Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ranganathittu - Bandipur - Mudumalai

I had been to Ranganthittu, Bandipur and Mudumalai along with my cousins. While returning, we had been to KRS to witness the Magic of the musical fountains. As such, we left Bangalore on 30th July,2011 and came back on 2nd morning (mid night). There are brief descriptions of the parks, along with the trip experience.

1. "Ranganathittu" means Rangan's island. The word Rangan refers to Lord Vishnu of Srirangapatnam.. The islets are filled with trees and the water with enough fish providing ideal ground for the birds to nest and bring up their children.
The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri river was built in the 1700s. The ornithologist Dr.Salim Ali observed that the isles formed an important nesting ground for birds, and persuaded theWodeyar kings of Mysore to declare the area a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.
There are many other smaller and bigger Bird Sanctuaries in India. But to the best of my knowledge, Ranganathittu offers the closest access to birds and hence is a delight for photographers.
You can spend hours moving around the water in boats and there are picture opportunities around every corner. The early morning and late evening times are the best for Photographers. During this time, the sanctuary looks magical and offers excellent directional lighting and lots of shades. Unfortunately, officially the park hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. However, photographers enjoy special privileges and can enter early to catch the early morning light. However getting boats to go into the river depends on your luck.
I would like to thank Mr.Sateesh Narasimhaiah , for helping us get permission to go inside the sanctuary.

Tourists at Rangantittu

Night Heron

Marsh Crocodile

Grey Heron

I have minimized the number of pictures because, I have added most of the pictures in my previous blog of Ranganthittu.

2. Bandipur :  Bandipur National Park(Kannada: ಬಂಡಿಪುರ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಉದ್ಯಾನವನ) is one of India's best known protected areas and is an important Project Tiger reserve. It is located in the Chamarajanagardistrict of southern Karnataka in South India,

The park stretches over 874 square kilometers (337 sq mi), protecting the wildlife of Karnataka. Together with the adjoining Nagarhole National Park (643 km2 (248 sq mi)), Mudumalai National Park (320 km2 (120 sq mi)) and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km2 (133 sq mi)), it forms the largest protected area in Southern India, totaling 2,183 km2 (843 sq mi). It is notable as the home to around seventy Bengal tigers and over three thousand Indian elephants (in 1997 ) Bandipur is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Flora : 
There are several species of valuable timber trees including: Teak Tectona grandisRosewood Dalbergia latifoliaSandlewood (Santalum album) (V), Indian-laurel Terminalia tomentosaIndian Kino Tree Pterocarpus marsupiumgiant clumping bamboo Dendrocalamus strictusclumping bamboo Bambusa arundinacea and Grewia tiliaefolia.
There are also several notable flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs including: Kadam tree Adina cordifoliaIndian gooseberry Emblica officinalisCrape-myrtle Lagerstroemia lanceolata,axlewood Anogeissus latifoliaBlack Myrobalan Terminalia chebulaSchleichera trijugaOdina wodiarFlame of the Forest Butea monospermaGolden Shower Tree Cassia fistulasatinwoodChloroxylon swetenia, Black Cutch Acacia catechuShorea talura (E)indigoberry Randia uliginosa
Fauna : There is a large population of Elephants in BNP. Significant numbers of Predator species of Mammals live in BNP including: TigerLeopardSloth BearChevrotainDhole and HyenaPreyspecies of grazing Ungulates including GaurSambar (deer)ChitalWild boarBarking deer and Four-horned Antelope are common in B.N.P.

Grey JunglefowlPompadour Green PigeonHoney BuzzardRed-headed VultureGrey-headed Fish EagleBrown Hawk OwlBay OwlMalabar TrogonNilgiri FlycatcherMalabar Pied Hornbill,Little SpiderhunterPeacockPlain Flowerpecker and Woolly-necked Stork can be seen at B.N.P..
Common Cobra, Python, Adder, Viper, Rat Snake, Water Snake, Marsh Crocodile, Lizard, Chameleon, Monitor Lizard, Frog, Tree frog, Toad and Tortoise.
Common Rose, Crimson Rose, Common Jay, Tailed, Lime Butterfly, Malabar Raven, Common Mormon, Red Helen, Blue Mormon, Southern Birdwing, Common Wanderer, Mottled Emigrant, Common Grass Yellow, Spotless Grass Yellow, One spot Grass Yellow, Nilgiri Clouded Yellow, Common Jezebel, Psyche, Common Gull., Caper White or Pioneer, Small Orange Tip or Lesser Orange Tip, White Orange Tip, Large Salmon Arab, Common Evening Brown, Great Evening Brown, Common Palmfly, Common Bushbrown, Glad Eye Bushbrowm, Red Disk Bushbrown, Red Eye Bushbrown, Lepcha Bushbrown, Nigger, Common Threering, Common Fourring, Common Fivering, Tawny Coster, Rustic , Common Leopard, Indian Fritillary, Common Sailer, Colour Sergeant, Chestnutstreaked Sailer, Grey Count, Red Baron or Baronet, Angled Castor, Common Castor Aridane merione, Yellow Pansy, Lemon Pansy, Peacock Pansy, Chocolate Pansy, Orange Pansy, Blue Pansy, Grey Pansy, Blue Admiral, Glassy Blue Tiger, Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Plain Tiger, Striped Tiger/ Common Tiger, Danaid Eggfly, Great Eggfly, Common Crow, Brown King Crow, Common Pierrot, Angled Pierrot, Banded Blue Pierrot, Striped Pierrot, Dark Pierrot, Red Pierrot, Lime Blue, Zebra Blue, Gram Blue, Common Cerulean, Tiny Grass Blue, Dark Grass Blue, Indian Cupid, Large Four-Line Blue, Common Silverline, Plum Judy, Plain Scupid, Pea Blue, Metallic Cerulean, Chestnut Bob, Dark Palm Dart, Brown awl 
Anenictus sp1, Anoplolepis longipes,Camponotus parius, Crematogaster biroi, Crematogaster sp 1*, Crematogaster sp 2*, Diacamma rugosum, Lepisiota capensis,Leptogenys chinesis, Leptogenys coonorensis, Leptogenys diminuta, Lophomyrmex quadripinosus, Meranoplus bicolor, Monomorium indicum, Myrmicaria striata, Myrmicaria brunnea, Oligomyrmex wroughtonii, Pachycondyla sp1*, Paratrechina sp1*, Pheidole sharpi, Pheidole sp1*, Pheidole sp2*, Pheidologeton diverus, Polyrhachis exercita, Solenopsis geminate, Tetraponera rufonigra, Tetraponera sp1* (* New species yet to be identified.) 
Dung Beetles
Catharsius granulatus *, Copris indicus *, Oniticellus cinctus*, Onitis singhalensis *, Onthophagus beesoni*, Onthophagus ensifer *, Onthophagus rana *, Onthophagus sp.107* #, Onthophagus tarandus*, Picnopanaleus rotundus, Caccobius diminutives, Caccobius ultor, Copris furciceps, Copris sp.1#, Heliocopris dominus, Pseudonthophagus sp.2#, Sisyphus neglectus, Caccobius inermis, Caccobius meridionalis., Caccobius torticornis, Caccobius sp.1#, Copris sodalist, Onthophagus socialis, Onthophagus sp.301#, Onitis phelemon, Onthophagus furcillifer, Caccobius gallinus, Onthophagus rufulgens, Onthophagus sp.302#, Copris repertus, Pseudonthophagus sp.1#, Copris davisoni, Onitis falcatus, Onthophagus turbatus, Copris imitans, Onthophagus quadridentatus, Caccobius vulcanus, Liatongus affinis, Oniticellus spinipes, Sisyphus longipus, Onthophagus dama (* Eextremely rare (Represented by a by a single specimen in the collection), # New species yet to be identified
Reference : Wikipedia

Image : Sujay Kashyap

Wild Boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, (Sus scrofa) is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises. Wild boar are native across much of Northern and Central Europe, the Mediterranean Region (including North Africa's Atlas Mountains) and much ofAsia as far south as Indonesia. Populations have also been artificially introduced in some parts of the world, most notably the Americas and Australasia, principally for hunting. Elsewhere, populations have also become established after escapes of wild boar from captivity.

Hanuman Langur

Grey langurs or Hanuman langurs, the most widespread langurs of South Asia, are a group of Old World monkeys constituting the entirety of the genus Semnopithecus. All taxa have traditionally been placed in the single species Semnopithecus entellus. In 2001, it was recommended that several distinctive former subspecies should be given full species status, so that seven species are recognized.A taxonomic classification with fewer species has also been proposed. Genetic evidence suggests that the Nilgiri langur and purple-faced langur, which usually are placed in the genus Trachypithecus, actually belong in Semnopithecus.
Gray langurs are large and fairly terrestrial, inhabiting forest, open lightly wooded habitats, and urban areas on the Indian subcontinent. Most species are found at low to moderate altitudes, but theNepal gray langur and Kashmir gray langur occur up to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) in the Himalayas.
"Hanuman" refers to the Hindu deity Hanuman.

It had rained heavily from past few days at Bandipur. So when we went there, we are shocked to know that the Safari had been cancelled for the day, so many memebers in our group were disappointed. So we decided to take the gypsy . This  was a brand new Gypsy. And we had nice time in the jungle. The above path is just a glimpse of Bandipur during rainy season. But as there were 8 members in our group, but only 6 were allowed in the Gypsy. As such, the remaining members could not go .
The animals sighted were :
1. Elephant
2.Common Hawk Cuckoo
3.Crested Serpant eagle
4. Indian Gaur
5.Shaheen Falcon
6. Peafowl
7. Langur
8. Chital
9. Wild Boar
10. Golden Backed woodpecker
11. Spotted Dove

Image courtesy : Sujay Kashyap


The Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, is smaller than the African. It has smaller ears, and typically, only the males have large external tusks.
The world population of Asian elephants—also called Indian elephants—is estimated to be around 60,000, about a tenth of the number of African elephants. More precisely, it is estimated that there are between 38,000 and 53,000 wild elephants and between 14,500 and 15,300 domesticated elephants in Asia, with perhaps another 1,000 scattered around zoos in the rest of the world. The Asian elephants' decline has possibly been more gradual than the African and caused primarily by poaching and habitat destruction by human encroachment.

Shaheen Falcon

Indian Peafowl

    Vanashree cottage

    The Shaheen Falcon (Falco peregrinus peregrinator), also known as the Indian Peregrine FalconBlack ShaheenIndian Shaheen, or simply the Shaheen, is a non-migratorysubspecies of the Peregrine Falcon found mainly on the Indian subcontinent and the nearby island of Sri Lanka
    Shaheens mostly hunt small birds, though medium-sized birds such as pigeons and parrots are also taken. Strong and fast, they dive from great heights to strike prey with their talons. If the impact does not kill the prey, the falcon bites the neck of its victim to ensure death.The Shaheen is a small and powerful-looking falcon with blackish upperparts, rufous underparts with fine, dark streaks, and white on the throat. The complete black face mask is sharply demarcated from the white throat. It has distinctive rufous underwing-coverts. It differs in all these features from the paler F. p. calidus, which is a scarce winter migrant to Sri Lanka.Males and females have similar markings and plumage; apart from size there is no sexual dimorphism. The birds range in length from 380 to 440 mm.The male is about the size of a House Crow(Corvus splendens); the female is larger

    The term peafowl can refer to the two species of bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant familyPhasianidae. The African Congo Peafowl is placed in its own genus Afropavo and is not discussed in this article. Peafowl are best known for the male's extravagant tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, and the female a peahen.  The offspring are calledpeachicks. The female peafowl is brown or toned grey and brown. Peachicks can be between yellow, to a tawny colour with darker brown patches.

    The species are:

    3. Mudumalai National Park : The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary Tamil:முதுமலை வனவிலங்கு காப்பகம் , now also declared a Tiger Reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills(Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 160 km (99 mi) north-west of Coimbatore in the westernmost part of Tamil Nadu, on the interstate boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala states in South India. Mudumalai, which means 'first hills’, is one of the first wildlife sanctuaries established in India. The sanctuary is divided into 5 ranges - Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.

    Here one can often spot herds of endangered Indian elephantsvulnerable Gaur, and Chital. The sanctuary is a haven for Bengal Tigers and Indian Leopards and other threatened species. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including critically endangered species like the Indian White-rumped Vulture and the long-billed vulture.[2]
    The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster (6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi)), including all of Mudumalai National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as aWorld Heritage Site

    The Mudumalai Sanctuary is as an important wildlife habitat due to its strategic position as a Wildlife corridor between several other protected areas that are a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. To the north is the Bandipur National Park and Nagarhole National Park. To the west is the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and in the south are Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley National Park. To the east is the Segur plateau which connects to the Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary and Reserve forests and Biligirirangan Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. These parks, sanctuaries and the adjoining Reserve forests cover over 3,300 square kilometres (1,300 sq mi) of forest supporting a population of 1800-2300 elephants.
    The elevation of the sanctuary varies from a minimum of 960 meters (3,150 ft) m to a maximum of 1,266 meters (4,154 ft). The sanctuary has a tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate that corresponding to the categories Aw and As of the Köppen climate classification. Rainfall ranges from 790 mm (31 in) to 2,000 mm (79 in)

    reception center

    animals last sighted

    landscape at Mudumalai

    Indian Gaur

                         THANK YOU


    1. The desi langur, peacock on the tree (very dense color, nice shot you have taken their) and the corocodile pics are very awesome. I didn't know that there was boating also there. When I go there next time I will not miss boating.

    2. Nice compilation Arjun, probably you can align the post a little!
      Was this a recent trip? the jeep safari you took in bandipur was from the FD or a private hire?

    3. good report. i liked langur and wild boar picture. but your Agumbe images had some charm in it.

    4. fine blog arjun, images of hanuman langur [sharp] & falcon are special.

    5. Thanks a lot friends.
      @ Santosh : Yes sir, this was a recent trip. And the jeep safari was from the forest department


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