Monday, June 5, 2023

Sri Venkateswara National Park

Sri Venkateswara National Park UPSC

Sri Venkateswara National Park, also known as SV National Park, is a protected area located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located within Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary.


It is named after Lord Venkateswara, a form of the Hindu deity Vishnu, who is worshipped at the famous Tirumala Venkateswara Temple situated within the park.


Sri Venkateswara National Park is a part of Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve (SLBR).


Table of Contents

  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Location
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park History
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Area
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Hills
    • Tirumala Hills
    • Seshachalam Hills
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park River
    • Swarnamukhi River
    • Musuthieru River
    • Gunjana River
    • Gundaleru River
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Waterfalls
    • Gundalakona Waterfall
    • Gunjana Waterfall
    • Talakona Waterfall
    • Nelakona Waterfall
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Lake
    • Kalyani Dam
    • Papavinasanam Reservoir
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Tribe
    • Yanadi Tribe
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Flora
    • Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests
    • Dry Red Sanders-Bearing Forests
    • Southern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forests
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Top Things to do in Sri Venkateswara National Park
  • Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park UPSC Questions


Sri Venkateswara National Park Location

Sri Venkateswara National Park is located in the Chittoor and Cuddapah districts of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is spread over the Seshachalam hills of Cuddapah district and Tirumala hills of Chittoor district.


The park is situated in the Eastern Ghats mountain range, which runs parallel to the eastern coast of India.


Sri Venkateswara National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Sri Venkateswara National Park is Tirupati (TIR). 


Sri Venkateswara National Park Nearest Railway Station:

Hyderabad is the nearest railway station and Tirupari is the nearest railhead.




Sri Venkateswara National Park History

Sri Venkateswara National Park has a rich history that is closely linked to the religious and cultural significance of the region. Here is a brief overview of its history:


Ancient and Medieval Periods: The region around Sri Venkateswara National Park has a long history dating back to ancient and medieval times. The Tirumala Hills, where the park is located, have been considered sacred since ancient times and have been associated with the worship of Lord Venkateswara. The nearby Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, is believed to have been constructed in the 10th century AD.


Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1985, Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary was established with an area of 525.97 sq kms.


National Park Status: In 1989, the core area of the Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary is declared as National Park. It covers an area of 353.62 sq kms. It is the first Andhra Pradesh National Park. The park was created to safeguard the natural habitats and wildlife present in the Eastern Ghats.


Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve: In 2010, the government of India declared the Seshachalam Hills as one of the biosphere reserves of India, this national park becomes the part of it.




Sri Venkateswara National Park Area

Sri Venkateswara National Park covers an area of approximately 353 square kilometers (136 square miles). Sri Venkateswara National Park is a core area of Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary.


  • Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary Area- 525.97 sq km.
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park Area- 353.62 sq km.


The Sri Venkateswara National Park has been divided into 3 ranges by Andhra Pradesh Forest Department namely:

(1) Balapalle Range

(2) Chamala Range  

(3) Tirupathi Range


The Sri Venkateswara National Park is situated at an altitude ranging from 150 to 2,500 meters (490 to 8,200 feet) above sea level. The park's terrain is characterized by hills, valleys, and dense forests, and it is located within the Eastern Ghats mountain range. 




Sri Venkateswara National Park Hills

Seshachalam Hills, also known as Tirumala Hills, are a prominent feature of Sri Venkateswara National Park. They form a part of the Eastern Ghats mountain range and are famous for their religious and natural significance.


Tirumala Hills, specifically, are home to the renowned Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. The temple is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in India and attracts millions of devotees each year. The hills provide a picturesque setting for the temple, with its stunning architecture and surrounding natural beauty.


Seshachalam Hills, along with the Tirumala Hills, are known for their rich biodiversity and serve as an important habitat for various plant and animal species. The region is covered with dense forests, including dry deciduous forests, providing a diverse ecosystem within the national park.


Apart from their religious significance, the Seshachalam and Tirumala Hills are popular among trekkers, nature enthusiasts, and photographers. The hills offer scenic trails, panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, and opportunities to spot wildlife.


It's important to note that Seshachalam and Tirumala hills are often used interchangeably to refer to the same geographical area, particularly in the context of Sri Venkateswara National Park and the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.




Sri Venkateswara National Park River

Rivers that course through the region SwarnamukhiMusuthieru, Gunjana, and Gundaleru.


Swarnamukhi River:

Sri Venkateswara National Park is traversed by the Swarnamukhi River, also known as the Swarnamukhi Nadi. The river originates in the Eastern Ghats and flows through the park, adding to the natural beauty and ecological significance of the area.


The Swarnamukhi River is a perennial river, meaning it maintains a continuous flow throughout the year. It is an important water source for the flora and fauna within the national park. The river provides a habitat for aquatic species and supports the overall ecosystem of the region.


The holy Hindu temples of Tirumala and Srikalahasti are located in the river basin. Kalyani Dam was constructed in 1977 across its tributary Kalyani river.




Sri Venkateswara National Park Waterfalls 

There are several waterfalls in and near Sri Venkateswara National Park. Here are the waterfalls:


(1) Gundalakona Waterfall:

Gundalakona Waterfall is located near Sri Venkateswara National Park, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is a picturesque waterfall nestled amidst lush greenery. The waterfall is known for its natural beauty and tranquil surroundings, making it a popular spot for visitors.


(2) Gunjana Waterfall:

Gunjana Waterfall is another waterfall in the vicinity of Sri Venkateswara National Park. 


(3) Talakona Waterfall:

Talakona Waterfall is a famous waterfall located in the nearby Talakona Forest, which is part of the Seshachalam Hills. It is situated in the Chittoor district and is approximately 58 kilometers from Tirupati. Talakona Waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh, with water cascading from a height of around 270 feet (82 meters). It is known for its scenic beauty and is surrounded by dense forests.


(4) Nelakona Waterfall:

Nelakona is another waterfall in the Chamala Range near Sri Venkateswara National Park. 




Sri Venkateswara National Park Lake

There are a few lakes located in the general vicinity of the park. Here are a couple of notable lakes in the region:


(1) Kalyani Dam: 

Kalyani Dam, also known as Kalyani Reservoir, is situated near Sri Venkateswara National Park in the Chittoor district. It is an artificial lake formed by the Kalyani Dam across the Kalyani River. The reservoir offers a serene and scenic environment, surrounded by hills and forests. It serves as a water source for irrigation purposes and also attracts some bird species.


(2) Papavinasanam Reservoir:

Papavinasanam Reservoir is another lake located near the national park, close to the Tirumala hills. It is a small reservoir that stores water from the Papavinasanam Stream, which originates from the Seshachalam Hills. The reservoir provides water for various purposes and adds to the natural beauty of the area.



While these lakes are not directly within Sri Venkateswara National Park, they are nearby and can be visited by those exploring the region. It's important to note that the availability of water and the size of these lakes may vary depending on the season and local conditions.




Sri Venkateswara National Park Tribe

Sri Venkateswara National Park is home to several indigenous tribal communities that have been residing in the region for centuries. One prominent tribe associated with the national park is the Yanadi tribe.


Yanadi Tribe:

The Yanadi tribe is an indigenous community that primarily inhabits the Eastern Ghats region, including areas near Sri Venkateswara National Park. They live in Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh 


They have a distinct cultural identity and traditional way of life. The Yanadi people traditionally relied on hunting, gathering, and agriculture for their sustenance. However, with modernization and changes in their habitat, many Yanadi individuals have transitioned to other livelihoods, such as working as laborers or in other professions.




Sri Venkateswara National Park Flora

Sri Venkateswara National Park boasts a diverse range of flora, thanks to its location in the Eastern Ghats and varying elevations within the park. The park's vegetation is influenced by factors such as altitude, rainfall, and soil composition. 


The forest types found in Sri Venkateswara National Park include:


(1) Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests:

This forest type is dominant in the lower elevations of the park. It is characterized by trees that shed their leaves during the dry season to conserve water. The Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests consist of species such as teak (Tectona grandis), neem (Azadirachta indica), Indian laurel (Terminalia elliptica), tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), and others that are adapted to survive in drier conditions.


(2) Dry Red Sanders-Bearing Forests: 

Sri Venkateswara National Park is known for its Dry Red Sanders forests. Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus), a valuable and protected tree species, are found in these forests. The wood of the red sanders tree is highly valued for its use in various industries, such as furniture and crafts.


(3) Southern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forests:

As the elevation increases in the park, the forest type transitions to Southern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forests. These forests consist of a mix of deciduous and evergreen tree species. Examples of trees found in these forests include sandalwood (Santalum album), ironwood (Mesua ferrea), Indian beech (Pongamia pinnata), and Indian laburnum (Cassia fistula), among others.




Sri Venkateswara National Park Fauna (Sri Venkateswara National Park Animals)

Sri Venkateswara National Park is famous for which animal?

Sri Venkateswara National Park is home to a rich variety of fauna, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The diverse habitat types within the park support a wide range of species.


Here are some notable examples of the fauna found in Sri Venkateswara National Park:


Mammals:

  • Leopard
  • Sloth Bear
  • Mouse Deer
  • Four Horned Antelope
  • Sambar
  • Spotted Deer
  • Mouse Deer
  • Barking Deer
  • Wild Dog
  • Golden Jackal
  • Indian Fox
  • Small Indian Civet
  • Jungle Cat
  • Wild Boar
  • Slender Loris
  • Indian Giant Squirrel
  • Porcupine
  • Pangolin


Birds:

  • Yellow Browed Bulbul
  • Jerdon Courser
  • Pompadour Green Pigeon 
  • Oriental White-backed Vulture
  • Loten's Sunbird
  • Indian Scimitar-Babbler
  • Blue-faced Malkoha
  • Large Hawk-Cuckoo


Reptiles:

  • Gliding Lizard
  • Indian Golden Gecko
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Russell's Viper
  • Indian Monitor Lizard
  • Indian Chameleon




Top Things to do in Sri Venkateswara National Park

When visiting Sri Venkateswara National Park, there are several activities and attractions that you can enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in the park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Trekking and Hiking
  • Visit Talakona Waterfall
  • Pilgrimage to Tirumala Temple
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Photography
  • Relax and Enjoy Nature




Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, also known as the Tirupati Balaji Temple, is a highly revered Hindu temple located in the town of Tirumala in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the most visited and richest temples in the world.


Here are some key details about the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple:


Deity: The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Venkateswara is also known as Balaji, Srinivasa, and Govinda.


Architecture: The temple showcases Dravidian style architecture and is built in a complex comprising several structures and halls. The main sanctum sanctorum, known as the Garbha Griha, houses the deity of Lord Venkateswara.


Pilgrimage: The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a significant pilgrimage site for Hindus, attracting millions of devotees every year. Devotees undertake a pilgrimage to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara and offer their prayers and offerings.


Rituals and Offerings: The temple follows elaborate rituals and daily ceremonies, including sevas (special worship services) and darshan (viewing of the deity). Devotees can participate in various rituals and offer prayers and donations to the temple.


Laddu Prasadam: The temple is renowned for its famous laddu prasadam, a sweet offering made of gram flour, sugar, ghee, and cashews. Devotees receive this sacred laddu as prasadam after offering their prayers at the temple.


Festivals: The temple celebrates numerous festivals throughout the year. The most significant festival is the Brahmotsavam, a nine-day annual festival celebrated in September/October, attracting a large number of devotees.




Sri Venkateswara National Park UPSC Questions

Q. What is Sri Venkateswara National Park known for?

A. Sri Venkateswara National Park is known for Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.


Q. Which river passes through Venkateswara National Park?

A. Swarnamukhi, Musuthieru, Gunjana, and Gundaleru river passes through Venkateswara National Park.


Q. What are the indicator species in Sri Venkateswara National Park?

A. Indicator species are species that can provide important information about the health and condition of an ecosystem. While specific indicator species in Sri Venkateswara National Park may vary, here are some examples of potential indicator species that could be found in the park:


  • Indian Giant Squirrel 
  • Oriental White-backed Vulture 
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Common Indian Monitor Lizard 


Q. In which range is Sri Venkateswara National Park located?

A. Sri Venkateswara National Park is located in the Seshachalam Hills, also known as the Tirumala range. The Seshachalam Hills are a part of the Eastern Ghats mountain range, which stretches along the eastern coast of India. 


Q. Where is Sri Venkateswara National Park?/Sri Venkateswara National Park is located in which state?

A. Sri Venkateswara National Park is located in the Chittoor and Cuddapah districts of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Sri Venkateswara National Park

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