One of India’s cherished and valued tropical forests, the Papikonda National Park is home to many precious species of flora and fauna and forms a green belt around the districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Situated in the Western Ghats, the National Park is shared between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as other three districts namely West Godavari, East Godavari, and Khamman district in Telangana. Due to the rise in urbanization and the obliteration of natural and animal habitats, the state government of Andhra Pradesh stated the area as a protected reserve for wild animals in the year 1978.
The Papikonda National Park is spread in an area of 591 square kilometers and shelters various scarce species including the Royal Bengal Tiger. The park is known as a tiger reserve and also houses Water Buffalos, although there have been no sightings of them in recent decades. Many animals can be spotted near the Godavari River which is the main source of water here. Papikonda National Park is in the area which according to the Hindu mythology Ramayana, was the kingdom of the Vanaras (sentient apes) known as Kishkindha, who helped Lord Ram wage war against the demon army.
The national park is esteemed for sheltering Royal Bengal Tigers and the Water Buffalos. Although the buffalos are no longer seen now, the park still has a variety of endangered and rare animal species that inhabit Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuary with its rich floristic diversity of more than 2531 species under 700 genera and 125 families constituting about 13% of the flowering plants in India. The park is home to many tigers and is one of the many tiger reserves in India. It is home to not only animals but a multitude of floral species that add to its natural beauty and contribute to the lush green and vibrant vegetation of the area. Some other species that are found here are listed below:
The area is covered by a wide range of Eastern Ghats Vegetation along with dry deciduous tropical trees. Some of the rare floral species found here are Lagerstroemia Lanceolata, Tomentosa, Albizzia Lebbeck, Strictus Bambusa Arundinacea, Tectona Grandis, Albizzia Amara, Latifolia, Terminaias, etc.
Panther, tiger, Gaur, Chowsngha, Cheetal Sambar, Mouse Deer, Black Buck, Sloth Beer, Barking Deer, Wild Dog, Jackai, Hyena, Marsh Crocodile, and Wild Boar.
Papikonda National Park experiences scorching heat during the summers and the temperature goes as high as 47 degrees Celsius. The extreme in this part of Andhra Pradesh lasts between the months of April and May and this is the time when animals are seen near the river at a higher rate.
Though you can easily spot animals during the summers out of their natural abode, the best time for visiting the national park is between the months of October and April. During this time the weather is pleasant and the animals can be seen in different regions. Wildlife safaris are also a pleasant experience because of the ideal weather conditions.
Nearest Train Station: The nearest train station is also located in Rajahmundry. Apart from this, the other train stations are Kovvur and Seshayya Metta railway stations.
Nearest Airport: The airport in the vicinity is in the district of Rajahmundry which is at a distance of 50 km from the park. Flights connect to all the major cities of the country and taxis are available outside the airport.
Road Accessibility : To reach the park, visitors can grab a taxi or a bus along the Dondapudi-Koyallangudem road. For forest excursions, SUVs are available with a tour guide in each vehicle.