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Andhra Pradesh Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over an area of 839 sq km, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the northern part of Andhra Pradesh, in the Adilabad District. The forest cover around the Kadiam River, which makes up the sanctuary, is of mixed type, with a dense and large population of Teak mixed irregularly with Bamboo and other tropical trees like Terminalia. The scenic beauty of the region comes from the hilly terrain and the rich flora in the forests.
The Sanctuary is well known as a habitat for many hoofed creatures, mostly deer and also for Tigers. This is coupled with the fact that the protected area is rich in some of the best Teak in India and in Andhra Pradesh. Both these factors and the bordering vicinity of Jannaram town have created an environment conducive to poaching for wood, animal skin and horns, habitual encroachment and hunting, by locals and visitors alike. In a bid to tighten the protection of this area, the government of India has recently declared it as a Tiger Reserve.
Popularly, the region of Kawal around the lower catchment of the Kadiam River was a popular game site for Deer, Leopards, Tigers and other varieties of Deer. In 1965, it was gazetted as the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary by the government. However, the local residents surrounding the newly protected area continued to encroach and trespass the territory with many cases of illegal hunting and woodcutting, especially Teak. There has been a struggle between the government initiative to protect the habitat of some of the endangered species and a growing human population looking for sustenance. In 2012, the Government of India registered the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary as Tiger Reserve with an aim of preserving the region’s ecology and maintaining a healthy tiger population, as a part of a nationwide scheme.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The general weather of the Kawal region is semi-arid and tropical, making it hot and dry most of the year, with an exception of the Monsoon (between June and September). The best time to visit the Sanctuary is during the winter, until the end of spring that falls between November and April.
How to Reach
The nearest international airport is at 260 km, the State Capital – Hyderabad and alternatively the airport at Nagpur in the neighboring state of Maharashtra is also close by. From the airports the Kawal region is easily accessed by road, as it grazes the state and national highways.
The town of Mancherial has the closest railway station at 50 km from the town of Jannaram, from where the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is popularly accessed.
Jannaram, bordering the Sanctuary, sits conveniently at the Nairmal-Mancherial road, which is connected to the smooth sate highway network of Andhra Pradesh. One can easily reach Kawal from any part of the country.
The Kawal region is noted as an habitat for varied species of deer, like the Barking Deer, Cheetal, Chowsingha (Four-Horned Antelope), Gaur and other hoofed herbivores like Nilgai and Mouse Deer. Along with the prey, hunters like Tiger Leopard and Panther also have Sanctuary here. Other important species like the Sloth Bear are also found here.
The Sanctuary is mostly accessible by four wheelers with a good forest road running through the protected area. In the craggy and mountainous regions as well as the highly forested parts of the sanctuary, travelling by foot is considered with the accompaniment of a Forest Official.
Where to Stay
Rest houses are available to the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary visitors in Jannaram, just outside the protected area and also in the town of Mancherial.
- The official season for visiting the Sanctuary is between November and May.
- Changes in the regulations of the Sanctuary have been made since 2012 and all the enquiries for visit and safari must be made at the office of Divisional Forest Officer - Wildlife Management at Jannaram and the Forest Range Officer.