Next up on my travel itinerary was the famous Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Named after the river that passes through its midst, the sanctuary is a protected area located in the
Mandya, Chamaraja nagar and Ramnagar districts of Karnataka. It is also gloriously vast, spanning 1027.53 square kilometres, so get ready to feel pleasantly exhausted at the end of it.
The temperature in Mandya is ideal for an excursion of this sort- a breezy 25⁰C, so one can leave cumbersome sunglasses and hats behind. I wish I could capture accurately the sense of calm and wonder that overtook my senses once I found myself in the middle of towering, leafy life, miles away from city noises. The experience truly clears the mind.
A quick Google search tells me that the tall trees that so overwhelmed me are the dry, deciduous sort. If you visit the sanctuary when the trees are shedding their leaves to conserve moisture, you will be able to see first-hand the dappled sunlight that finds its way to the ground through the canopy. A thing of beauty indeed!
Personally speaking, the most exciting part of the trip for me was a sighting of the famed grizzled giant squirrel, seeing as it is listed as an
endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Be careful of these adorable seeming scamps though; they have long, sharp claws!
Some of the other animals you can hope to see here are elephants, wild boars, leopards, spotted deer, barking deer, four-horned antelope, chevrotain, common langur, bonnet macaque and the Malabar giant squirrel. Further, the Cauvery River is home to the Mugger crocodile, Indian mud turtles and various species of snakes. This place is a paradise for outdoor adventure enthusiasts and animal lovers alike.
A word of caution though, dear reader! Though I personally had a fantastic trip, I hear many second-hand accounts of criminal activity here. Apparently, getting mugged or attacked is a fairly real possibility, so any potential visitors out there are advised to go in large groups with appropriate supplies.