The largest of India's Tiger Reserves, the
Nagarjunasagar - Srisailam Sanctuary lies
in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The
major attractions of this sanctuary are Tiger,
Leopard, Sloth Bear and Hyena.
Nagarjunasagar - Srisailam sanctuary is
located in Guntur, Prakasam, Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar
and Nalgonda districts, at a distance of
29-km from Macherla and about 150-km from
Hyderabad . It spans about 3568-sq-kms in
is surrounded by the Nallamalai hills on
the southern and eastern sides, while the
Krishna River forms the boundary on the
other side. The sanctuary is named after
the Nagarjunasagar reservoir, formed by
a large dam in the northeastern part. The
central and western parts of the sanctuary
consist of a plateau, representing one of
the oldest geological formations, known
as "Archaean" and dating back
some 2,000 million years.
The Flora And Fauna
Dry deciduous mixed forest with scrub and
bamboo thickets provide shelter to a wide
range of animals. The terrain is rugged
and winding gorges slice through the Nallamalai
hills. Spotted Deers, Mouse Deers, Black
Bucks, Sambhars, Chousingha Nilgai, Wild
Boars, Indian Giant Squirrels, Tree Shrews,
Rayels, Mugger Crocodiles, Wild Dogs, Jackals,
Wolves, Foxes, Sloth Bear, Panthers and
Tigers are the animal attractions of this
In this forest
the tiger is truly nocturnal and is rarely
seen. The reserve was home to about 100
tigers at the beginning of this decade.
However, according to a census conducted
in 1997, the tiger population has fallen
steeply to about 20.
Importance Of Tiger Conservation
The Tiger, the major carnivore at the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam
Tiger Reserve, faces the threat of extinction
in spite of its resilience and adaptability.
of tiger conservation lies in the fact that
the presence of this predator is an indicator
of the health of an ecosystem. A natural
forest in which the tiger thrives offers
benefits that cannot be quantified easily
in terms of money. These include protection
of the topsoil; retention of groundwater,
which is released through the year; and
preservation of biomass resources and the
Present State Of The Sanctuary
Apart from the measures taken for tiger
conservation, there is a decline in the
tiger population in the sanctuary. Apart
from this fact, the poor state of the vegetation
and the diminishing number of large mammals,
especially herbivores, also point to the
alarming state of affairs in the area. Much
of the flora of the Nallamalai hills is
being destroyed, even before they are recorded.
of the forest, combined with the semi-arid
climate of the region, has adversely affected
the sanctuary. The Krishna, which was fordable
prior to the construction of the Nagarjunasagar
and Srisailam dams, has now become a barrier,
which the animals cannot cross. A significant
part of the sanctuary towards the northeast
is fragmented by man-made water bodies into
small, degraded habitats. These areas have
to be protected to provide wildlife room
to migrate when necessary, and also to act
as a buffer against biotic pressures. But
the buffer itself has been so over-exploited
that biotic pressures are now degrading
the core area.
demographic profile of the towns and villages
surrounding the forest indicate the changes
and pressures. The population, both resident
and floating, has increased several folds.
Most people, though classified as dependent
on agriculture, are employed in farming
only during the monsoon season.
At other times
they depend on the forest to make a living
- by collecting and selling firewood or
non-timber forest produce, and in some cases,
smuggling out timber. Several sawmills have
come up close to the reserve. The Nallamalai
hills provide fodder for thousands of cattle
and local people often graze their cattle
in the forest depriving wildlife access
to these resources.
How to get there
Air : The
nearest airport is Hyderabad situated 150-km
from the sanctuary.
: The nearest railway station is
Hyderabad from the sanctuary.
: The nearest town to this sanctuary
is Macherla, which is 29-km away from the
sanctuary. The sanctuary is also well connected
by state owned buses.
Where to stay
Tourists can find good accommodation in
the guesthouses and cottages located near
the temples within the sanctuary.
The climate is hot and arid, the hottest
months being March-June with a maximum temperature
of 42°C. and a minimum temperature is
12°C. Rains are brought about by the
southwest monsoon, which prevails from June
to October. Annual rainfall is 590-760mm,
though some parts receive up to 1500mm.
For more tourist information
Field Director, Project Tiger, Srisailam
Dam East, Andhra Pradesh - 512102