Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary
Adventure / Trekking | Wildlife
At a distance of 15 km from Tirumala and spread around Tirumala Hills, Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 353 Sq. kms, over Kadapa and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh. Established in 1989, the park is a heaven for nature lovers with unfathomable valleys and striking waterfalls, surrounded by Seshachalam and Tirumala Hills. The waterfalls is also a great place for trekking and it's a nice place to visit from Chennai as a weekend getaway.
The wide range of fauna found here includes Tiger, Civet, Jackal, Black Buck, Panther, Spotted Deer, Ibex, Sloth Bear, Bonnet Monkey, Wild Dogs, Bison, Jackal, Fox, Rare Golden Gecko, Jungle Fowl, Indian Giant Squirrel, Tree Shrew, Flying Lizards, Nilgai, Wildboar, Occasional Leopard and Hyena. Fauna comprises of more than 100 species of birds, including Crested Serpant Eagle, Ashy Crowned Finch Lark, Indian Roller, Kingfishers, White bellied Woodpecker, etc.
The best gateways to the sanctuary are Papanasam Dam on Tirumala Hills and Talakona waterfalls which is 64 km from Tirupati by Road. The best way to explore this beautiful sanctuary is by foot from these two entry points.
There are several trekking trails within the sanctuary with duration ranging from half day trek to 3 full days. Tumbura Thirtham is situated within the sanctuary which can be completed within 4-5 hours from Papanasam in Tirumala. The most popular trail starts from Talakona Falls and ends at Papanasam Bridge with overnight stay in the sanctuary. It is usually a 2 day trek but is also done as 3 day expedition. The trails are not marked properly and having an experienced guide is definitely recommended. There are several waterfalls like Gunjana & Gundalakona.and numerous streams within the sanctuary and drinking water is not an issue. Other popular trail starts from Talakona and ends at Koduru village situated on Tirupati - Rajampet Road.
The total trek distance from Talakona to Papansam would be around 30 km. The difficulty level is moderate to slightly difficult. Permission to enter the sanctuary can be obtained from DFO Tirupati Phone - 0877-2280980. Permission can be obtained from Talakona as well, near the entrance to the falls.
The trekking is often banned due to sandalwood smuggling in the forest. Better to check with DFO before planning the trek within the sanctuary.