Saturday, 7 February 2015

Daroji Bear Sanctuary, Meeting Our Hairy Friends


We somehow managed a short and sweet trip to Daroji. Daroji is one of those very few bear sanctuaries in India. The Indian sloth bear is found only in India and Sri Lanka. While most people visit the magnificent city of Hampi very few visit this extra ordinary wild life sanctuary which is just 15 km from the Vijaynagara ruins.

Bear

  Though not official, but the best time to see bear in Daroji is from noon till evening. Keeping that in mind we started from Hampi at around 1 pm. The 15 km stretch of road is not great but manageable. But let me tell you one great thing about this stretch. If you keep your eyes open you will see a lot variety of birds. Some of the very common ones that I could identify were Indian rollers, shrike, bulbuls, parrots, lapwings, spurfowl, dove, kestral, black shouldered kite, spotted owlet, peacock, Indian robin, silverbill, brahminy starling, brahminy kite, kingfisher and babbler.

Bear and peacock

  After registering our car and buying entry tickets at sanctuary gate we drove inside. As far I remember entry tickets costed us 500 INR. There is a watch tower some 3-4 km inside the sanctuary from where one gets to see the bear. Getting down from the car or loitering anywhere inside the sanctuary is prohibited and punishable.

Bear leaking jaggery off the stones


  From the watch tower we saw two bears. Then they were joined by two more.All the bears were licking the big boulders. Later on inquiring we got to know that the forest department puts honey on the boulders so that the bears can have that. Because of illegal mining,rapid destruction of forest area and man animal conflicts a lot of the natural habitat for these bears have been destroyed. Their food has become really scare. So in order to protect these beautiful creatures the Government officials need to provide food supply to them. And thankfully because of all their efforts and hard work the number of bears has increased and now the count is roughly 1500.

Couple of bears near a water hole


  At a distant rock we saw three more bears so a total of 7 bears. Apart from that we saw some wild hogs, peacocks, peahens and some more birds.I remember when we saw a bear in Nagarhole just 5 feet away from us we were so much elated, here there were seven.Happiness knew no bounds!

Three bears leaking jaggery

Bears up the hill

  Sometime we will be again back to Daroji to see the birds and our hairy friends.

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