Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

Bandipur…a great weekend getaway

For those tired of the urban jungle, Bangalore offers many getaways to the real one, just a few hours’ drive away. Amongst these is Bandipur Forest Reserve

We made it to Bandipur in about 4 hours, even though we battled fairly heavy traffic on the way out of Bangalore. On the way out, we took the NICE road, but on the way back we took the more scenic regular highway.

Here’s a sample of the lovely road to Bandipur, with the mountains looming:

The road ahead...

And here’s the sunset in the forest:

Sunset in Bandipur

The “access” advantage of Bandipur is that it lies on the road from Mysore to Udhagamandalam (Ooty), so getting there even by bus is pretty easy. KSRTC runs a Mayura bus service which is very comfortable.

Two of the good resorts to stay in are Jungle Lodges and Resorts, Bandipur property and Tusker Trails . Though I am a staunch JLR fan, this time (the last of the summer holidays) the property was fully booked, so we chose Tusker Trails.

Jungle Lodges and Resorts-Naturalists’ Training Program

Jungle Lodges and Resorts , an organization which has been involved with eco-tourism before it became a buzzword, has been conducting Naturalists’ Training Programs, where interested people are introduced to the wonders of wildlife.

The programs occur over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and are conducted by S.Karthikeyan, Chief Naturalist at JLR. The program concentrates on birdwatching, but other branches of the animal kingdom are also touched upon.

Having taken the course in the past, I decided to attend one session of the latest group, and here are some photographs, all of which were taken on 19th May 2007.

Here’s the venue of the NT Program, the Bannerghatta property of JLR:

JLRNTP 19 May 07 1

And here’s Karthikeyan, affectionately called Karthik by everyone, conducting one session (note the young participant, Aditya…he is still in school!):


The India Nature Watch Meet

One of the great attractions of Bangalore is that one is never far away from the jungle; either a short drive or an overnight journey can take one into the lovely forests of the Western Ghats.

Four Bangalore-based nature-lovers, Kalyan, Sudhir,Vijay and Yathin (that’s in alphabetical order!) promoted India Nature Watch a year ago. Though based in Bangalore, they made it an all-India online forum to exchange photographs, field trip reports,and other wildlife-based information. Last weekend, the first birthday of INW was celebrated by having a meet in Dandeli, and nearly 70 amateur naturalists and photographers attended.

Black Kite in her Nest

A pair of black kites (also called Pariah Kites) have built a nest right opposite my apartment balcony, and here is a picture of the female warding off a rock pigeon that dared to come too close.

The Bird Race

First of all, I must mention that a pall was cast on the event by the untimely and tragic death of Krishna Narain, or KN, one of the veteran birders of Bangalore, on the eve of the race. His farm was a favourite birding spot for many, and it was, I think, touch and go whether the event would be held or not. All teams were ultimately SMS-ed not to visit the farm, and the event was held.

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