January. Visiting hours at the park are from 9 am to 5 pm. Moreover, one can visit on all days from Wednesday to Monday.
If you are in need of a break and want to dive into some adventure then this is the right place for you. At Bannerghatta, indulge your sense of adventure with the various animals over here, get mesmerised by the various species of Butterflies at the butterfly park. After all this, one could always pay a visit to the surrounding city of Bengaluru.