The Unsung is the first documentary film on the Bhadra Tiger Reserve forest spread across Chikmagalur and Shivamogga, which was declared the country’s 25th tiger reserve in 1998. The documentary captures the diverse wildlife, beautiful streams, rivulets, waterfalls, thick clouds, humming of birds, and the majestic trees that thrive under the watchful eyes of the forest department.
The Bhadra Tiger Reserve is surrounded by the scenic hills and steep slopes of the Mullayanagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri and Bababudangiri hills.
Some of the mammals commonly sighted in Bhadra Tiger Reserve are tiger, elephant, gaur, sloth bear, wild boar, black leopard, jungle cat, jackal, wild dog, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, slender loris, small Indian civet, common palm civet, pangolin, porcupine, flying squirrel and the Malabar giant squirrel.
Some of the reptiles commonly sighted in Bhadra Tiger Reserve are common vine snake, king cobra, common cobra, Russell’s viper, bamboo pit viper, rat snake, olive keelback, common wolf snake, common Indian monitor, Draco or gliding lizards and marsh crocodiles.
Some of the bird species in Bhadra Tiger Reserve are peacock, river terns, grey junglefowl, red spurfowl, painted bush quail, emerald dove, southern green imperial pigeon, great black woodpecker, Malabar parakeet, hill myna, ruby-throated bulbul, shama, Malabar trogon, Malabar whistling thrush, four species of hornbill and racquet-tailed drongo.
According to Prashanth S Nayaka, director and team leader, the documentary narrates an untold story of one of the most pristine jungles of Karnataka. “Besides showcasing the untainted beauty of Bhadra Tiger Reserve, the film follows the footsteps of forest guards who protect the reserve with dedication and passion.”
“It was tough making a movie covering 500 sq. km. of forest. We started our work in October 2013 and completed it in May 2014. We worked for nearly 122 days shooting, facing tigers and elephants deep inside the jungle. We had to shoot at night for several days. Usually, tigers moved at nights as they are nocturnal. There were snakes on our way also. We saw an Indian rock python, bears, gaurs and many other animals,”
Today, 36 anti-poaching camps protect the tiger reserve, with jeeps patrolling day and night and forest watchers covering nearly 15 km on foot.
“Once, I noticed a tiger at very close range. I did not know what to do. I just stood still and stared at it for five minutes. It quietly left,” recalls Govindaraj, watcher, anti-poaching camp.
According to Prashanth, the film aims to create awareness among public about the need to protect forests and animals. “We have not taken money from anyone for the project. The team members pooled in money and spent nearly Rs 1.5 lakh. We plan to screen the documentary in schools and colleges. The intention is to convey the message that guarding forests is as important as guarding our nation.”
Watch the full documentary here. Recommend Full Screen Viewing.
Planning a trip to Bhadra
Bhadra Tiger Reserve is about 285 Kms from Bangalore and can be reached in 5 hours by the super-fast Bangalore-Hassan highway.
Bhadra Tiger Reserve is open throughout the year for the visitors and the best time to visit, is between the months of October and March.
Visiting times of Bhadra Tiger Reserve are 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Safari is provided at River Tern Lodge (Jungle Lodges & Resorts).
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