Sammilan Shetty’s Butterfly Park is home to some of the rarest and largest butterflies in the country. Sammilan, a college lecturer working in Mangalore set this up in 2011, and it was officially inaugurated in August, 2013. Located at Belvai, short drive of 42 kms from Mangalore city, the park is open to public only on Sundays from 8.30 a.m to 12.30 p.m.
Spread over 7.35 acres, the conservation park is home to over 135 species of butterflies out of the approximately 1500 species found in the country. You can spot several rare butterfly species including the largest butterfly in India - the Southern Birdwing’ with a wingspan of 19 cms.
Rare endemic species from the Western Ghats such as the Malabar Banded Peacock are found here. While the Blue Nawab, Autumn Leaf, Blue Tiger, Grey Pansy and Tailed Jay - one of the fastest flying butterflies are easily spotted.
It’s a unique private initiative and the only one in the state witnessing nearly 100 visitors on the weekend. Most of them are nature lovers, researchers, students and photography lovers visting from various parts of our country. Sammilan informed Karnataka Today that August-September are the best months to visit the park.
In the past 3 years Sammilan has managed to create a complete ecosystem that nurtures the butterflies throughout their lifecycle. Nectar-rich plants have been planted over the past few years and they provide ample sustenance for the butterflies.
A number of birds and insects at the park serve as the natural predators of these winged wonders keeping their population in check.
Guided Tour and Presentation
There is a nominal registration fee of Rs. 50 per person. This goes towards supporting the conservation efforts. Sammilan or his team usually accompany the guests on a guided tour of the park followed by a short presentation.
The brief presentation lasts about 20 minutes. It’s highly informative, engaging and interactive. You will find yourselves mesmerized by the hi-definition close-up video clips of various butterflies and their life cycles on the projector screen.
Sammilan and his team of volunteers are experts in their field. Their conservation efforts can improve with support from the public. Sammilan is currently working towards producing a documentary film on these wonderful creatures of nature and it is slated for a release in 2017.
Karnataka Today recommends you to visit this butterfly conservation park with your friends and family and experience the beauty of these butterflies in their natural habitat.