Andhra Pradesh has much to offer in terms of wildlife sanctuaries and bio-diversity. The southern state is home to some of the most diverse set of animals in this country ranging from elephants to deer to jungle cats and panthers. It is a rich mix of rare flora and fauna that are found only in the region. Let us look at the top 5 National Parks (or Wildlife Sanctuaries) in Andhra Pradesh.
1. Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
Known for being the only sanctuary in the State housing elephants, Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary has been recognized as one of the best elephant reserves of the country. 39 elephants were migrated from nearby areas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, making the total number of elephants here to be around 78. Other than elephants, the sanctuary is also home to the cheetal, antelopes, hare, jungle cats and panthers. The sanctuary is hilly and has two rivers that flow through it. The best time to visit the sanctuary is October to April as this is when migratory birds are often visiting the sanctuary’s lakes.
2. Mrugavani National Park
Situated about 25 kilometres form Hyderabad, Mrugavani National Park is near the famous Himayatsagar lake. The teak, bamboo and sandal trees provide the perfect harbour for animals like jackals, sambhars, cheetals and spotted deer. The birds here include peacocks, ducks, partridges and many more rare and unique avian species. The best part about the park is that the climate here is pleasant which makes it a wonderful time to go bird-watching and visit the museums here. The park has a few cottages that can be rented out throughout the year for tourists.
3. Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Sanctuary
Located near Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Sanctuary is known to be one of the largest tiger reserves of the country. Spread across an area of 3568 square kilometres, the sanctuary is part of the Project tiger initiative and was declared a sanctuary in 1973. The animals found here range from deers, tigers, panthers, black bucks, nilgai and so on. The sanctuary also houses crocodiles. The Forest Department arranges a jeep safari that takes tourists in for a sightseeing adventure. The park also has numerous waterfalls as well as rivulets.
4. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary
The Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is located 20 kilometres from Kakinada in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for being a part of the Godavari river that has dense forests which are home to more than 120 different kinds of birds and a variety of animals like the otter, crocodiles, turtle’s ad golden jackals. The most unique feature of this sanctuary is the long sand pit in the area that serves as a nesting ground for the rare Olive Ridley sea turtles who come here once a year. Open throughout the year, the best time to visit the sanctuary is between November to December.
5. Telineelapuram and Telukunchi Bird Sanctuaries
Located in Srikakulam district of the state, the bird sanctuaries have been operational for the last 15 years. It serves as a great place for bird-enthusiasts who come here to research about the migratory birds that come here which include the painted stork and pelicans. The creeks and trees around the area are the perfect home to a variety of rare birds like the spot-billed pelican and the Pelecanus Phillippensis. The birds come from Siberia during a particular season and breed here. Both the sanctuaries are open throughout the year and the best time to visit is between September to March. One of the very few bird sanctuaries of the country, this place is a great place for bird-lovers to come and experience the beauty of the avian species!
Andhra Pradesh is known for its diverse geographical terrain that allows it to maintain a diverse set of animals and birds in its ecosystem. The State is home to everything from turtles to rare birds. A must visits for any nature-lover looking for a place to experience it all, Andhra Pradesh has something to offer for everyone!