Thursday, August 24, 2023

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Karnataka, India. It is known for its rich biodiversity and is a part of the Western Ghats, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional natural value.

The sanctuary is named after the Brahmagiri Peak, which is one of the prominent peaks in the Western Ghats. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The sanctuary is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. It encompasses tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, shola grasslands, and riparian habitats. The varied terrain and altitude variations contribute to the sanctuary's ecological diversity.

The sanctuary is managed by the Karnataka Forest Department and is dedicated to the conservation of the region's unique biodiversity and ecosystems. Various measures are in place to protect the flora and fauna within the sanctuary.

Table of Contents

  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Hills
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Karnataka. It is situated in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, near the border with the state of Kerala. 

The sanctuary is easily accessible from nearby towns and cities in both Karnataka and Kerala, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts, trekkers, and wildlife lovers.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest major airport to Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kannur International Airport, which is located in Kerala. It's approximately 105 kilometers away from the sanctuary. Another option is the Mysore Airport, which is around 135 kilometers away. Both airports offer domestic flights.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the sanctuary is the Thalassery Railway Station in Kerala, which is located at a distance of about 90 kilometers. Another option is the Mysore Railway Station, which is around 120 kilometers away. These railway stations are well-connected to major cities and towns across India

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary has a history that revolves around its ecological significance, conservation efforts, and the establishment of protected areas. Here's an overview of the history of Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary:

Ecological Importance: The Western Ghats is recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot due to its rich and unique flora and fauna. The Brahmagiri region, with its diverse ecosystems and endemic species, holds ecological significance within this hotspot.

Conservation Initiatives: Concerns about habitat loss, deforestation, and the potential extinction of several species prompted conservation efforts in the Western Ghats. These initiatives aimed to protect the region's natural habitats and species diversity.

Establishment of Protected Areas: In 1974, the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary was established to conserve the unique ecosystems and species of the area.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 181.29 square kilometers (70 square miles). The sanctuary's diverse landscapes include tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, shola grasslands, and riparian habitats, making it a crucial haven for various plant and animal species native to the region. 

The sanctuary's relatively extensive size allows for the preservation of a range of ecosystems and contributes to the conservation of the Western Ghats' biodiversity.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Hills

The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats mountain range in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, India. As such, it encompasses several hills and peaks that are characteristic of this mountainous region. The sanctuary itself is named after the prominent Brahmagiri Peak, which is one of the notable hills in the area. This peak is known for its panoramic views and its significance in the geography of the region.

The sanctuary's terrain is characterized by its hilly landscapes, and the various hills within the sanctuary contribute to its diverse ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and water bodies. The elevation changes across the hills support a variety of plant and animal species, making it a vital habitat for biodiversity conservation.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary River

The sanctuary gives birth to many rivers, which drain towards Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. The rivers, which flow towards Arabian Sea are Borapole, Segamanihole, Somahole, Miugorehole and Urtihole. The rivers which flow towards Bay of Bengal are Laxmanthirtha, Ramthirtha and Kabini.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The main forest types found in the sanctuary are:

(1) Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest: 

These lush, dense forests are characterized by high rainfall and a continuous canopy cover. They are home to a variety of tall trees, vines, epiphytes, and a rich diversity of plant and animal species. These forests typically occur in areas with high annual precipitation and provide habitats for many endemic species.

  • Jackfruit (Artocarpus species)
  • Indian devil tree (Alstonia scholaris)
  • Fish-tail palm (Caryota urens)
  • True cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
  • Jamun or Jambul (Syzygium species)
  • Red cedar or Toon (Cedrela toona)
  • Lance-leaved crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia lanceolata)

(2) Semi-Evergreen Forest:

Semi-evergreen forests are a transition between wet evergreen and moist deciduous forests. They have a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees and are found in regions with slightly less rainfall than wet evergreen forests. This forest type supports a diverse range of species.

  • Terminalia paniculata
  • Syzygium species
  • Terminalia chebula
  • Terminalia belerica
  • Lance-leaved crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia lanceolata)
  • Xylia xylocarpa
  • Terminalia tomentosa
  • Diopyros species
  • Holigarna species
  • Ficus species
  • Albizzia species
  • Anthocephalus cadamba

(3) Moist Deciduous Forest:

Moist deciduous forests exist in the eastern most tail of the sanctuary in Kutta area in Brahmagiri Ghat reserve forest. The species found in these forests include: Terminalia species, Syzygium species, Lagerstroemia lanceolata, Xylia xylocarpa, Diospyros species, Holigarna species, Ficus species, Albizzia species, etc. 

(4) Shola Forest:

Shola forests are unique to the Western Ghats region and are characterized by stunted trees and dense undergrowth. They occur at higher elevations and are often found in association with grasslands known as "sholas" and are interspersed with evergreen patches.

  • Syzizium malabaricum
  • Olia dioca
  • Holigyrna grahmii
  • Callophylum innophylum
  • Eliocarpus sps, 

(5) Grasslands:

Grasslands are an essential part of the sanctuary's landscape. These areas are interspersed within the forested regions and provide important habitats for various species, including ungulates like deer and gaur. These are found on the top portion of the hills and especially in large extents in Brahmagiri hill ranges encompassing the Shola forests in them. These areas are highly sensitive and prone to the fire. 

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including various mammals, birds, reptiles, and other species. Here are some examples of the wildlife that can be found in the sanctuary:


  • Tiger
  • Lion-Tailed Macaque
  • Elephant
  • Gaur
  • Jungle Cat
  • Leopard Cat
  • Wild Dog
  • Sloth Bear
  • Wild Boar
  • Sambar
  • Spotted Deer
  • Barking Deer
  • Mouse Deer
  • Nilgiri Langur
  • Slender Loris
  • Bonnet Macaque
  • Common Langur
  • Malabar Giant Squirrel


  • Malabar Hornbills
  • Malabar Trogon
  • Nilgiri Laughingthrush
  • Grey-headed Bulbul
  • White-bellied Treepie
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush
  • Indian Pitta


  • Indian Rock Python
  • King Cobra
  • Common Monitor Lizard
  • Indian Chameleon

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is situated?/In which state is BWS located?

A. The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) is situated in the state of Karnataka, India. It is located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, within the Western Ghats mountain range. The sanctuary's diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity make it an important conservation area within the state.

Q. What is Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its rich biodiversity and stunning natural beauty. Here are some key reasons for its fame:

(i) Biodiversity: The sanctuary is renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, including rare and endemic species. It provides a habitat for a wide range of animals, birds, plants, and insects, many of which are native to the Western Ghats region.

(ii) Western Ghats: Being located in the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and biodiversity hotspot, adds to the sanctuary's significance. The Western Ghats are known for their unique ecosystems and high levels of endemism.

(iii) Scenic Landscapes: The sanctuary's terrain features hills, forests, grasslands, and rivers, creating picturesque landscapes. Brahmagiri Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

(iv) Trekking and Ecotourism: The sanctuary attracts nature enthusiasts, trekkers, and wildlife photographers. It offers trekking trails that allow visitors to explore its natural beauty and observe wildlife in their natural habitats.

(v) Wildlife Observation: The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including species like the Malabar giant squirrel, Indian bison (gaur), elephants, tigers, and numerous bird species. Wildlife enthusiasts find it a rewarding place for animal sightings.

(vi) Plant Diversity: The sanctuary's varied forest types, including evergreen, semi-evergreen, and deciduous forests, house a wide range of plant species, some of which have medicinal and ecological significance.

(vii) Cultural and Religious Importance: The sanctuary is closely linked to the origin of the Kaveri River, with the Talakaveri temple situated nearby. This adds cultural and religious significance to the area.

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

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