Papikonda National Park is a renowned wildlife sanctuary located in the East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, India. Established in 2008, the park covers an area of approximately 1,012.86 square kilometers and is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes.
The Papikonda National Park is situated in the warmest region of Andhra Pradesh, where midsummer temperatures can rise as high as 47 °C. The most intense summers typically last from April to May. Animal sightings on the banks of the Godavari are more common during this period.
Details of the park
|Name of the National Park
|Papikonda National Park
|Area in Sq Km
|1012.86 sq km
|Elevation in m
|State / States spread in
|Main Animals found
|Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Sloth Bear, Indian Gaur (Bison), Sambar Deer
|Main Birds found
|Oriental Honey Buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, White-rumped Vulture
|Main reptiles found
|Indian Cobra, Russell’s Viper, Indian Rock Python, King Cobra, Indian Chameleon
|Best time to visit
|November to February
The geology of Papikonda National Park is characterized by the Eastern Ghats range, which runs parallel to the Bay of Bengal. Ferruginous quartzites, banded magnetite, quartz, granite, graphite, gneisses, and allied rocks make up this geological formation. All of the hill woods are underlain by gneiss and schists, and the plain forests in the West Godavari District have well-developed sandstone formations. Sandalloid to sandy loam soils are the product of long-term, severe weathering of the majority of the rocks, which are metamorphic with granitic intrusions.
There are 62 named mountains in Papikonda National Park. Devara Konda is the highest point. The most prominent mountain is Verala Konda.
Papikonda National Park is primarily composed of tropical deciduous forests. The Eastern Ghats, where the park is located, are noted for their tremendous floristic richness, with over 2531 species organized into 700 genera and 125 families, accounting for almost 13% of all the flowering plants in India. The vegetation in the park is lush and diverse, and visitors can expect to see a wide range of flora and fauna during their visit. The park is home to several types of trees, including teak, rosewood, sandalwood, bamboo, eucalyptus, sal, mahua, pterocarpus, terminalia, and cassia. These trees provide food and shelter for a wide range of wildlife, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. The forest cover also helps to regulate the water cycle and prevent soil erosion, making it an essential ecosystem for the region.
Papikonda National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several endangered and rare species. Visitors to the park can expect to see a wide variety of animals, including:
Tigers – Papikonda National Park is home to a small population of tigers, which are one of the main attractions of the park.
Leopards – The park is also home to a significant population of leopards, which are often spotted by visitors during their visit.
Gaurs – Also known as Indian bison, gaurs are the largest wild cattle species in the world and can be found grazing in the park’s grasslands.
Sloth bears – These nocturnal animals are rarely seen during the day but can be spotted at night if visitors are lucky.
Sambar deer – The park is home to several species of deer, including the Sambar deer, which is the largest deer species in India.
Spotted deer – Also known as chital, these deer are easily recognizable by their white spots and can be seen grazing in the park’s grasslands.
Barking deer – Also known as Muntjac, these small deer species are often found in the park’s dense forests.
Wild boars – These omnivorous animals can be found foraging for food in the park’s grasslands and forests.
Indian pangolins – These scaly anteaters are a rare sight but can be spotted in the park’s dense forests.
Macaques and langurs – The park is also home to several primate species, including macaques and langurs, which can often be seen swinging through the trees.
In addition to these animals, the park is also home to several smaller mammals, including civets, mongooses, porcupines, and hares.
Bird Species Found
The park is home to both resident and migratory bird species, and visitors can expect to see a wide variety of birds during their visit. Some of the bird species that can be found in Papikonda National Park include:
Raptors – The park is home to several species of raptors, including eagles, vultures, and kites.
Passerines – These are small birds that belong to the order Passeriformes. The park is home to several passerine species, including bulbuls, flycatchers, sunbirds, and weaver birds.
Waterbirds – The park is home to several species of waterbirds, including egrets, herons, and cormorants.
Pheasants – The park is home to several species of pheasants, including the Indian peafowl, the red junglefowl, and the gray junglefowl.
Parakeets and parrots – The park is home to several species of parakeets and parrots, including the rose-ringed parakeet, the plum-headed parakeet, and the Alexandrine parakeet.
Owls – The park is home to several species of owls, including the Indian scops owl, the mottled wood owl, and the brown fish owl.
Barbets – The park is home to several species of barbets, including the crimson-fronted barbet, the coppersmith barbet, and the white-cheeked barbet.
Kingfishers – The park is home to several species of kingfishers, including the common kingfisher and the white-throated kingfisher.
Visitors to the park can expect to see a wide range of reptiles, including:
Indian rock python – The Indian rock python is one of the largest snake species in the world and can be found in the park’s dense forests.
King cobra – The king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world and can also be found in the park’s dense forests.
Russell’s viper – The Russell’s viper is a venomous snake that can be found in the park’s grasslands.
Monitor lizards – The park is home to several species of monitor lizards, including the Bengal monitor and the water monitor.
Tortoises and turtles – The park is home to several species of tortoises and turtles, including the Indian flapshell turtle and the Indian softshell turtle.
Skinks – The park is home to several species of skinks, including the Indian skink and the common skink.
Agamas – The park is home to several species of agamas, including the Indian rock agama and the fan-throated lizard.
Geckos – The park is home to several species of geckos, including the Indian gecko and the common house gecko.
Papikonda National Park is a great destination for reptile enthusiasts, and visitors can expect to see a wide variety of reptile species during their visit.
Floral species having a high level of ecological significance can be found in the park. The park has about 31 plant species that are categorized as endangered and have been reported on the ENVIS website. The park is particularly well-known for its agro-biodiversity, which includes 96 kinds of wild plants that are related to crops. This area is the birthplace of a rare dwarf goat breed known as the “kanchu mekha” locally.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Papikonda National Park is during the winter months from November to February, when the weather is cool and pleasant. The park remains closed during the monsoon season from June to October, as heavy rainfall can make it difficult to explore the park. The park is easily accessible by road from Kakinada, which is the nearest major city. Visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus from Kakinada to reach the park. The journey takes approximately 2 hours. There are several nearby locations that visitors can explore when visiting Papikonda National Park. Some popular nearby destinations include Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajahmundry, Papi Hills, Konaseema, and Yanam.