Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Bahraich

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, and is located in Uttar Pradesh near the India-Nepal border, in the Terai area of Bahraich district. It covers an area of 400 km2 (150 sq mi) and was established in 1976.

The sanctuary is now being managed along with the Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, as part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger of the Government of India. The Katerniaghat Forests provide strategic connectivity between tiger habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and the Bardia National Park in Nepal. Its fragile Terai ecosystem comprises a mesmerizing mosaic of Sal and Teak forests, lush grasslands, steaming swamps and wetlands. it is unique for the number of endangered and critically endangered species, which occur here and include the gharial, tiger, rhino, Gangetic dolphin, Swamp Deer, Hispid hare, Bengal florican, the White-backed and Long-billed vultures.

One of the best places in the world for seeing the Gharial in its natural habitat is the Girwa River, where it is found sympatric with the mugger. This population was one of three that were still breeding, when the project to conserve this reptile from the verge of extinction was initiated in 1975. In the Girwa, mugger crocodiles are also seen though in much smaller numbers, as their favorite haunts are stagnant wetlands like the many taals andbaghars that occur in the sanctuary. Side by side the serenely swimming gharial can be seen frolicking Ganges dolphins.

The herpetofauna of Katerniaghat is highly fascinating and represented by several species such as the Banded Krait, the Burmese Rock Python, the Yellow Speckled Wolf-snake and the Paradise Flying Snake that have been discovered here fairly recently along with a number of other species still waiting to be discovered.

Some Personal Experience of mine about animal's of Katernia: -

Gangetic Doplphin (Platanista gangetica) : - I have dream to take a shot of Gangetic Dolphin from the moment i saw, I become a big fan of this big guy.

Gangetic Dolphin National Aquatic animal is the fresh water surviving creature distributed in Ganga, Indus,Brahmaputra and some part of Indian Sub-Continent.

Dolphin is the alarming species and categorized as Endangered in IUCN Red List. Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary protected this animal and trying to keep back from the extinction from the ecosystem, they are totally blind, does not have a crystalline eye lens, rendering it effectively blind, although it may still be able to detect the intensity and direction of light. Navigation and hunting are carried out using echolocation.

They mostly feed on small fishes, recently a survey conduct by WWF were recorded increasing number of Gangetic Doplphin in Katerniaghat. Due to human interaction like other species they also have affected, hunting, constructions of barrages, irrigation etc.

Three species of fresh river dolphin including Gangetic River Dolphin, Chinese River Dolphin and Amazon River Dolphin, the Chinese River Dolphin has already become extinct and other's are in IUNCs Red List.

Gavialis gangeticus : - Big buddy of Katerniaghat, The gharial (along with the larger adult salt-water crocodiles) is the longest of this group of large reptiles, with there having been reports of adult male gharials reaching more than six meters in length. The elongated snout of the gharial is ideal for catching fish in the water, and contains more than 50 sharp teeth.The gharial is a generally solitary predator and does not have the same terrifying reputation for eating humans as crocodiles do. Although the gharial has been known to show aggressive behaviour towards humans at times, the shape of the gharial's snout makes it difficult for the gharial to consume anything too big.The gharial is a carnivorous animal and a dominant predator within its environment. The only time that this isn't the case is when the gharial share its territory with a large salt-water crocodile. Fish is the primary food of the gharial along with insects and occasionally small animals.Due to its large size, the gharial has no natural predators within its environment besides humans who hunt the gharial, often for leather or meat. The gharial has also been devastatingly affected by the increasingly levels of pollution in the water and is today considered to be critically endangered in the wild.The female gharial makes their nests and lay their eggs during the dry season when the river shrinks exposing more the sand on the river banks. The female gharial lays between 30 and 50 eggs which are buried in a whole in the sand by her.

Indian Sand Boa: - Scientific name is Eryx johnii and belong to the family Boidae, is one of the Non-Venomous snake found in almost all part of India. I got this one month by luck. This boa were attacking position on a rat in open field but before it attack a Steep Eagle attack on the same rat and kill the rat than fly away, when I go to that place I found this Sand Boa, I did'nt disturbed that Eagle as well Sand Boa, Never Disturbed Nature. Boa's are always use to kill their hunt by constriction.

Because of the resemblance of the tail to its head, and its habit, when alarmed, of coiling up and raising the tail as if it were the head, the Red Sand Boa is called Do-muha meaning two-headed in Hindi.

Fishes Of Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary : - I don't have any idea about this species may Ratel or Gravel loach or some other species which found in fresh water ecosystem. I took this photo two weeks ago at Katerniaghat, and same day i got a Gangetic Dolphin. This fish is transparent and present in large number on the surface of water. Fresh water or Ganga is rich in diversify fishes, from the smallest to large fishes are exist still in river ecosystem.

Indian jackal (Canis aureus indicus): - Katerniaghat is home of some some old creature carnivores. In Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli stories collected in The Jungle Book, the character Tabaqui is a jackal despised by the Sioni wolf pack, due to his mock cordiality, scavenging habits and his subservience to Shere Khan. He appears in the beginning of the book, visiting Mowgli's adoptive parents, Mother and Father Wolf, and they are clearly annoyed by his presence, since he announces that Shere Khan the tiger is hunting in their territory. Tabaqui is later killed by one of Mowgli's 'siblings', Grey Brother, who crushes his back.(Wiki)

I took this before one months ago and this is one of my closest encounter with wild animal, these are not dangerous so I try to get more closeup of this animal, but due to their shy behavior i did'nt get much shots. 300 mm is not enough for wildlife photography and it's very dangerous also i try most of the time for closeup with wild animals. And not yet but some day I'll face some big problem I know already but I love wildlife.

Fresh Water Crocodile : - Prehistoric and powerful creature the Mugger are survival of the river ecosystem. Girua river of katernighat is one of them and containing a good number of Mugger. Mugger is member of crocodile which lives in fresh water river, i took shot before one year ago at katernia on my last trip. It took two days in searching a tiger but got something else bigger one. Lucky that day got finest shot of Mugger.
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Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Reviews
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  • Bahraich is all green and lush with lots of vegetation. Katarniaghat Wildlife sanctuary is one of the most beautiful sanctuary in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Accommodation is great too.  more »
  • The Katarniaghat range is spread in more than 500 sq. km. Area, a reach vegetation and full of life, this tiger reserve dense forest, big wetland and grassland also, the beauty is backwater of river G...  more »
  • Nice place to visit. We around 4 of is group of photographers visited this place mainly for the boat ride & photograph nature. It was a good place to shoot. There was these beautiful tree houses & guest houses which were well maintained by forest department. Boat ride itself was great. We say lot of crocodiles & other species..
  • Very beautiful and joy ful wildlife sanctuary you will see tiger,lion,siberian crane,flamingo,bear,almost every animal roaming freely
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Duration: 1​h 30​min