TOP 10 One Day Wildlife Getaways from Bangalore (PART 3 – 7th & 8th)
We are covering here top 10 one day wildlife getaways (vacation or holiday or picnic spots) from Bangalore – that are at a driving distance from Bangalore where you can drive to and get back the same day. I will cover all of top 10 wildlife spots in 4 parts. The first three are covered here. The next three are covered here. The next two are covered in this blog and the last two will be covered in the next blog.
7. Jayamangali blackbuck reserve – 112 Kms from Bangalore
Jayamangali (formerly Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve is Tumkur district’s only notified protected area. It neighbours Maidenahalli, a small village in Madhugiri Taluk, at the north-eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka state, India. This area is located 23 km to the north east of Madhugiri town (Karnataka) and about 20 km to the west of Hindupur town (Andhra Pradesh). It is a 798-acre (3.23 km2) patch of grassland with Eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis. It has the largest contiguous population of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Karnataka, next to Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary.
Once you enter the forest for a trek walk towards the watch tower and you will get an amazing view from there and blackbuck sighting is almost guaranteed. Early mornings are best for very good sightings. The place is quite safe and you can even get guides to take you around a nature walk. You should sight a lot of blackbucks even in the trail – keep walking on the small trails of path in the jungle and you will come across many more blackbucks silently grazing. Please note that there are no place to eat at the reserve.
Distance from Bangalore: 112 Kms or Approx 3.15 hrs Travel from Bangalore
How to get there: Bangalore to Yelahanka on NH-7 (Airport Road), exit to Doddaballapura Road (NH-9), go past Doddaballapura to Gauribidanur. This reserve is around 32 kms from Gauribidanur. Take Jodibisilahalli-Gauribidanur Rd/ Kodigenahalli-Gauribidanur Rd/ Yidagur-Gauribidanur Rd to SH 9 in Gauribidanur. Slight right at HP onto Kodigenahalli-Gauribidanur Road. Continue to Kodigenahalli-Gauribidanur Road/Madhugiri – Kodigenahalli – Hindupur Road to reach Mud Road to through Mydanahalli and you have reached Jayamangali Blackbuck Sanctuary. Basically it is:
Bangalore to Hebbal to Yelahanka to Doddaballapur to Gowribidanur to Thondebhavi to Kodigenahalli to Maidanahalli (Recommended)
(Alternate Route: Bangalore to Tumkur to Koratagere to Madhugiri, take Hindupur road to Puravara (10Kms from Madhugiri), turn left on ID Halli road & turn right (after 8 KMs) where the board says ‘Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve’- Not recommended)
Google Map Coordinates: 13.740547, 77.322409
What to do there? Watch those amazing blackbucks which are rare (& is an endangered species today – Remember the Salman Saga of Blackbucks?). Don’t forget to take your camera.
Wildlife: Mainly blackbucks. Apart from the blackbuck, other mammals present in the area include Indian wolf, Bonnet macaque, Jungle cat, Small Indian Civet, Indian Gray Mongoose, two species of bats, the Indian Fox, the Indian Hare, and six species of rodents. Some of the birds sighted include Bushchat, Robin’s, Bee-Eater’s, Indian Roller’s, big raptors like Honey Buzzard, White-eyed Buzzards, etc.
About Blackbuck: This species is the only living species of the genus Antilope, is native to the indian subcontinent and has been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2003, as its range has decreased sharply during the 20th century. It is one of the fastest of all terrestrial animals reaching to speeds of up to 80 km/h and is one of the few antelopes in which males and females have distinctive coloration, as the male bucks are a distinctive black and white and have long twisted horns, while females are fawn coloured with no horns. The blackbuck is known as Krishna Mriga in Kannada and known as Krishna Jinka in Telugu. It has been declared as the state animal of Andhra Pradesh. Other local names for the species include Krishnasar in Bengali, Kala Hiran, Sasin, Iralai Maan, and Kalveet in Marathi.
Best Time to Visit: September to December but you can go anytime of the year
Timings: No special timings but it gets pretty hot and better to leave bangalore by am and be there by 7am or so and do the trek and wrap up your sightings by noon and head to Madhugiri (or Gauribidanur) for lunch and back to Bangalore.
Fee: Rs 20 per person
Where to Stay?: No need and better to be back to Bangalore. But in case if you decide to stay back, there is a forest department guest house.
Nearby Spots: Madhugiri Fort, Nandi Hills
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8. Savandurga State Forest – 60 kms from Bangalore
Savandurga is a hill 60 km west of Bangalore (Karnataka, India) off the Magadi road. The hill is considered to be among the largest monolith hills in Asia. The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It consists of peninsular gneiss, granites, basic dykes and laterites. The Arkavathi river passes nearby through the Thippagondanahalli reservoir and on towards Manchanabele dam. Savandurga is formed by two hills known locally as Karigudda (black hill) and Bili Gudda (white hill).
The earliest record of the name of the hill is from 1340 AD by Hoysala Ballala III from Madabalu where it is calledS avandi. Another view is that the name is originated from Samantadurga attributed to a Samantharaya, a governor under Ahchutaraya at Magadi, although there is no inscription confirming this. This was the secondary capital of the Magadi rulers such as Kempegowda. From 1638 to 1728, Mysore took over this place and Dalavayi Devaraja occupied this place with the palace at Nelapattana. In 1791 Lord Cornwallis captured it from Tipu Sultan’s forces during the Third Anglo-Mysore War. Robert Home in his Select views in Mysore (1794) shows distant views of the hill from Bangalore. He called it Savinadurga or the fort of death. There were no steps to reach the hilltop and it was covered by bamboos and other trees forming a barricade. Megalithic burial urns have been found in the area. Saavana in Sanskrit also means three time rituals. Manchanabele Dam is a great place for watersports. It is worth visiting this dam if you are visiting savandurga.
Along with Ramanagara, this was also a location for the making of David Lean’s movie A Passage to India and one of the greatest Hindi movie Sholay.
Distance from Bangalore: 60 Kms or Approx 1.45 hrs from Bangalore
How to get there: From Bangalore, take the Mysore Road (SH17), cross the NICE road junction, and drive approx 2.8 kms from the Nice Road junction on Mysore road and you should hit the junction where you take a right towards Big Banyan tree. Take that right go past the big banyan tree (7.4 kms) towards Manchanabele reservoir and once you reach the reservoir gates (10.4 kms). a few kms further, you will see a board on your right to savandurga. This road takes you thru a dense and thick vegetation of Savandurga forest (15 kms). Its very picturesque and beautiful.
Google Map Coordinates: 12.916615, 77.291656
Wildlife: This is really a good place if you are into birding. The hills are home to the endangered yellow-throated bulbuls and were once home to long-billed vultures and white-backed vultures. Some of the birds you probably will sight are Ashy drongo, Black kite, Bonelli’s Eagle, Brahminy kite, Common Iora, Common Kestrel, Common Sandpiper, Common Tailor bird. If you are lucky, you might sight a sloth bear or a leopard.
What to do here? Drive through the forests to get glimpses of the birds and also chances are there to spot a sloth bear or a leopard. Of course Trekking (but I am not covering much details on that as I am more covering more on wildlife rather than activities).
Best Time to Visit: Round the year. But during the winter months the climate here is a lot cooler during that time. However, summers are not too bad a time either for trekking in Savandurga, although it can be quite energy sapping. However, the chances of spotting wildlife here are higher during summer months as animals come to Arkavathy Lake to quench their thirst, which is located close by.
Timings: No special timings but it gets pretty hot and better to leave bangalore by early am and be there by 7am or so and do the drive/trek and wrap up your sightings by noon and head to Mysore road for lunch and back to Bangalore. (unless you want to take a visit to the reservoir and other near by places – see below).
Where to Stay?: No need to stay as all can be easily covered in a day’s trip from Bangalore.
Activities: Trekking (The Trail to Bili Gudda does not require permission), Rappelling, Rock Climbing etc.
Big Banyan tree: Its supposed to be almost 400 years old tree. Its biologically a single tree covering almost 2 acres. It’s a nice place to check out. This is the only place where you can find some decent food, chips and other refreshments.
Manchanabele Dam: 15 odd kms from big banyan is this reservoir. take a right into the village that takes you to the waters. It’s a nice place to laze around and play in the waters. The breeze is cool and the air is pure. I advise people not to take RISK of bathing/swimming inside dam. There has been over hundreds cases of DROWNING and dam with full of boggy mud. Please don’t take the risk of venturing inside the water. However you can enjoy nature, birds, water, hills, trees around there
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