The Biligiriranga Hills, also called B R Hills, is a hill range situated in south-eastern Karnataka, at its border with Tamil Nadu in South India. The area is called Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary or simply BRT Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a protected reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1973. Being at the confluence of the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, the sanctuary is home to eco-systems that are unique to both the mountain ranges. This makes it a very critical habitat.
It is picturesquely situated between the Cauvery and the Tungabhadra rivers.
The Biligiris are charnockitic hills, covered with tropical dry broadleaf forest, part of the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests ecoregion. The forests range from scrub forests at lower elevations, degraded by over-use, to the tall deciduous forests typical of the ecoregion, to stunted shola forests and montane grasslands at the highest elevations, which exceed 1800 meters. The forests form an important wildlife corridor between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, linking the largest populations of Asian Elephants and tigers in southern India. The most conspicuous mammals are the herds of wild elephants. The BR hills is the only forest east of the main Western ghats mountain ranges in the central southern peninsula to harbour these panchyderms in large numbers. The forests were the study area for R. Sukumar, a scientist who studied the elephants of the area in the early eighties. A recent survey has revealed the presence of 17 Tigers in this sanctuary.
The BR hills has been a good place for viewing large game and at the same time encountering numerous smaller life forms. The forests have been famous for the Gaur, a large Asian bovid. There are about 26 species of mammals recorded in the sanctuary.
The other mammals include sambhar, chital, the shy barking deerwhich are quite common here and the rare four-horned antelope. Carnivores include tigers, leopards, wild dogs, lesser cats and sloth bears and among arboreal mammals two species of primates and three species of squirrels including the giant flying squirrel are recorded. A recent (2005) survey of tigers by DNA analysis of scat samples has revealed 17 tigers, although the number may be more. 254 species of birds recorded in the BR hills. These include the enigmatic southern population of the White-winged Tit (Parus nuchalis), a specimen of which was collected by R. C. Morris and now housed in the Natural History museum at Tring.
A recently discovered species includes a microhylid frog Microhyla sholigari, named after the Soligas, an indigenous tribe that inhabit these hills. Distance from B R Hills to Male Mahadeshwara Betta MM Hills is 112 km and travel time is 2 h 30 min.
Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple
Biligirirangaswamy Hills is also famous for Biligirirangaswamy Temple. It is the temple of Lord Ranganatha and Lord Venkatesha, which is present on the white cliff. The temple is of great importance for the Srivaishnavites. The temple here is built in traditional Dravidian style of architecture. The annual festival of Lord Rangaswamy at Biligiri Temple is held during 'Vaishaka' in the month of April. There are special prayers and poojas held on Fridays.
Distance from Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary to is Mysore 90 km, to is Yelandur 28 km. Distance from Bengaluru to Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple, B R Hills is 191.1 km and takes around 4 h 2 min via NH209. Distance from Bangalore to Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple via Maddur is 180 Km. Distance from Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple, B R Hills to Male Mahadeshwarabetta (MM Hills), Karnataka is 113 km and takes around 2 h 40 min via SH 79. Distance from B R Hills to Male Mahadeshwarabetta, Karnataka is 102.7 km and takes around 2 h 35 min via Kollegala-Male Mahadeshwara Betta Road.
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