Thursday, August 24, 2023

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. It is a protected area known for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem. The sanctuary is named after the Bhimgad Fort, which is situated within its boundaries.

This sanctuary is known for the Barapede caves, and is one of the only known breeding areas of the Wroughton’s Free-tailed Bat, a threatened species.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, typical of the Western Ghats region. The sanctuary's forests are known to harbor many endemic and rare species of plants and animals. Some of the wildlife species found here include tigers, leopards, wild boars, various species of deer, reptiles, amphibians, and a wide variety of birds. 

The sanctuary's location in the Western Ghats, which is recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot, adds to its conservation significance. It provides habitat for several endangered and endemic species, making it an important area for wildlife protection and preservation.

Table of Contents

  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Khanapur taluk of the Belagavi district (formerly known as Belgaum district) of Karnataka, India. It is situated in the Western Ghats region, near the border with the state of Goa. 

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is the Belgaum Airport (also known as Sambra Airport), which is located in Belgaum, Karnataka, India. The airport is approximately 50-60 kilometers away from the sanctuary.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

As for the nearest railway station, the closest one would be the Khanapur Railway Station, located in the town of Khanapur, which is about 10-15 kilometers from the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary. However, please note that this railway station might not have extensive connectivity, so you might need to consider other major railway stations in the region like Belgaum Railway Station, which is a bit farther away but has better connectivity.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary has a history that intertwines with its natural and cultural significance. While specific details might vary, here's an overview of its history:

Prehistoric and Indigenous Use: The Western Ghats, where the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is located, have a history of human presence dating back thousands of years. Indigenous communities have traditionally inhabited these areas, relying on the forests for their livelihoods.

Recognition and Establishment: The formal recognition of the sanctuary as a protected area came with the objective of conserving the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary was established in 2010 to safeguard the unique flora and fauna of the region and to provide a space for scientific research and conservation.

Conservation Efforts: Over the years, various governmental and non-governmental organizations have collaborated to ensure the conservation of the sanctuary. Efforts include habitat restoration, anti-poaching measures, community engagement, and research activities to better understand the region's ecology.

Cultural Significance: The sanctuary area has cultural and historical value as well. The Bhimgad Fort, which is located within the sanctuary, adds a historical dimension. The fort itself has its own history, and its presence contributes to the overall significance of the sanctuary.

Tourism and Recreation: The sanctuary has also gained attention for its potential for eco-tourism and nature-based recreational activities. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Western Ghats, observe wildlife, and engage in activities like birdwatching.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 190 square kilometers. This sanctuary is a part of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. 

The sanctuary's diverse ecosystems include evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, grasslands, and water bodies, providing habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is traversed by several rivers and streams that are typical of the Western Ghats region. One of the significant rivers that flows through the sanctuary is the Mhadei River, also known as the Mandovi River. 

The Mhadei River originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats of Belgaum district in Karnataka state and flows through the sanctuary before eventually emptying into the Arabian Sea in Goa.

The presence of rivers and streams within the sanctuary contributes to the diversity of habitats and supports the rich biodiversity of the area. These water bodies provide drinking water for wildlife, create riparian ecosystems, and contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem by facilitating plant growth and serving as a water source for various species.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is a mosaic of Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests and grass lands. It is rich in medicinal plants.

Here's some additional information:

(1) Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests: 

These forests are a key feature of the Western Ghats region. They thrive in the sanctuary due to the moderate to high levels of rainfall and the hilly terrain that helps retain moisture. These forests are home to a variety of tree species, both evergreen and deciduous, forming a dense and diverse canopy.

(2) Grasslands:

The presence of grasslands adds to the variety of habitats within the sanctuary. Grasslands are crucial for various animal species, including herbivores, and they contribute to the overall ecosystem balance.

(3) Medicinal Plants:

The Western Ghats, including the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, is renowned for its wealth of medicinal plants. The rich plant diversity in the sanctuary likely includes a range of species with traditional and modern medicinal uses.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What animals are in the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse and unique fauna. The sanctuary's varied habitats, including tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, grasslands, and water bodies, provide homes for a wide range of animal species. 

Here are some examples of the fauna that can be found in the sanctuary:


  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Gaur
  • Sloth Bear
  • Sambar
  • Spotted Deer
  • Fox
  • Wild Dog


  • Nilgiri Wood-pigeon
  • Malabar Parakeet
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • Grey-headed Bulbul
  • Rufous Babbler
  • White-bellied Blue-flycatcher


  • Snakes
  • Lizards

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is located?

A. The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Karnataka, India. Specifically, it is situated in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. The sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

Q. What is Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its rich biodiversity, unique ecosystems, and its location within the Western Ghats, a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot. Here are some of the key reasons why the sanctuary is renowned:

(i) Biodiversity Hotspot: The Western Ghats, including the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, is known for its incredible biodiversity. The sanctuary's varied habitats, including tropical and subtropical forests, grasslands, and water bodies, provide a home to numerous plant and animal species, many of which are endemic and rare.

(ii) Endangered and Endemic Species: The sanctuary is home to various endangered and endemic species. These are species that are found only in specific regions and are at risk of extinction. Protecting their habitats in the sanctuary is crucial for their survival.

(iii) Medicinal Plants: The sanctuary is recognized for its wealth of medicinal plants. The Western Ghats region has a long history of traditional medicine, and the sanctuary's flora includes various plants with potential medicinal properties.

(iv) Conservation Significance: Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is part of ongoing conservation efforts to protect the unique ecosystems of the Western Ghats. Its designation as a protected area aims to safeguard its diverse flora and fauna for future generations.

(v) Natural Beauty: The sanctuary's lush forests, rolling hills, and water bodies contribute to its natural beauty. It's a destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers who want to experience the Western Ghats' scenic landscapes.

(vi) Eco-Tourism and Education: Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary is also gaining attention as a potential eco-tourism destination. Its educational and recreational value make it a place where people can learn about the importance of biodiversity and conservation.

(vii) Cultural and Historical Significance: The sanctuary's historical landmarks, such as the Bhimgad Fort, add a cultural dimension to its significance. The coexistence of natural and cultural heritage enhances its appeal.

Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary

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