Manchanabele Dam to Savanadurga

Manchanabele Dam is located just 50 km from Bangalore South and about 9 km from Mysore Road. One fine winter afternoon we decided to make this short trip on my friend's Scorpio.
After a hefty lunch , we sped off towards Mysore Road. There is a narrow road that goes in from Mysore Road and it gets narrower as it goes inside. Its so narrow that one four wheeler has to make way for another on this stretch.
 The first view of the Manchanabele Dam is a big magnificent reservoir. This reservoir is also one of the major water supplies of Bangalore and Magadi. However the entry to the dam was prohibited and a police person said there is no provision to go inside.

So we were a bit disappointed and decided to go to Savanadurga. The route from Manchanabele to Savanadurga passes through a forested area and its really great drive. It seemed like there are a lot of good spots of bird watching around this place.

 I was simply lucky to catch this beauty near a water hole.
View of Savanadurga from the road linking Manchanabele Dam to Magadi-Ramnagar road.

 A beautiful view en route to Savanadurga.

 Savanadurga, a beautiful view.

Another small bird perched on the long grasses

A small broken temple complex on the way to Savanadurga.

Fig trees.

The big mass of Savanadurga. It seemed a lot of people make way to the top. It was pretty steep and I gave up soon as it appeared to be pretty dangerous to me. It was getting late and the
 sunset view from this place is great.

We went into the Savanadurga temple , a nice complex just beside the mountain and the main bus stand.
The return journey was uneventful. We took the Magadi-Ramnagar main road and joined Mysore Bangalore Highway at Ramnagar.
Have to return to the dam and to Savanadurga and spend some time here next time.

Bird Watching at Hesaraghatta

Hesaraghatta Lake a favorite spot for birdwatchers. It is around 50 km from south Bangalore and can be approached easily from Tumkur Road. One fine morning I jumped at an opportunity to accompany my friend to a sunrise trip to this place.

The Hesaraghatta lake at present did not seem to have any water. Its mostly a grassland and there are multiple different avian species which will delight anybody.

We reached the place just around sunrise time and it was an awesome experience to watch the sunrise from the top of a mound.

The place had a feeling of desolation, but that was soon gone as we saw a few other photographers in their cars.

There were village cows en route to the grassland. Lot of good grass.

This magnificent bird perched itself on a mound. I learnt that  there are different kinds of birds, some like to perch on mounds, some on the trees , some fly low, some walk on the grass and many other more varieties. Its fascinating if you have someone to explain the way of the birds.

All birds were quite like enjoying the morning sun, which is like a photographer's delight. Driving close enough to the bird to get a good focus is possible. However you must be equipped with a very good camera.

Some of the birds are so small and camouflaged with the foliage that its easy to miss them.

There are a lot of other animals too. We saw a snake and we also saw a mongoose. Not at the same place though.

There are wonderful bugs which show the diversity of the place and displays the strength of the ecosystem that lets the birds survive.

One has to be a crafty driver to drive through the established trails and also through the grass at times. Its best to have a SUV kind of vehicle. The lesser the noise it makes the better it is.

We managed to take snaps of a Kestrel which appeared to be a lot of photographing delight. Two three cars zeroed in on this wonderful bird to take a good snap.

This was another amazing bird perched on a tree top.

Sometimes the birds just chill and relax. This Heron gave that opportunity. Several cars came near to it and photographers captured good pictures.

This is a rafter , an extremely beautiful bird. Its vibrant colors are magnificent.

This was one big camera.

We left the place around 10 AM as it was getting too hot to move around and we urgently needed some food.

The drive back home was uneventful and the usual traffic of Bangalore delayed us.

My suggestions from my first visit to this place. Hope to go there again soon.
1> Take a SUV kind of vehicle that will be able to go off the trail into the deep grassland with more undergrowth
2> Make sure your vehicle doesn't make too much noise, especially the reverse parking sensor, door lock etc
3> Must take a very good camera ,especially with a good zoom and higher ISO functions.
4> Be very patient and not hurry while driving. Sudden movements tend to frighten animals and birds
5> Take some food.

So long , good bird watching and photography.

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