Monday, June 13

Banneraghatta national park

As a nature lover, i had been to many places in andaround bangalore. Karnataka as a whole has lot of places of interest where you can spend your weekends away from your busy life. It has very lush greenery regions spread across the horizons, steep water falls, ancient temples etc. I had been to quite some places in karnataka. Every time before i plan to visit any place, like most of us, i do a google search about the place to know about the attractions in the place and how to commute, the places of interest near by etc. Most often it is not that easy to find out about the places. u got to spend considerable amount of time to get these details. I thought of putting all that information at one place here in my blog, and add my personal experience to it. So i started this series: Travelogue. let me start this series by giving information about my recent visit in bangalore, the garden city itself.

My Experience:

Last Saturday, i had been to BanneraGhatta national park. It is located about 20km from the main city(majestic). It has very good bus facility, the BMTC bus is available almost every half an hour. you have a/c volvo bus service also available. As its not so far, it gives you an opportunity to get a small ride of about an hour. As climate in bangalore is most of the times cool, you will surely love this ride through this of rural part of the karnataka.

As i found out through my initial research, it has a Safari ride, butterfly fly park and the zoo as the main attractions. So i started early in the morning at around 8:30 AM ( may be i shouldn't say EARLY in the morning!! r should i ?!!) along with my friend on bike. The zoo opens at 9 AM. As the day progresses the cues for safari ride increases and you will lose your time waiting in the lines unnecessarily. As advised by people(result of my google search), we chose to go early and take safari ride first. We reached the park by 9:30, with a small break for breakfast in between.
Thanks to my pre-preparation, not many people were there, so we were saved from waiting in line for tickets. Ticket prices vary according to plan. we chose to take the best plan(available!!) The grand Safari which includes the entrance fee for zoo as well. Without wasting much time we were headed for the grand safari ride.

Vehicles ( swaraj majda or tempo ) were waiting for us to take us through the wilderness.

Contrary to the idea of the normal zoos, the wild animals are left in open jungle to roam freely during the day time so that they can feel comfortable in their skin and the visitors also can get a natural feel of the jungle with variety of wild species. As a precaution, the vehicles windows were all with iron meshes (for safety, in case anything goes wrong).

The ride started with a visit to bit friendly species, The Stags and Bisons, then to Bears who seem to have not come out of early morning's laziness, happily sitting on road which was laid for these vehicles to traverse. Save the few bears trying to caress each other or fight with each other!!

Forgot to mention that we could catch a front seat adjacent to driver, which gives us an excellent view from front as well as from the side. There are few kids around in the vehicle with their parents. The fact that kids are there, you are bounded to hear some oooos, aahhhhs and some


and parents struggling to answer their cute n stupid questions, and some parents telling them look hear .. look at the tiger... etc. We had a guide also (provided by zoo authorities along with the driver in the vehicle!!) who was updating us about whats gonna come next and where n which direction we need to look for what and also giving us some stats and history.

All these bears are all vegetarians who eat only fruits and sweet rice. There are about 160 bears over all in the zoo, but they leave only few of them out of the cages in to the open on each day. They leave all these animals batches wise, each day a different batch gets their chance as told by the guide.

As we went ahead, we were greeted by the king of the jungle, the lion, crossing the road in front of our vehicle to join his fellow beings who were playing in the grass across the road and then deciding against it, sat on the small wall toobserve the new creatures in the meshed vehicle!. There were about 5- 6 lions in their all splendor jumping on each other, teasing each other enjoying the openness of the surroundings.

Further ahead in the ride, were the Royal Bengal tigers, who were magnificent proving the grandeur of their clan. There were also rare white tigers who are no inferior to their colored ones. The park has good amount of these endangered species and watching them is a feast for the eyes.

As we moved along in the jungle,

passing the lush green trees, crossing the dangerous curves of the road, we were delighted to see the more cute and mini version of the these mighty animals. The tiger cubs with all their innocence playing in a closed space as their mother kept an eye at the surroundings guarding them. As we continued our wild journey, we could also see the lion cubs who seem to be taking little rest . There were also younger tigers( white and color ones, 2 months old as told by the guide) which are put inside cages.

In brief... the safari ride is an hour of ride into wilderness, gives a close look at Bisons, stags, bears, Lions, Bengal tigers, white tigers, tiger cubs and lion cubs. In essence its worth every penny you have spent. Remember to reach early in the morning to enjoy this ride, because as time progresses there will be very lengthy cues for this.

On your way out from the Safari ride, you will come across the Butterfly park. We got down here, we had to take separate tickets to get inside this. The park design is unique in its nature.

All the butterflies were kept in a circular building covered with a semi spherical dome, it had a big statue of the butterfly at the entrance of the building.

Inside the building there were many different kinds of flower plants, an artificial water fall, the water flowing in to a pond with different kinds of fishes in it and with a bridge on top of it. Overall ambiance was very natural, good, set up the ideal environment for the butterflies. There were many kinds of butterflies happily flying across the flower plants in the building.

However, i felt they could have had more variety of species as this park specifically dedicated for butterflies.Adjacent to this in a separate room, there were models of the wide variety of butterflies. And also, real display of different life stages of the butterflies like, pupa etc. There was also a video show showing the history of the butterflies.

If you have not seen many butterflies before, it gives you a chance to look at this wide collection. But if you have already seen before then this collection is not that WIDE!! As i am from a rural background, i had seen many varieties of butterflies before and i felt this is lacking diverse collection.

The last interesting thing left is the zoo. The zoo has many different species.
It has white and normal peacocks, snakes,pythons, hippos, cranes, ducks, birds, different kinds of parrots, pigeons, panthers, bears, elephants etc. this is is not the greatest of the zoos. It just has kind of sample of each species. This is a bit disappointing, they should have maintained a lot more variety of species. If you have not seen any zoos before then this should make you feel good.

In a Nut shell....

  • The Safari Ride
  • The Butterfly Park
  • The Zoo
  • Elephant Joy ride( mainly for kids)
How to reach:
  • Around 21 km from Bangalore city (Majestic).
  • Good Bus ( BMTC/Volvo) facility from majestic. Bus No: 365.
  • Your own mode of transport( personal vehicles ).
Best time to visit:
  • Any time in the year, Tuesday Holiday.
  • Reach early in the morning
  • Zoo Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM
Accessories required:
  • Take some food items, cool drinks, water bottles with you.
  • Zoo has some shops inside which sell not so healthy( junk food we call it!), ice cream etc. Out side the zoo there are few hotels, but eat at your own discretion.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and footwear as u need to walk considerable amount of distance to cover the zoo.

Final take:

Over all, The Safari ride is very good. butterfly park is good, the zoo is average. It makes a good half day trip inside Bangalore. Kids will love everything in this Banneraghatta national park. For adults, the Safari ride is the bright spot.

Google Map of the location: BanneraGhatta National park

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