Located in the Jubilee Hills area of Hyderabad, KBR National Park, or Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Park, also known as Chiran Fort Palace is a world famous national park. Boasting of picturesque beauty and a wide variety of flora, fauna and avifauna, the park is also known as ‘jungle amidst the concrete jungle’ and was recently declared a National Park in 1998. The complex houses the Chiran Fort Palace, a Mor bunglow on a hillock, Gol bungalow, stables for pet animals, motor khana for the vehicles, several water tanks and wells; all of which are enveloped by a dense forest. The park is a beautiful respite from the hustle bustle of the city life and is frequented by locals and tourists alike; to unwind and rejuvenate in the surroundings of rich wildlife and bounteous nature.
The KBR park was a palace earlier, before being declared a national park by the state government in 1998. This national park is more popularly called Chiran Palace, after the palace that was built in the premises, in 1940. It is believed that Azam Jah gifted this palace to his son Prince Mukarram jah, on his coronation. It was not a traditional palace. Rather Azam Jah designed it in the form of a bungalow to suit his son's modern lifestyle. This magnificent palace hovers over an extremely huge tract of land and is a double storey structure. While his eldest son was gifted with the luxurious top floor of the Chiran palace. There are sixteen other pieces of the Nizam's property spread over the area. The entire property was transferred into the hands of the government in the late 90's.
The Kasu Brahmananda Reddy national park is the home to several amazing and exotic species of various animals and is also a semi-forest. The wilderness walks are the most enjoyable and attractive activity to do at the KBR national park, owing to the abundance of flora and fauna here. There are 600 species of plant life, which includes trees, shrubs, climbers, herbs, grasses and xerophytes. This rich variety of flowering plants, includes a whopping number of insectivorous plants like Drosera Fly catcher plant, sundew and Acacia campbellii. Owing to the conservation of biodiversity, activities like poaching, hunting, grazing and cultivation are prohibited in the park. You can spot around 130 species of birds here, 20 species of reptiles, 15 species of butterflies, 20 species of mammals and several invertebrates. You will get to see the palm civets and wild cats mostly as there are no large mammals here.
Places to Visit
The two different zones of the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park-
The Kasu Brahmananda Reddy national park expands over an area of 142 hectares and is divided precisely intro two zones- one portion being smaller than the other. One zone is called the Conservation zone, while the other is named as the Visitor's zone.
Zone 1, Conservation Zone
The conservation zone is the larger of the two divisions, of the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy national park. It is spread over an area of 86.50 hectares. This portion of the park is dedicated primarily to the conservation of nature. There are several planned activities like soil and wetness programmes, water conservation plans, maintaining ecological balance, etc.- that are carried out in this zone. Visitors are restricted in the conservation area. No outer interference is allowed here.
Zone 2, Visitor's Zone
This zone is spread over an area of 56 hectares. Even the Visitor's zone falls partially under the Wildlife protection act, hence there are selective pathways (managed by the forest departments and the government) for visitors to steer through. Visitors can gaze at abundance of flora and fauna in this zone. Vehicles are not allowed in the park premises.
Things to Do
1. Guided Tours
You can even avail a guided tour of the national park. You might also get a chance to view the slide shows on the history of the KBR park. The park is extremely large in area to be self-explored and hence a guide makes the tour more interesting. You will also be told interesting facts while on the tour around the park. These guided tours differ in the charges and are available mostly during the evening time.
2. Wildlife Viewing and Photography
You can see around 600 species of flowers and plants, more than a 100 species of birds, reptiles and other animals at the KBR national park. You can also get to see several small animals here. There is an exciting range of butterflies to view in this national park.
1. It is advisable to leave the premises of the national park 30 minutes before the closure time, since the authorities need to ensure that no visitors are left behind after sightseeing. 2. Polluting the national park is strictly prohibited.
How To Reach KBR National Park
The KBR national park is located on road number 2 of the Banjara hills. It lies exactly at a distance of 8 kms from the heart of the city. An important landmark is the LV Prasad Eye Hospital. The national park lies close to the hospital. Another important landmark that will help you locate the national park, is the TDP Party House. The national park lies in the middle of the city and hence it can be easily reached. The KBR national park is well connected with buses and local transport. The nearest airport is the Begumpet airport while the Hyderabad railway station is the nearest in terms of railways.