Muthodi is a beautiful getaway for the weekend. Located 275 kms from Bangalore and 38 kms from Chikmagalur, it is home to the Bhadra wildlife Sanctuary the Project Tiger reserve. Spread over an area of 492 Square Kms, Bhadra is supposed to be home to 33 tigers along with a variety of other wild life. Surrounded by the hills of Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri & Babaudangiri and with the beautiful Bhadra River flowing through it, Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary is very picturesque.
Bhadra is located 38kms from Chikmagalur and is well connected by roads from Mangalore, Mysore and Bangalore. The nearest Airport is 180 kms away at Mangalore. Travelers, who prefer Trains, can get down at Kadur Station in Hassan and cover the 80 km distance to Bhadra by Road.
One of the best places to stay around Bhadra is at River Tern Lodge run by Jungle Lodges. It is located on a hillock, at the edge of the Bhadra River, near Lakkavalli. You can book online at Jungle Lodges.
The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary used to be called 'Jagara Valley Wildlife Sanctuary' till 1974. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a Project Tiger Reserve in 1998. In fact Bhadra is the first sanctuary to complete successful village relocation. Between 1974 and 2002, 26 villages in the sanctuary were successfully relocated 50 kms away to M C Halli.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary has a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is under threat from humans and hence is a Bio-Diversity Hotspot. The Bhadra Sanctuary is surrounded by Mullayanagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri and Bababudangiri hills. The vegetation at Muthodi is primarily moist and dry deciduous forests. Bhadra supports more than 120 plant species. Teak, Rosewood, Mathi, Honne, Nandi, Tadasalu and Kindal are the prominent types of Trees here.
The Tiger population here is estimated to be 33. Other wildlife includes Elephant, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Jackal, Wild Dog, Jackal, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Common Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Slender Loris, Small Indian Civet, Common Palm Civet, Pangolin, Porcupine, Flying Squirrel and the Malabar Giant Squirrel.
The birdlife in Bhadra is quite rich and around 300 species are found here. Some of the avian residents of Bhadra are Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl, Painted Bush Quail, Emerald Dove, Southern Green Imperial Pigeon, Great Black Woodpecker, Malabar Parakeet, Hill Myna, Ruby-throated Bulbul, Shama, Malabar Trogon, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Hornbill and Racquet-tailed Drongo.The vegetation of Bhadra suits a variety of reptiles like Common Vine Snake, King Cobra, Common Cobra, Russell's Viper, Bamboo Pit Viper, Rat Snake, Olive Keelback, Common Wolf Snake, Common Indian Monitor, Draco and Marsh Crocodiles.
Bhadra is also a favourite among Butterflies. The different types of Butterflies that can be spotted here include Yam fly, Baronet, Southern Birdwing, Tailed Jay, Great Orange Tip, Bamboo Tree Brown, and Blue Pansy.
The best way to catch the wild life of Bhadra is on a Jeep. Safaris are organized on Jeeps both at dawn and dusk. The Bhadra River provides avenues for water-sports like sailing, kayaking, water cycle, water trampoline, joy fishing and boat ride.
This landscape is a haven for trekkers and a wide variety of peaks available for trekking. Trekkers can chose from Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri & Babaudangiri Hills.
Bird watching and rock climbing are the other popular activities possible at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Bhadra River Project Dam is a good picnic spot due to its scenic location. The dam was built by the famous M.Vishweshwaraiah and serves as the major source of irrigation and power generation for surrounding areas. This project has resulted in substantial improvements in area brought under irrigation and agricultural crop production.
At a height of 551 Ft., Hebbe Falls is a magnificent sight in the eastern part of the sanctuary. It is scenically located inside a coffee estate. A popular approach to these falls is an 8 km trek from Kemmangundi. The water of Hebbe Falls is rich in herbs and a refreshing dip is a memorable affair.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple in the old part of Bhadravati town is a must visit. Built by the Hoysala rulers in 13th century, the temple is built on an elevated platform. A tall Dwajasthambam stands in front of the temple along with a stone pillar on a small pedestal. Mhakta Markandya temple of Khandya, and Bhavani Shankar temple of Hebbe are other Temples worth visiting while at Bhadra.
For a travelogue on a beautiful island in Karwar near Goa where Rabindranah Tagore wrote his first play, visit Devbagh.