The Oldest Water Bird Sanctuary In The Country
The Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is the oldest water bird sanctuary in India. As part of a photo walk organized by Madras Clickers, I got a chance to visit this wonderful, well maintained bird sanctuary.
This place is around 80kms from Chennai. To enjoy the place, it is better one starts early in the morning and plan to reach there before sunrise. Leaving early also means you avoid long queues in the toll booths.
There are 3-4 routes to reach there. The easiest one is via GST road taking NH 32. Being a national highway, the road is broad and easy to drive. The bottle neck point is at the Vandalur Junction, but starting early or planning on a Sunday will ensure you cross that place smoothly.
The entry ticket is Rs. 5 for adults and Rs 25 for still Camera. There are shops outside that serve good hot breakfast and also lend Binoculars for Rs. 100 an hour. The nearby shopkeepers are very friendly and these are the guys responsible for keeping the surroundings clean and maintaining the sanctuary interiors.
Inside the sanctuary the tiled path which is well laid. Its like a semi circle that one needs to walk on. There are no activities there such as boating as they don't want to disturb the eco-system. There is a watch tower over which one can stand and get a high level view of the sanctuary. After 9PM, a man comes to manage the watch tower and he also brings a binocular for visitors to have a look at the birds more closely. He is also very knowledgeable.
The sanctuary is home to 40,000 varieties of migratory birds. We saw pelicans, black neck storks, spoonbills, egrets and sandpipers. During the hatching season, one can see nests of the birds spread all over the place. Don't expect the Flamingos. here They are more popular in Pulicat Lake and the marshes inside Chennai city (Pallikarnai, Perumbakkam etc.) Dec to Jan is the season time but one can go anytime starting from Mid-November to end of Jan.
One can easily spend 1-2 hrs in the place depending upon your interest levels to know the birds.
I'll leave you with some images of the place. Please do visit this place if you have time. I'd strongly recommend for bird lovers and kids.