Largest tiger reserve in India, Nagarjuna Srisailam Tiger Reserve also known as Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular places to see in Srisailam. Spread over five districts of Telangana which is a total area of around 3568 sq.km, it is nestled between Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir and Srisailam reservoir. The core area of the tiger reserve is around 1,200 sq.km.
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve boasts of rich flora and fauna. This is in addition to fascinating scenic beauty of the area. With River Krishna flowing across the tiger reserve, majestic hills, lush greenery, routes with exciting twists and a tranquil environment, Srisailam tiger sanctuary promises to make your trip a memorable experience.
History of Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary) was notified in the year of 1978, while it got the recognition under the Project Tiger in 1983. In 1992, it was retitled as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. In 1983, when it came under Project Tiger, there were around 40 tigers in the reserve which later increased to 94 in 1989. However, there have been many cases of poaching and exploitation of natural habitat. Many measures have also been taken to restore the natural environment such as artificial troughs, check dams, new and improved fire lines, etc.
Before India’s independence, this region came under two reigns. Southern half of its portion was under the control of British while the remaining northern portion was used by Hyderabad royals and their guests for hunting.
Flora and Fauna at Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve primarily comprises of southern tropical dry mixed deciduous forest along with Hardwickia forest type and southern thorn forest. A wide variety of shrubs and bamboo thickets also grow in this area. Some of the commonly found variety of flora here are Cleistanthus collinus, Terminalia species, Albizzia, Pterocarpus marsupium, Tectona grandis, Anogeissus latifolia, Hardwickia binata, Boswellia serrata, and Mandelia suberosa.
This tiger reserve is home to many rare wild animals. Along with tigers, one can also spot animals such as Black Bucks, mouse deer, Sambars, spotted deer, Jackals, Wild Boars, Panthers, Sloth Bear, leopard, Indian Giant Squirrels, chausingha, wild dog, wolves, etc. Reptiles such as mugger, Crocodiles, python, cobra are also found here.
How to reach Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve is located around 30 km from Srisailam town. From Nagarjuna Sagar it is around 60 km away. It is well connected via road to Srisailam and other nearby places. There are many regular buses that run from Srisailam to Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary. If not by public transport, tourists can also hire a private cab and commute at their own pace. The best time to visit Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary is between the months of June to October.
Accommodation near Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
For those who want to stay amid the lush greenery and adventurous wilderness of nature, there are accommodation facilities as well. There are guesthouses and cottages near the sanctuary. Various forest guest houses are being offered in Mannanur, Srisailam, Berluti, Macherla, Nagarjunasagar and Markapur for tourists to spend a night or two in the midst of refreshing nature.