Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuary (Papikonda)
Amidst the fertile Godavari basin, this 591 Sq. Kms forest sanctuary has typical vegetation of the eastern ghats. Located 50 Kms from Rajahmundry, animals that can be spotted are Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Cheetal, Chowsingha, Sambar, Black Buck, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, apart from Marsh Crocodile and a variety of birds. You can also enjoy a boat ride from Rajahmundry upstream on the river Godavari with packed lunch.
Papikonda Wild Life Sanctuary lies on the left and right banks of the river Godavari and cuts through the Papikonda hill range of Eastern Ghats.
Diverse and multifarious streams emanating from covers of the hill make the Papikonda forest vegetation luxuriant. All these constitute to make the area into a typical ecological, facinal and geomorphological zone.
The different type of flora found here are Tectona Grandis, Terminalias, Tomentosa, Lagerstroemia Lanceolata, Latifolia, Albizzia Amara, Albizzia Lebbeck. Dendrocalamus Strictus Bambusa Arundinacea.
The habitat is suited for Tigers, Gaurs, Panther and other animals like Spotted Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Sambar, Hyena, Jackals, Sloth Bear, Muggers. The presence of Gharials was also reported. A variety of both resident and migratory birds are found along the river Godavari and its tributaries.
A hill reserve forest called Rekapalle in Khammam district, which is situated in Papikonda Wild Life Sanctuary, is reported to be 'Kishkindha', the ape kingdom of Ramayana times. Visiting this place leaves an memorable impression on the minds of nature lovers. Other attractions of this place are an Environmental Education Centre and a Museum.
Best season to Visit
Forest rest houses are available at Rajahmundry, Maredumilli and Kannapuram and the best season to visit is from October to May.