For wildlife enthusiasts, Daroji and Sloth Bears are synonymous! Why not? After all, Daroji is the first Bear Sanctuary in the country. You are more or less certain of being treated to a bear sighting when on a visit to the place. But, the fact remains that this place has much more to offer.
The boulder-strewn landscape sparsely clothed with vegetation was the land of Kishkinda that was ruled by the Monkey King Vali and his brother Sugreeva, and the home of Jambuvantha, the Bear King in Ramayana. The place is steeped in many stories like these and has a rich history.
Daroji, with its rocky terrain and scrub forest spanning an area of 55 sq. km, was declared a Bear Sanctuary in the year 1994. Today, it is a safe haven to over a hundred bears. The large piled-up rocks create caves that are ideal for bears. And, with little disturbance from the outside world, the bears flourish here.
The Sloth Bear is nocturnal in its behavior and is omnivorous. It feeds on berries, fruits, termites, ants and honey. The long claws and the tongue help the bear to suck ants and termites.
The sanctuary is also home to other animals like leopard, porcupine, hare, boar, and hyena to name a few. However, it is the birdlife that steals the show. Daroji is a treat to any bird lover. Ground birds like quails, francolins, spurfowls and peafowls are often met with.
Daroji, with its rich flora and fauna, is a must visit. This place will never disappoint any one seriously interested in wildlife.
Here, we look at some denizens of this enchanting location.
Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus) are the star attractions of Daroji Bear Sanctuary. They have a widespread distribution over the rest of the country too. This curious individual stands up on his hind legs with the characteristic white ‘V’ clearly visible.
Sloth Bears are adept at climbing trees. They climb trees to feast on honey and fruits.
Bear cubs getting a ride on their mother’s back. Interestingly, the cubs maintain their position on their mother’s back as long as they exhibit this behaviour.
A panoramic view of the Daroji Bear Sanctuary – a perfect haunt for the Sloth Bear.
Piles of rocks with sparse vegetation – very characteristic of the landscape.
A large owl which calls this rocky area its home – Indian eagle-owl (Bubo bengalensis)
The endemic Painted Spurfowls (Galloperdix lunulata) are best seen at Daroji.
Among the quails that can be seen in Daroji, the Jungle Bush Quail (Perdicula asiatica) is perhaps the most common.
Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) – a commonly seen ground bird. Here a family is seen enjoying their dust bath.
Painted Sandgrouse (Pterocles indicus) – These beautiful ground birds are often met with in the landscape. When they squat, their camouflage is quite amazing.
The Blue-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus viridirostris) is a cuckoo. A cuckoo with a difference – it builds its own nest!
Sirkeer Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii) – a cuckoo too. This cuckoo spends time on the ground and in this rocky landscape, it can be seen hopping from rock to rock.
The Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) is a perky little migrant that is often met with in the vicinity of water.
Common Babbler (Turdoides caudata) – a young bird begging for food from the parent.