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Complete Guide to Papikonda National Park, Andhra Pradesh

Papikonda National park is one of India’s cherished tropical forests. Located in the Western Ghats, Papikonda National Park is shared between the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The National Park is also shared by three different districts namely West Godavari, East Godavari and Khamman district in Telangana. In the year 1978, the state government of Andhra Pradesh declared the area as a protected reserve for wild animals due to the rising town settlements and destruction of animal habitats.

Today, it spans over an area of 591 square kilometers and houses several endangered species including the Royal Bengal Tiger. Papikonda National Park is a renowned tiger reserve and also used to house Water buffalos, although none have been spotted in the recent decades. The main source of water in the Park is the river Godavari, which flows along the length of the park. The area where the park is situated is also mentioned in the epic Ramayana, citing it as the kingdom of the Vanaras (Sentient apes) who helped Ram wage war against the demon army.

Climatic Conditions

Papikonda National Park is located in the hottest part of Andhra Pradesh with temperatures soaring as high as 47 degree centigrade during mid-summers. The extreme summers usually last between the months of April and May. This is the time when animals can be spotted on the banks of Godavari at a higher frequency.

Best Time to Visit

Between the months of October and May, the tourist season is in effect. During this time, the weather is pleasant and the animals can be spotted in different regions. It is also easier to go for longer safaris during the day due to the ideal weather conditions.

Wildlife at Papikonda National Park

The area was revered for harboring Water buffalos. Although Water Buffalos cannot be spotted now, there are several other species of rare animals in the region that inhabit Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuary. Papikonda is one of the many tiger reserves in India and has seen tremendous increase in tiger population. Other species of animals that are found in Papikonda are listed below

Flora

Lagerstroemia Lanceolata, Tomentosa, Albizzia Lebbeck, Strictus Bambusa Arundinacea, Tectona Grandis, Albizzia Amara, Latifolia, Terminalias, etc.

Fauna

Photo by Dave Stokes, CC BY 2.0

Panther, Tiger, Gaur, Chowsingha, Cheetal, Sambar, Mouse Deer, Black Buck, Sloth Bear, Barking Deer, Wild Dog, Jackal, Hyena, Marsh Crocodile and Wild Boar.

Distance from Nearby and Major Cities

  • Hyderabad – 317 km
  • Chennai – 492 km
  • Bangalore – 641 km
  • Pune – 817 km
  • Kolkata – 926 km
  • Mumbai – 928 km
  • Ahmadabad – 1123 km
  • Delhi – 1328 km
  • Chandigarh – 1564 km
  • Jammu – 1836 km

Nearest Airport

The district of Rajamundry houses the nearest airport to the sanctuary and is at a distance of mere 50 kilometers. Flights connect to most major cities and taxis can be availed till the park post arrival.

Nearest Railway station

The nearest railway station is also located in Rajamundry. Besides this, other train stations include Kovvur and Seshayya Metta railway stations.

Road Accessibility

To reach the Park premises, taxi or bus can be availed along the Dondapudi- Koyallangudem road. SUVs are available for forest excursions and a tour guide will be present in each vehicle.

Accommodation Facilities

There are accommodations available in the town of Rajamundry. Several guest lodges can be availed in the town of Kannapuram as well. There are forest rest houses located in Rajamundry as well.

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