Daroji Sloth Bear sanctuary settled in Karnataka near the fascinating ruins of Hampi, is the abode of Indian Sloth Bears. The rough hillocks dotted with boulders that stretch between Daroji of Sandur taluk and Ramasagar of Hospet Taluk in Ballari district have been the abode of Indian Sloth Bears since ages. In October 1994, the Government of Karnataka declared the 5,587.30 hectares of Bilikallu reserve forest as Daroji Bear Sanctuary.
Locally known as Karadi, the Sloth Bear (Melursus Ursinus) inhabit the open scrub forests with outcrop of rocks, fallen boulders and caves as shelter. Being more of vegetarian, the gentle beasts consume fruits, tubers, honey, insects and termites. It has a fond taste for Ber fruits and Mahuva (Madhuka latifolia) flowers. They are also prone to climb palm trees to steal toddy from collection pots. They usually hunt for food during nights and rest during the mornings, drinking water at least once in a day.
The sanctuary has around 120 Sloth bears there also other species settled in the environs. Tiger, Leopard, Spotted Deer, Monitor Lizard, Mongoose, Pangolins, Star Tortoise, etc are some of the other animals. About 90 species of birds, and 27 species of butterflies have also been spotted. There is a watch tower within the sanctuary. Set opposite the Karadikallu Gudda, this is a vantage point to view the bears descending from the hillocks during evening hours.
Daroji comes from the word darwaze or gates. The name indicates that this was a gateway to Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire at its existed from 14th-17th centuries AD. Today, there are no gates to be seen, only the crumbling ruins of boulders.
The sanctuary is associated with a legend in Ramayana. The town of Anegundi is often referred to as the mythical Kishkindha or the “monkey kingdom” of the Ramayana. The kingdom the abode of the monkeys who helped Rama in the war against Ravana. In the middle of the crowds of monkeys lived a lone bear, Jambavan. He settled here are prospered his legacy.
Timings: 4 PM to 6 PM on all days