Sunday, August 17, 2014



When my friend Mr Vishwanath informed that why can have a visit to  Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve since we had visited in 2011 nearly three years back, 
[] decided. Mr. Harish and Mr. Viraj aslo joined along with me 

Started our journey on 16th August 2014 by 5-00 am Left Bangalore towards Gowribidanur
had tea enroute by 7-30 am we had breakfast at Kodangahalli, (Idli-Bajji and packed Veg
Rice Bath for afternoon) reached the Forest by 8-30 am. 

How to reach:
Route 1
Bangalore – Tumkur – Koratagere – Madhugiri – take Hindupur road – Puruavara (10Kms from Madhugiri) – turn left on ID Halli road – turn right (after 8 KMs) where the board says ‘Jayamangali Blackbucks Reserve’.  (NOT GOOD)- AROUND 140-150 KMS

Route 2
Bangalore ----- Hebbal ----- Yelahanka ----- Doddaballapur ----- Gowribidhanur ----- Thondebavi -----  Kodigenahalli ----- Maidanahalli  (This one is OK and Good)-AROUND 110 KMS

We are a group of Photography Enthusiasts, who are mainly into all types of photography especially Wildlife,Pictorial and Bird Photography .

I think the photographs will explain more about these fantastic sightings than the words. so, here we go...

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). The geographical co-ordinates of the forest watch tower inside this area are 13 44’ 20” N and 7 19’ 41” E.
Brief Information 

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 a part of the plains of Deccan plateau and borders Anantapur district of 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, apart from Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary

The open grasslands of peninsular India were once widespread across the Deccan Plateau. Post- independence, however, they have shrunk to isolated patches thanks to immense pressure for cultivation, human habitation and other reasons that also include industrialisation. In 1987, the forest department of Tumakuru Division began protecting the area when the blackbuck’s presence was brought to their notice. In 1992, after sustained efforts by the forest department, the jurisdiction of the area was handed over from the Revenue Department to the Forest department. The Forest Department then fenced a portion of the area and raised a nursery. A concrete watchtower was erected along with two wood houses and watchmen sheds. But, the ownership of the land still rested with the revenue department.

Tumakuru’s nature lovers worked hard to have the area granted the status of a Protected Area, like a wildlife sanctuary. The first ever Status Survey report on the area was published by Tumakuru-based Wildlife Aware Nature Club (WANC) in 1997. This helped the wildlife wing of Karnataka Forest Department to source data on this area and recommend it be declared a 'Conservation Reserve'. The Government of Karnataka accepted this proposal. In February 2007, vide Government Order No: FEE 342 FWL 05, 798.33 acres (3.2307 km2) of the area was finally notified as Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve, (though the original area proposed to be included in this Conservation Reserve was 893 acres). Thus, Tumkur District's first protected area was born.

Information about Blackbuck

Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is a species of antelope native to the Indian subcontinent. Their range decreased sharply during the 20th century. Since 2003, the IUCN lists the species as near threatened.

This species is the only living species of the genus Antilope, and has been introduced in Texas and Argentina. 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 where 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. In its scientific name Antilope cervicapra, 'Antilope' from 'anthalops' (Greek) a horned animal; 'cervicapra' from 'cervus' (Latin) a deer and 'capra' (Latin) a she-goat.

The blackbuck, is the provincial animal of India it is known as Krishna Mriga in Kannada. Also 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.[4] It is often simply called Indian antelope though this term might also be used for other Antilopinae from the region.

The skin of Krishna Mrigam plays an important role in Hinduism, and Brahmin boys are traditionally required to wear a strip of unleathered hide after performing Upanayanam.

male and female blackbuck 
Body Length: 100–150 cm (3.3–4.9 ft)
Shoulder Height: 60–85 cm (2.0–2.79 ft)
Tail Length: 10–17 cm (3.9–6.7 in)
Weight: 25–35 kg (55–77 lb)

The distinctive horns of the Blackbuck are ringed with 1 to 4 spiral turns, rarely more than 4 turns, and can be as long as 79 cm (31 in). A trophy Blackbuck is greater than 46 cm (18 in). In the male, the upper body is black (dark brown), and the belly and eye rings are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless. Blackbuck usually roam the plains in herds of 15 to 20 animals with one dominant male.

On the open plain, the Blackbuck is one of the fastest animals and can outrun most predators over long distances. Its chief predator was the now extinct Indian Cheetah. It is now sometimes preyed upon by wolves, feral dogs, etc.

The diet of the Blackbuck consists mostly of grasses, although it will eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet. The maximum life span recorded is 16 years and the average is 12 years.

There are four subspecies or geographic races
 Antilope cervicapra cervicapra
 Antilope cervicapra rajputanae
 Antilope cervicapra centralis
 Antilope cervicapra rupicapra
 Albino Blackbuck 

Albinism in Blackbuck is rare and caused by the lack of the pigment melanin. The animal looks fully white due to the lack of melanin in their skin. Wildlife experts say that the biggest problem with these Albinos is that they are singled out by predators and hunted.

Distribution and habitat 
Originally spread over large tracts of India (except in North East India). Today the blackbuck population is confined to areas in Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with a few small pockets in Central India.

In Nepal, the last surviving population of blackbuck is found in the Blackbuck Conservation Area south of the Bardia National Park. In 2008, the population was estimated to comprise 184 individuals.

Flora and fauna
More than 80 species of plants have been recorded from this area. Many of these plants have medicinal value.

Sixty-seven species of butterflies belonging to seven families have been sighted in the area. Most of the species recorded are common throughout the Indian Peninsula and some are typical of the arid regions.

Jayamangali (Maidanahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve has the second largest contiguous population of Blackbuck in Karnataka, after Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary. In total, 19 species of mammals belonging to 11 families have been recorded in the area, including the Near Threatened Blackbuck. The first ever census of Jayamangali Blackbuck reserve was jointly conducted by the members of WANC and Karnataka Forest Department in the area on 15–16 November 1997, during which a population of 408 Blackbuck was recorded. A subsequent census was held by the above on 1–2 October 2002, which revealed a population of over 600 blackbuck.

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.
About 125 species of birds belonging to 37 families have been recorded in the area, of which 22 are migratory. As expected of grasslands, the area is rich in ground birds, shrikes, larks and raptors. This is one of the few habitats in Tumkur District where the Indian Courser (Cursorius coromandelicus) and Painted Sandgrouse (Pterocles indicus indicus) have been seen. Some of the surrounding villagers claim to have seen the Great Indian Bustard in the past. Although none of the authors nor any birdwatchers have the bird in the area, efforts are on to sight this highly threatened species.

Since it is a grassland, it has quite a number of reptiles typical of dry areas/plains. About 26 species have been recorded in the area, including 14 different species of snakes

Note: There are no options for food around the Reserve. So, its better to pack food, if you happen to be in the reserve during the food timings. Also, ensure that you carry sufficient water with you.


we had  lots of fantastic sightings of birds like Bushchat's, Robin's, Bee-Eater's, Indian Roller's to big raptors like Honey Buzzard's, White-eye Buzzard's, etc.   

after having lunch we decided to visit HESSARAGHATTA lake, after a few snaps enroute the village life picked some shots


Hesaraghatta Lake is a manmade reservoir located 18 km to the north-west of Bangalore in Karnataka state, India. It is a fresh water lake created in the year 1894 across the Arkavathy River to meet the drinking water needs of the city. Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, the then Dewan of erstwhile Mysore state and the then Chief Engineer of Mysore, M. C. Hutchins, planned to build the scheme called the “Chamarajendra Water Works” to store a three-years' water supply to the city.

The reservoir is reported to have filled up last in the year 1994 and thereafter the lake’s deterioration and drying up started, reducing its reliability as a water supply source.

The reasons attributed to the lake’s drying up are erosion in the catchment and consequent capacity shrinking due to continuous silting. As of July 2009, the lake is completely dry.

In recent years, the Hesaraghatta Lake bed has seen an increased number of bird photographers who drive on the lake bed using their cars and SUVs as hides resulting in extensive damage to the grassland habitat. This has increased the vehicle tracks to 43 km in total, with the average track width coming to 1.62 meters. About 136 hectares of habitat was either lost or disturbed because of vehicular movement.

Main factors affecting degradation include sand mining, movement of tractors, tree plantations, and grazing of cattle.

Information Source : Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NITTURA DARIYALLI....................

Date: 05th July 2014 and 06th July 2014
Team Members: Vishwanath [Shimoga], Viraj, Umesh, Harish and SATEESH
Route :Bangalore - Tumkur - Arsikere - Shimoga - Hosanagara - Nagara - Nittur.
Vehicle : Bolero Storm

Team left Bangalore on 04thJuly 2014 at 6-30 pm, 
My friend Vishwanath who is working in Bank at Shimoga informed him that we are reaching Shimoga, by  10-30 pm, 
he  kind-heartedly  welcomed us and all  together had a  good dinner (Onion-Potato Sambar) at his residence

05th July 2014

Next day morning  we had planned to take some photographs of birds in and around shimoga and Viswanath took us for bird watching nearby place called Purdal Dam in shimoga

Purdal is a small village nearby Shimoga city which has beautiful scenic view. There is a water reservoir to store the water from the nearby steep areas. Purdal dam is also the major water supply for Lion safari and forest around Purdal. A very calm place which receives less crowd. Purdal is best suited for family outings nearby shimoga. Purdal can be reached by two ways - one is from Sagara road and another is from Anupinakatte road. There is huge parking space next to the dam and evening is the most opted time to visit the location. A popular television hosted a reality game show at purdal few years before which made purdal to come into the public notice. A beautiful road leading to prudal with semi-forest is treat to watch.

Purdal Temple

Purdal is a scenic beauty which is equally good for photography.
Small animals like chameleon, red squirrels and other animals and variety species of birds, flora and fauna are commonly seen.





Had Breakfast at Vishwa Residence, we had prepared Upma (Uppittu) and left  Shimoga by 12-30 pm. (From shimoga nittur is around 110kms) Vishwanath called Manjanna of Kalyani Nisarga Dhama that we are proceeding to your place, and requested to arrange the stay over there at Kalyani Nisarga Vihara Dhama, owned by Mr.Manjanna (fondly called) a eco friendly, South India Yoga Champion, Humanitarian, Trekker and a good hearted person.

enroute we visited Karanagiri SiddiVinayaka Temple had darshan of Vinayaka proceeded further, [the distance from Shivmoga it’s around one  a half hour drive towards a place called Hosanagar. From Hosanagar it’s around 7 Kms to Karana Giri]

We reached Nittur at 2:00 pm (117 Kms in one hour 30 minutes- Driver Harish Speed counts here)

Nittur is a village located in Hosanagara Taluk, Shimoga District, Karnataka, India. The village is located in dense forest, on Shimoga-Kollur state highway and Kodachadri peak falls within the jurisdiction of Nittur Grama Panchayat

Nittur is starting point of one of the trekking routes to Kodachadri peak, which is located at about 15 km from the village

Kalyani Chowka is about 2.5 kms to Nittur and to be frank its better you have a Jeep though in these roads to enter Nisarga Vihara Dhama is most suitable rather than other vehicles.



Inside the HUT, Kalyani Nisarga Dhama

Hosanagara – Kollur main road in between a small village called NITTUR (35 kms from hosanagara) Sharavathi River backwater a forest treat at Kalyani Chowka called Nisarga Viharadhama. 

Nisarga Vihara Dhama is a retreat built amidst forest consisting of log huts and tents (on request) to stay overnight. Run by Mr. Manjanna with an ambitious and thousands of colorful dreams of exploring Shimoga Dist Tourist places, he has setup this Nisarga Dhama in his own land with support by many people..  Government of Karnataka has recognized the activities here and sanctioned two boats for sight seeing in Sharavathi Backwaters.


Had a good lunch of Halasu (JackFruit) Palya, Nugge Soppina Chatni,Chapathi, Rice and Curd

After having Lunch  we started towards Hidlu Mane falls  to a point where the trail starts. The road is not all that good so always take a Jeep and never your car. It took about half an hour and some effort to reach the first stage of the fall 


Start from Hosanagar on state highway 26 towards Kollur and pass Nagara to reach Sampekatte and take left turn towards Kodachadri hills. Drive for 13 km to take right turn and trek for remaining distance to reach the waterfalls. Hidlumane falls also has one more route which is on trekking by Nagodi  village.

Hidlumane falls is about 6-7 kms from the main road and there are many forks on the road. It is nearly impossible to find your way here without the villagers'  help.


Hidlumane falls is a series of cascading falls with about 6 or 7 falls one after another. The beauty of these falls is that each of these falls are hidden from one another and they get better and better as you go up the cascade, culminating in a magnificent fall which is as secluded a waterfall as you can imagine! As we had gone in the monsoons, going up the cascade was anything but easy. The path was treacherously slippery with leeches feasting on you at every step. 

First boulder is quite easy.But the second one is giant boulder.During monsoon its very difficult to cross. Some how we managed to climb that, It is really strenuous.  The trek uphill on a scale of 1 to 10 is around 6 where 10 is the worst and most difficult finally we reached Hidlumane Falls.. amazing..!! no words to explain after seeing that falls.

As we reached the main falls, the excitement was palpable as we began indulging..Since the visibility on the peak wasnt too great, 

Jeep and 2 wheeler can go till that house, Cars may not. No food is available anywhere on the way or at the spot. So carry your food with you. Please don't throw any non-biodegradable substance (plastics, water bottles, plastic plates etc..) there. Enjoy and be one among the nature.

Flora and Fauna in Manjanna Residence

More Information :

There is bus facility from Hosanagara which has stop at nearby villages. Buses from Sagara, Nagara, Shimoga has stop at Kodachadri. Most of the tourist come in hire vehicles as trekking till the peak is time consuming. Private jeeps are also available at the nearby village which charge according to the season.

Lodging and Hotel

There are hotels in Nagodi and Nittur village serves Malenadu style of food. There are few home stays available nearby Kodachadri hills and also there is an IB at the top of the hill and Priest's house nearby temple also have accommodation. 

Kalyani Nisarga Vihara Dhama
Nittur, Hoasanagara Taluk,
Shimoga Distt, Pin 577452

Manjunath (Populary known as Manjanna)

Main Highlights:
Beautiful Bamboo Hut, Plastic Tent houses varying according to your need and number of people
Delicious Meals, Breakfast of Malenadu taste
Caring staff  never let u down
Well constructed and maintained toilets
Natural dining tables ( Told he found these wooden logs deserted in forest and thought utilizing to sit and have food)
Arrangement for nearby tourist places, Backwater riding, trekking.
Near by places are mentioned on a big bill board.
Bird Watching, Water Sports, Fire Camp, Cultural programs 

What to look for

Visit nearby Kodachadri hills for its natural beauty of sunset and nature. 
Trekking experience to Hidlumane is memorable along with family and friends. 

Nearest health camp : Nittur,Kattinahole,Sampekatte.
Approach : 

There are 2 trekking trails are there to reach koadachadri.
1)From karakatte gate and santosh hotel.this is the easy trek route. It will take around 2.5-3 hrs to trek.
2)From nittur via hidlumane falls.this is the toughest trekking trail. It will take around 4-5 hrs to trek.During monsoon season it is not advisable.

Contact persons : Nittur Rajendra(9449145540)
Best time to visit : During Monsoon u can see nature at its best.
sep-jan is best time to hang around there.

Kodachadri - (12 km)

Kodachadri is a miniature of Heaven on Earth. It’s a mountain peak (altitude - 1343 m above sea level) in the Western Ghats in South India (Karnataka State). The name comes from native word "Kodacha" or "Kodashi" which means hill and "Adri" a Sanskrit word, both combined together coined the word Kodachadri. It is also called "Kutachadri" and "Kodashi Parvatha". Kodachadri forms a picturesque background to the famous temple of Mookambika in Kollur. Situated in the middle of the Mookambika National Park, it is home to several endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. The shola forest and rain forests loom in a perpetual layer of mist around the peak.

The peak is barren due to strong winds and as such, the forest covered nature is visible all around and also several smaller peaks and hills full of greenery makes a very good sight. The important animal life include Malabar Langur, King Cobra, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Great Pied Hornbill, and many more of which several are endangered. Its 115 kms away from shimoga

Kodachadri is home to many endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. 

Kodachadri is famous for its wonderful sunrise and   

It is declared as natural heritage site by Government Karnataka


The main attraction of Kodachadri is "Sarvajna Peetha" which is on the hilltop. It is believed that  philosopher "Adi Shankaracharya" performed meditation at this place. The closest base to Kodachadri  hills is Kollur which is at a distance of 20 kilometers. Kodachadri hills form a scenic backdrop of the famous Mookambika temple in Kollur.We decided to visit   the famous Kodachadri sunrise. Also since we were told that the path to Arsinagundi falls will be really tricky because of the rains, we headed straight back to Nittur 

Kodachadri Tea Owner's Mobile

In and around KODACHADRI

There is small a temple near the peak where 'Shankaracharya' did meditationand ancient Sarvajna Peetha (built out of rock) at the top. There is road upto temple where a Travellers bungallow is also situated and from there there is a small track to the top. The view from the top is enchanting, to say the least.Moola Mookambika temple at Kodachadri village is believed to be the moola sthana (the origin) of Sri Mookambika Devi

Ganesha Guha
Ganesha Guha is near the trekking path to Sarvajna peetha

Iron Pillar
One iron pillar of about 40 feet length is planted erect in front of Moola Mookambika Temple near peak of Kodachadri and it is compared with massive similar historic iron pillars located at Dhar, Mount Abu etc.Devotees believe that this is the trishula used by goddess Mookambika to slay a demon called Mookasura as per local tradition. Indian scientists from IGCAR Kalpakkam and KREC(Now NITK), Suratkal conducted a test on the Iron pillar and found that it was made from traditional Indian metallurgical skills and not from modern casting methods. It is found made of pure iron. It is also found to be less affected by corrosion, despite of humid conditions prevailing there due to heavy rains. This iron pillar is considered as testimony of ancient Indian iron craftmanship.

Belakallu theertha
One more waterfalls called Belakallu theertha is located near Mudur, Jadkal (and 15 km from Kollur) and at the bottom of Kodachadri on southern side and involves easy trekking to reach.

Nagara fort
Nagara Fort is around 25 km from Kodachadri where an old fort built during 18th Century is located and the landscape created out of backwaters of Linganamakki Dam on Sharavathi River surrounds Nagara town.


The sunset watched from Kodachadri peak on a clear day is an enchanting experience. The Arabian Sea is visible from the peak on a cloudless day and sun literally goes down into the sea and due to the proximity to sea, the shape of golden sun changes every minute. At the beginning it looks like an inverted pot, then like a vessel, a hat, a ring with double edges and so many shapes are visible which is an interesting sight. The sunrise is also seen from another hillock behind the Tourist Bungalow is also beautiful and the hillock is called Venkatarayana Durga, with some remote connection to some Palegara Kings who ruled the surrounding places. During sunrise, the plateau below is usually covered with mist and it looks like a vast sea of curd with some high peaks peeping out of the misty plateau.

The contact numbers of the IB chap Rajendra are:
9480205657 (mobile)
08185-290368 (residence)