Nature Camp At Shivanahalli

There are two dozen varieties of amphibians and reptiles. Even leopards and endangered animals such as slender loris have been spotted here. Philanthropists have helped in creating four ponds in this intermixed rocky and evergreen vegetation terrain. In the recently held World Earth Day, Vatsala M Nanjundaiah and her family members of Bangalore donated Rs 50,000 to the mission to form a pond.

Typical Western Ghats trees such as balangi (Acrocarpus fraxinifollus) which grows to a height of 30 metres, Burma bamboo which grows by one foot a day in season, palasha (flame of the forest), Andamans papita, balsa and kiralbogi are found in abundance.

Shankar, an MSc student of Bangalore University and a volunteer at the mission, explains that this forest is a habitat for bird species like white browed bulbul, nightjar, Indian treeple, red wattled lapwing, common drongo, golden oriole, bluebird and hornbill.

The mission allows nature enthusiasts to walk in the forest and stay at its camps. It also conducts classes explaining certain basic observations that can be done in the area. But it offers only minimal facilities. No electricity in the evenings. Use of cell phones is also banned.

Also, the facility comes free of cost. But before leaving the premises, the visitors donate money or pledge their support in some form to the mission. A proposal to introduce a 140 km from Shivanahalli to Nagarahole is under study.

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