Bannerghatta Biological Park
The Bannerghatta Biological Park is a zoological garden in Bangalore. It was established in 2002 inside the tourist area of the Bannerghatta National Park. is a popular tourist destination with a zoo, a pet corner, an animal rescue centre, a butterfly enclosure, an aquarium, a snake house and a safari park. The Zoo Authority of Karnataka, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, are collaborating agencies.
|Land area||12 ha (30 acres)|
|No. of animals||1941|
|No. of species||94|
|Annual visitors||1,616,130 (FY 2019/20)|
|Website||Bannerghatta Biological Park|
The Chief Conservator of Forests in the Karnataka Forest Department, Shri Y.M.L Sharma, IFS and founder of Bannerghatta National Park, created a picnic corner within the Bannerghatta forest in 1971. The Bannerghatta National Park was officially created in 1974 for conserving the flora and fauna in the area. As a result of demands for providing recreational and wildlife tourism facilities to the visiting tourists, the idea came about for creating a mini zoo and a nature park by carving out a small portion out of the tourism zone inside the national park.
The lion safari was established in 1979, followed by the establishment of tiger safari in 1987. In 2000, a dedicated wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre was established with the assistance of the Central Zoo Authority of India. In 2002, the Government of Karnataka created a dedicated organization, the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) for the management zoos in the state. Following this, the Bannerghatta zoo, various safari units and rescue centre within the national park were pooled together to form the Bannerghatta Biological Park and brought under the jurisdiction of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka. In 2007, a Butterfly Park was established within the limits of the Biological Park.
The Bannerghatta Biological Park is located within the limits of Anekal Revenue Taluk in the Bangalore Urban District. The park is situated almost midway between the city center of Bengaluru and the Anekal town, at about 25 km from Vidhana Soudha and at about 20 km to the North West of Anekal town. It is connected to the city by an all weather road. It is situated at the distance of 4 km from Gottigere, which is the boundary of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Areas and attractionsEdit
Currently, the Banneghatta Bioligical Park consists of the Bannerghatta Zoo, the Safari, the Butterfly Park and the Rescue and Rehabilitation centre.
The Bannerghatta Zoo was started as a picnic corner and was controlled by the Forest Department, Government of Karnataka, in the year 1971 in an area of 16.00 Ha. The zoo is saddled between the Champakadhama hill and Mirza hill in the Bannerghatta Sandal Reserve. Several species of mammals, reptiles and birds of both exotic and Indian origin are displayed in captivity. There are 1941 individual animals belonging to 94 different species. Most prominent and interesting ones are Thamin deer, Hog deer, King Cobra, Crocodiles, Himalayan black bear, panthers and various birds. In addition there is a Museum and an Auditorium for the visitors education. Present extent of Zoo area is 12 Ha and it is expanded by another 28.00 Ha. Eight new enclosures will be constructed in the expansion area.
The park offers safari excursions to observe the free range captive wildlife in immersive, naturalistic exhibits in the midst of the natural forests of Bannerghatta and Ragihalli Reserve Forest. The safari is jointly managed and monitored by Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and BBP with a revenue sharing on a 50:50 basis between the two organizations. There is a different type of transport such as bus , van etc . Each has one amount . KSTDC focuses on sales, revenue collection and physical monitoring of the buses whereas BBP fixes the fee for the visitors. The buses have a seating capacity of 30 people and other vehicles are also available to visitors in smaller groups. The visitors are only allowed inside the safari in these secured safari vehicles. The safari route passes through the picturesque hillock Mettubunde offering a panoramic view of the landscape consisting of broken hillocks chains and valleys with lush green forests.
This section was developed during the 1970s but opened to public viewing only in 2002. The entire area has been barricaded with stone walls along with the additional support of solar powered fences and Elephant proof trenches (EPT). The vegetation in the safari is more favourable to the herbivore animals round the year as large number of fodder species like bamboo are found in abundance and presence of waterbodies. Edible grass species such as sacharam, cymbogogon and heteropogon are commonly seen in the grass land and constitute the main fodder. There are 5 waterbodies found in the safari area, Deepankere, Chennamanakere, Gowdankunte and Seegadikunte, Gowdanakere. These waterbodies are perennial and serve as the source of water for the animals during all the seasons. The animals housed in the safari enclosures include Gaur, Sambar, Chital, Barking Deer, Black Buck, Hog Deer and Nilgai. The other animals naturally found in the safari are wild boar, porcupine, pangolin etc.
This section of the safari area is enclosed by an open dry moat. The outerwall of the moat is embedded with stone slabs to prevent the sloth bear from escaping and to avoid trespass of any other free ranging wildlife into the area. This safari is also provided with animal housing facilities in 05 blocks namely Panchavati, Chitrakuta, Kishkinda, Dr. G.K.V Block and Jambava. There are a total of around 100 holding rooms for the bears with a kitchen facilities. The forest area is planned to be planted additionally with varieties of fruit yielding trees to simulate a natural habitat for bears. In 2005, the facility was allowed to also house and maintain bears rescued from Kalandars from all over India.
The safari was started in 1979. It occupies around 5.00 Ha of forest area enclosed by a tall chain link mesh with the height of around 15 feet. Additionally a big moat all round the chain link mesh fence has been created to avoid the trespassing of any wild animals living in the area. The animal house is provided with 11 holding rooms and all the 11 holding rooms are provided with retrieval area for the daytime rest. The identified groups of animals are allowed into safari on a rotational basis regularly for the benefit of visiting tourists.
The safari was started in 1987. The peripheral boundary of the 3 units inside the safari area consists of an open moat and another chain linked mesh fence. Indira Gandhi Tiger Safari has the facility of 11 holding rooms. The Appaiah Tiger Safari has the facilities of 2 animal housing complexes. Both animal houses together has 10 animal holding rooms. The White tiger safari has the facilities of 2 animal housing complexes. There are totally 8 animal holding rooms. All the holding houses are provided with basic facilities of water and sanitation. Like the Lion Safari, the identified groups of animals are only allowed into safari on a rotational basis.
Rescue and Rehabilitation centreEdit
The National Zoo Policy 1998, requires all zoos to function as rescue centre for orphaned, refused, rescued wild animals, subject to the availability of appropriate housing and up keeping facilities. It also mandates that such a facility should not be accessible to visitors. To be compliant with this policy, the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre within the limits of Bannerghatta Biological Park started functioning in 2000. It is spread over an area of 17.50 Ha.
On 25 November 2006, Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister of Science and Technology opened India's first butterfly enclosure at the park. It occupies 7.5 acres (30,000 m2) and houses a butterfly conservatory, a museum, and an audiovisual room. The butterfly conservatory, a circular enclosure with a poly-carbonate roof, is 10,000 sq ft (1,000 m2). Within the conservatory, the environment has been designed to support over twenty species of butterfly. It is a humid tropical climate, with an artificial waterfall and appropriate flora to attract butterflies. The conservatory leads to a second and third dome, which house a museum containing dioramas and exhibits of carefully preserved butterflies.
Rare spider (family Idiopidae) found in Bannerghatta
- "Visitor Numbers 2019/2020". Bannerghatta Biological Park.
- "Bannerghatta Biological Park" Park website Accessed 23 May 2014.
- "BBP Approved Master Plan" (PDF). Central Zoo Authority of India.
- "Annual Report 2019-20" (PDF). Banneghatta Biological Park.
- Khanna B. "Safari closed in Bannerghatta zoo due to foot and mouth disease." Bangalore Citizen Accessed 24 May 2014.