JOGIMATTI is a hill station and a forest reserve in Chitradurga district, Karnataka, India. It is also known as the “Ooty of dry land areas.” The Reaserve covers 11,048.97 hectares in Chitradurga, Holalkere and Hiriyur taluks, 10km south of the city of Chitradurga. Jogimatti is the highest point in the district at 3,803ft in elevation, and one of the coolest places in the state.
The vegetation is dry deciduous forest and scrub. It is rich in wildlife and, until the 1950s, was “tiger habitat”, but is threatened by encroachment from farms and nearby windmills, which endanger birds. The tigers and sloth bears are reported to have almost died out and the medicinal plants, found in the reserve, are endangered. The Jogimatti Forest Reserve has a total of 84 species of plants belonging to 57 families and a total of 49 species of birds belonging to 21 families of which 45 are resident (R) and 4 resident migratory (RM). There are panthers, foxes, blackbucks, rusty-spotted cats and a number of snakes.
There is a century-old hill-top bungalow, built by the British in 1905, to house travellers, and a nearby temple dedicated to the local saint for whom the hill station was named. There are 155 steps leading to the temple. The reserve has a small zoo called Adumalleshwar which the Central Zoo Authority of India ordered renovated in 2012 to better house the animals and an eco-tourism adventure centre, which opened in 2010. A waterfall called Himavatkedara or Himavatkedra has created a “natural cave” in which a Shiva Lingam and idols of Veerabhadra and Basavanna have been placed.
The Jogimatti Forest is facing a threat from forest department officials who are expected to protect the pristine environs. They have sent a proposal to the principal chief conservator of forests in Bengaluru to build a 8-km road from Adumalleshwara Gate to the Inspection Bungalow inside the Jogimatti Forest at a cost of rupees 1.15 crore. Instead of spending crores on the new road, the department should fill all the potholes on the stretch. A 30ft wide road, that leads up to the Inspection Bungalow has been in a very bad condition for a very long time.