Biligirirangan Hills is among the most picturesque hills, located in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district in the Southeast and borders the state of Tamil Nadu. It spreads over the taluks of Yelandur and Kollegal. The Biligirirangan Hills are part of the ecologically rich and sensitive Western Ghats and lies at one end of these ghats. They are named after the Biligiriranga Swamy temple which is located in their midst. The temple is located on a rocky hill, which is white in colour, and has hence earned the moniker of Bigiriranga. An annual feast or ‘jatre’ attracts thousands of devotees who congregate for the festival from all over the state and even outside.
Because of the unique location, straddling the Western and Eastern ghats, and forming a bridge between the two, the Biligirirangan Hills have a unique and diverse flora and fauna. It is for this reason that a wildlife sanctuary spread over nearly 540 sq km was created with the temple as the focal point. Due to the altitude, much of the temple and the peaks stay covered in thick mist and silvery clouds for a significant part of the year, which could also be another reason for the temple’s name. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic area to visit, especially after the monsoons when everything is green and lush.
Elephants in the Forest: The Biligirirangan Hills have a wide variety of forests: scrub, dry deciduous, shoals, and grasslands. Typically they support a wide variety of wildlife including big game, and is considered to have the largest number of the Asian elephants. Biligirirangan Hills also contain a large population of the animistic Soliga tribals who are known to be semi-nomadic and it is common to see them.
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