Sprawling over a vast area of almost 635 sq. kms, Kinnersani Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Khammam district of Telangana. Nestled amidst the Dandakaranya Forest, the sanctuary is flanked by river Godavari on one side. Besides the variety of endangered flora, it is also home to umpteen species of Chousinghas, Sambar, Wild Boars, Gaurs, Chinkara, Cheetals, Hyenas, Sloth Bears etc. With suitable temperature and a pleasant climate, several species live here in tune with nature. In addition to the nature lovers, the region is also a popular hot spot among birdwatchers and photographers.
The Kinnerasani wildlife sanctuary gets its name from the river ?Kinnerasani?. This river finds a mention at several places. It has been a part of telugu poetry and tales. The Kinnerasani river is the river, that cuts through hills and valleys and then finally drains into the river ?Godavari?. The river presently flows into the sanctuary in the form of a stream, through a defined path.
An old tale goes that Lord Rama spent some days of his exile here, the area originally known as the Dandakaranya forests of Tretayugam. There are certain places that have been considered holy and special in hindu mythology are an evidence to this fact. Some of those legendary places are Parnasala, Rekapalli and Dummugudem. The land on which the Kinnerasani wildlife sanctuary is situated has a spiritual significance along with an environmental importance. In the year 1979 the natural habitat of animals was disturbed due to certain human activities. Following which the government decided to declare it a sanctuary, in the year 1981. The sanctuary area is still a predominantly tribal populated district. After being established as a wildlife sanctuary, it is under the control of Telangana Forest department.
The Kinnerasani sanctuary is a home to a rich collection of wildlife and plant species.. The sanctuary has a dense forest cover with an abundance of flora around. There are several plant species at the Kinnerasani sanctuary, like the Termanis, tengu, bandaru, kanju, tapasi, tirman etc. the forest type here is, southern dry and deciduous mixed type forest. You can find trees like teak, bamboo and terminals here. Amla and mango trees are a common sight. The trees here are a home to several migratory and local birds. Monkeys can be commonly spotted in and around this sanctuary. The exotic wildlife of the Kinnerasani sanctuary includes- chousinghas, sambar, tigers, black bucks, sloth bears, hyenas and more. There are several birds- doves, fowls and kingfishers. You can also spot migratory birds like cranes, nuktas and teals. Apart from this, there are reptiles at the sanctuary like- pythons, iguanas, vipers, cobra and crocodiles.
Places to See
1. Kinnerasani Lake
The Kinnerasani lake lies at the heart of the Kinnerasani sanctuary and is absolutely scenic.There are also several perennial springs at this wildlife sanctuary, they are known as ?Togus?. You can often spot them quite easily. The Kinnerasani dam stands exactly opposite to the Kinnerasani sanctuary. While the Kinnerasani river runs through the sanctuary and later joins river Godavari.
2. Deer Park
There is a beautiful deer park, or to put it precisely, a small area preserved just for deer. There are pens put up here and you can see the common deer as well as the spotted deer at this place. Apart from the deer park, there is a separate ?peacock area? as well.
3. Eco Park
The eco park, is another of the in campus locations, at the Kinnerasani wildlife sanctuary. The exact location of the Eco park is near the Kinnerasani dam.
4. Holiday Home Glass House
Another attraction is the glass house of the holiday home. It was built by the Singareni colonies. But unfortunately the glass house was blasted by the Naxals, following some local unrest. Efforts are on to renovate it and open it to the public again. The glass building is considered one of the major attractions.
5. Environmental Education Centre
The Kinnerasani sanctuary has an EEC or the environmental education centre. This section of the park is very informative. There are large sculptures of wild animals at this centre with descriptive boards containing information on them. The EEC is absolutely amusing for children.
Things to Do
There are several activities for you to indulge in at the Kinnerasani wildlife sanctuary like a car drive through the park, boating, clicking photographs, a wildlife safari, viewing the sunset, catching a glimpse of the various species of plants and animals at the sanctuary, etc.
There are several beautiful birds here. You can spot some local birds hovering over as well as migratory and excotic birds are also a common sight at the Kinnerasani sanctuary. The government plans to develop the park into a major attraction for the birdwatchers. For those interested in ornithology, Kinnerasani wildlife sanctuary is the ultimate resort.
2. Jungle Safaris
Cars and two wheelers are allowed in the forest area. You will surely need a prior permission from the forest authorities for doing so. You can also take an on-foot safari, wherein you can walk along the sanctuary with a forest instructor. These safari rides and walks are not only enjoyable, but they are also very informative as they add to your knowledge. There are several watch towers as well in the premises of the sanctuary. Though it completely depends on the safari guide to take you to different locations within the park.
There is a lake at the centre of the park. You can enjoy a ride at the Kinnerasani lake and see the water birds as well. The boating facility is not available year round. You can avail it only during certain seasons.
4. Nature Photography
The Kinnerasani sanctuary is the other word for scenic. You can capture memories with the help of your camera. It is one of the nest locations for nature or wildlife photography. There is an abundance of beautiful birds, sunset views, exotic species of plants and animals and desirable locations to capture in your photographs.
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Best Time To Visit Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kinnerasani wildlife sanctuary is one of those places that allures you for a must visit. June- October is considered the best time to visit the sanctuary. This is for two reasons. Firstly, after October, as winter season approaches, you will not be able to spot many animals, as they rest in their dens. And secondly, the wildlife sanctuary and the nearby areas remain lush green during the months of June-October.