Anshi Karnataka National Park, Wildlife tourism, Karnataka
Anshi National Park is an evergreen tropical rainforest located in the North Kannada district of Karnataka. The park covering an area of 340 km² is considered the most endangered animal park in India. Anshi is on the Karwar-Londa highway and is part of the Dandeli Wildlife Reserve. Anshi was granted national park designation in 1987. Dandeli is a small town located on the banks of the Kali River in Karnataka. The forests around this town were established as the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975 with an area of approximately 500 km². Anshi National Park and the adjacent Dandeli Wildlife Reserve together form the Dandeli Wildlife Division of the Karnataka Forest Department.
The topography of the park is such that it presents deep valleys, steep slopes and dense forests. The altitude of the park ranges from 200 m to 927 m and the temperature varies between 16 and 37 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit the park is between November and June. The peculiarity of the park is that it is the only place in Asia where we naturally find the black panther.
The Anshi and Dandeli forests are rich in rare species of flora and fauna. There is a wide variety of trees such as teak (Tectona grandis), silver oaks (Grevillea robusta), eucalyptus, weeds (Lantana, Eupatorium, Parthinium), Bauhinia, Diodspyrus, Xylia xyrocarpa, Diospyrous Acacia and Bambusa.
The forest area was known in the past for its manganese, the mining of which has caused wildlife to move away from the forest. In the recent past, mining has been stopped and the animals are slowly returning. The chances of seeing elephants / bison / panther are therefore very reduced and limited. Black panther, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, common langur, sloth bear, gaur (Indian bison), wild boar, fox, bonnet macaque, slender loris, mongoose, tiger, jungle cat, jackal, pangolin, elephants, the giant Malabar squirrel and the porcupine are now seen in the park. Reptiles include the king cobra, python, rat snake, viper, and krait.
About 200 species of birds are found in the park. Some of them are Malabar hornbills, greylag swallows, drongos, minivets, iora, brahminy kites, Ceylon frogs, yellow-legged pigeons, crested snake eagles, adjutant storks, black crested bazas and peacocks.
There is an Anshi Nature Camp trekking facility located 3 km from the park. All 4 trekking routes start from here. The hikes are 1) Anshi NC -Village of Maingani- Dodpoda nala- Anshi NC (5.0 kms) 2) Anshi NC- Office of the Anshi- Nesar temba- Office of the Anshi- Anshi NC range (10kms) 3) Anshi NC-Matgaon- Chandkunga- Route Vaki- Kadra-Kadra Viewpoint (20 kms) 4) Anshi NC- Site of Matgaon-Devarmane-Vaki Dam- Anshi NC (20 kms). The third trek is the most difficult. The Nature Camp is well maintained with tents and dormitories and meals. There are regular and luxury tents and one dorm has 16 beds and the price ranges from 50 to 70 for Indians and foreigners respectively.
There are many small streams, springs and waterfalls in the park. There are also small villages in the park area. Steep roads inside the park lead to the villages of Shivapura, Nethurga and Sulageri in deep and desolate forests. Some of the nearby tourist sites are Ulvi Channabasaveshwara Temple just outside the southeastern boundary of the park, Kadra Valley Viewpoint (12 km), and Karwar Beach (55 km). The park is open to tourists from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The picturesque and rustic Kali River flows through the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the only river south of the Himalayas where white rafting is possible, making this place a unique destination.