I had been thinking that I always have to drive at least 300 kms away from Bangalore to get a glimpse of forest until I drove on Ragihalli-Thattekere-HarohaLLi stretch which is just around 25 kms from namma Bengaluru. Most of this stretch falls inside the Banneraghatta National Park. My illusion about this "national park" was that it is a big zoo with bigger crowd hovering inside the park, and there is nothing more than that. My confusions were cleared when I got to see the real stretch of the national park around Ragihalli and Thattekere. Spread over a wide area this place is a home to a giant lake, vast landscapes, numerous water bodies, and various species of birds. There are traces of elephants too.
You can reach Thattekere lake either through Bannerghatta road and Ragihalli enjoying the drive through forest or from Kanakapura road towards Harohalli and then taking a left turn. There are a lot of big lakes on the Kanakapura road and you might get a beautiful sunrise on one of these lakes if you are an early bird. The place around the Thattekere lake is not at all commercialized (and it should never be); even now in a couple of villages nearby the buses make only 3-4 trips in a day. There are no hotels around for several kms, so carry some eatables along. During the first visit we drove 8 kms past the Thattekere lake missing a deviation. It is not so difficult but there are more chances that you will miss an important deviation to reach the lake from the main road. The best ever landmark help, is asking people in the village. Follow their directions.
One of the best lakes I have seen in and around Bengaluru. The lake is spread over the forest and looks majestic being situated in the middle of the small hills. There is a temple called Kanive Mahadeswara temple near the lake. There are not many villages and people around. The water is not polluted at all (looks like it is a private property). The Lake on one side has a line up of tall Nilgiri trees and the forest hills on the other side. We walked around the lake to get different views and the walk itself was refreshing. Spending idle time sitting along the lake, listening to the recurring sweet music of the small tides in the lake hitting the shores, the trees making sounds by breezy winds as the birds also chirp, is a pure bliss. If you are lucky, with all this soothing environment you will get to hear woodpecker pecking the tree trunk. We were lucky to find two of them!
For nature lovers, for people who enjoy village side drives, for bird watchers and bird photographers this place is a paradise. Being a nature admirer, one humble request is, please don't litter any of these places you visit. The nature will always remember and respect us for not leaving behind the traces of our visits to it's territory. So please don't pollute the place!
Following are the few pictures to show the place and few bird life. For more detailed post on bird life around please visit: Ragihalli-Thattekere on Bangalore Captured.
(The blogger has spoiled the quality of the images to some extent, for sharpness)
|1. My friend and I climbed up a small rock hill on the way to Ragihalli to find an amazing view; were surprised to see the vast landscape at just around 20 kms from Bengaluru;|
|2. Thattekere, a giant lake|
|3. Thattekere Lake, in the nature's lap|
|4. Black-winged Kite, sits on a wire|
|5. Purple Sunbird reaches out to a dried up leaves|
|6. Pied Bushchat, Female|
|7. Grey wagtail sits on a rock in a small water body on Harohalli-Thattekere road|
|8. River Tern in a delightful flight|
|9. Rose-ringed Parakeets fight for a tomato, in a huge tomato field!|
|10. Can easily be one of the worst shots, but sighting woodpecker is always exciting; found this one close to Thattekere Lake|
|11. My first sighting of Common Hoopoe; The bird is not too shy and doesn't fly away (like Kingfisher) a longer distance when it finds people around; It actually posed for quite a few shots but it was in the bush, didn't get a clean shot.|
|12. Asian Paradise Flycatcher; There were two of these that we sighted near the Thattekere Lake|
|13. Bay-backed Shrike|
|14. Rufous Tree-pie|