Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Bellary District of Karnataka State

Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Bellary District of Karnataka State: Popularly known as KARADI, the Sloth Bear (Melursus Ursinus) makes its home in open scrub forests with rocky outcrops, boulders, and caves for shelter. While mainly herbivorous, it enjoys a varied diet, including fruits, tubers, honey, insects, and termites. When living near human settlements, it may also consume sugarcane and maize crops. Ber fruits and Mahuva flowers are particular favorites, and in mischievous moments, bears may even climb palm trees to steal toddy. They typically forage for food at night, rest in the mornings, and drink water at least once daily.

Hampi, near Hospet in the Ballari district, is a renowned world heritage site, home to the unique Sloth Bear sanctuary. Just 15 kilometers from Hampi lies the Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, the only sanctuary of its kind in North Karnataka.

Established in 1994, the sanctuary quickly became a suitable habitat for Indian Sloth Bears within a few years. The rocky hills between Daroji of Sandur Taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet Taluk in Ballari district have long been the home of Indian Sloth Bears. In October 1994, the Government of Karnataka declared 5,587.30 hectares of Bilikallu reserve forest as Daroji Bear Sanctuary.

The sanctuary, located between 15o 14′ to 15o 17′ N latitude and 76o 31′ to 76o 40′ E longitude, was initially barren with stony hillocks and thorny trees. However, through the dedicated efforts of staff and support from surrounding villagers, it has transformed into a lush green area teeming with local flora and fauna.

Home to approximately 120 Sloth Bears, along with other wildlife, including leopards, hyenas, and wild boars, the sanctuary boasts a rich biodiversity. Around 90 species of birds and 27 species of butterflies have been identified in preliminary surveys.

The Indian Sloth Bear, with its long, dark, unkempt coat of hair and distinctive v-shaped chevron on its chest, is exclusive to India and Sri Lanka. Their forelimbs are longer than their hind limbs, and their feet are armed with white, blunt, curved claws. Sloth Bears have a poor sense of hearing and vision but possess an excellent sense of smell.

Adults typically reach around six feet long and stand three feet at the shoulder. Males weigh about 140 kg, while females weigh around 75 kg. Mating occurs in summer, often accompanied by conflicts between males and females. Cubs are born in winter, usually in litters of two to three. The mother cares for the cubs for two to three years. Sloth Bears have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years and are primarily nocturnal animals.

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours of the sanctuary are between 2.00 PM and 6.00 PM on all days.


How to Reach Daroji Bear Sanctuary

i) By Air

Daily flights link Jindal Vijayanagar Airport, located 38 kilometers from Daroji, to Bengaluru and Hyderabad under the UDAAN Scheme. Additionally, flights operate to Hubballi Airport, which is 150 kilometers away from Daroji. 
ii) By Train
Hosapete and Toranagal are the nearest railway stations, just 20 kilometers from Daroji. Daily trains run from Hubli and Guntakal junctions to Hosapete/Toranagal. 
iii) By Road
Ballari District enjoys robust bus connectivity via state highways and the National Highway. Buses provide transportation to all major cities of Karnataka from Ballari, located 65 kilometers from Daroji, and Hosapete, only 20 kilometers away.

Daroji Bear Sanctuary in Bellary District