Biligiri Rangana Hills, popularly known as BR Hills, is situated in the Yelandur Taluk of Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. This area is popularly known as the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, which is commonly referred to as the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary.
It was declared as a protected tiger reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, in December 2010. This sanctuary stretches over an area of 540 sq km and is located in the eastern most part of the Western Ghats, at a distance of about 28 km from Yelandur and 90 km from Mysore.
The Ranganatha Temple was previously named as the Venkatanatha Temple, until Tipu Sultan, on his way to hunting, visited this place and named it as a temple of Lord Ranganatha. The Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary was created around this temple on June 27, 1974 and was enlarged on January 14, 1987.
Many believe that the sanctuary derived its name Biligiri from the white weathered granite cliff while others believe that it got its name from the white mist and silver clouds that cover the hills.
BR Hills has a wide variety of fauna including elephants, sloth bears, bison, deer, porcupines, tigers, leopards and a number of other wild animals. The sanctuary houses more than 250 species of birds, including the famous paradise flycatcher, racquet tailed drongo and the crested hawk eagle. More than 22 species of reptiles and about 116 species of butterflies are also found in this region. The sanctuary also contains endemic species of plants that are known for their medicinal value. Experienced guides from Chamarajanagar can be hired for nature walks and trekking in the hills.
Things to do in BR Hills
People and Culture of BR HillsBR Hills is a habitat for the semi-nomadic Soliga tribe, which has been living here for hundreds of years. About 20,000 Soliga tribal people living here are nature worshippers and revere a large Champaka tree. Kannada, English and Hindi are the languages spoken here.
Food and Shopping in BR HillsTourists generally shop for forest products, mainly honey and medicinal plants, as well as craft works and souvenirs.
Though the sanctuary remains open throughout the year, the best time to visit BR Hills is from October to May.
Chamarajanagar is the nearest station to BR Hills, 40 km away while Bangalore, 220 km from BR Hills, is the closest airport. Tourists can also reach the destination by driving down the Bangalore-Mysore highway via Maddur, Malavalli and Kollegala, which is 30 km from BR Hills.
Travelling to BR Hills
Accommodation options in BR Hills range from hunting lodges, huts on stilts to camps and tents. Tourists can opt to stay Forest Guest House and the PWD Guest House by taking permission.
Accommodation options in BR Hills