Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary is like an oasis in arid Kalyana Karnataka

September 25, 2023 06:34 pm | Updated 06:34 pm IST - KALABURAGI

A view of the Chandrampalli Dam around which is located the Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary in Chincholi taluk of Kalaburagi district.

A view of the Chandrampalli Dam around which is located the Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary in Chincholi taluk of Kalaburagi district. | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

Kalyana Karnataka, a vast arid region comprising seven north-eastern districts of the State, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Ballari and Vijayanagara, has some pockets that give one a feeling of being in the middle of the dense Western Ghats. Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary, located around the Chandrampalli Dam in Chincholi taluk of Kalaburagi district, is one such beautiful place.

Located 609 km away from the State capital, Bengaluru, and 100 km from the district headquarters of Kalaburagi, the Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary, declared as such in 2011, is a vast jungle of 134.88 square kilometres spread over five blocks, Chincholi, Sangapura, Bhonsapur, Magdumpur and Shadipur.

It is the first dry-land wildlife sanctuary in South India and the only one in the region with rich biodiversity.

The sanctuary hosts several medicinal herbs and rare trees such as red sanders and sandalwood. It has good dry deciduous and moist deciduous forest in the core with acacia and teak plantations on the fringes.

The sanctuary is also home to diverse fauna, including blackbuck, common fox, four-horned antelope, fruit bat, hyena and Indian wolf.

Over 35 species of birds, including black drongo, black-winged kite, blossom-headed parakeet, blue pigeon, black-headed oriole and grey partridge. The sanctuary has four dams, of which Chandrampalli is the major one.

If developed properly, Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary and Chandrampalli Dam can be the perfect and the most sought-after destinations for people in and around the region to enjoy the rich experience of a dense forest in their neighbourhood.

Developing facilities for trekking, bird watching, cycling, swimming, boating windsurfing, ropewalk and other adventure activities and engaging the visitors in cultural activities with a special focus on local lifestyle and rural games can make the sanctuary a preferred weekend destination.

Assistant Professor, Department of Business Studies, Central University of Karnataka, Ganapati B. Sinnoor, who studied the potential of tourism development in Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary, feels the need for the government to come up with a roadmap for the purpose.

“Tourism is a multi-stakeholder industry. Tourism development requires the participation of local people and their body of governance at the grassroots level. The government needs to prepare a roadmap for the development of the entire Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary as a tourist destination keeping the Chandrampalli Dam at the centre. The roadmap needs to see local people, their gram panchayat, wildlife experts, non-governmental organisations, self-help groups, artisans and other community members as the stakeholders and involve them in the process. If that is done, the area can definitely be developed into a major tourist destination in the region,” Mr. Sinnoor told The Hindu.

“United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and its member countries are celebrating this year’s World Tourism Day on Wednesday with a central theme of Tourism and Green Investments – Investing in people, planet and prosperity. In this background, Chandrampalli Dam and Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary can be very appropriate destinations for investment for tourism development in Kalyana Karnataka. It is a very perfect place for nature-based rural, cultural and eco-tourism. We need to make it community-based tourism by keeping the people at the centre of development and management of all tourism-related activities. This will help the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities for the local community by creating employment for local people and a market for their handicraft,” Mr. Sinnoor said.

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