Hemmed by dense forests on one end and river Tunga on the other, lies a small island of the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. This petite landmass has an area of 1.14 acres. If nature photography fascinates you, then this place will drag you towards itself like a magnet!
Millions of chirpy little beings migrate to this area during the month of May. This sanctuary was formed as river Tunga flowed forming a small piece of land that attracted an ample number of birds. The island seems to have ideal conditions that birds look for while breeding and nesting.
While the breeding cycle goes on until October, the months from July to September charm about 5,000 variety of birds that flock from different regions to seek shelter here. The most common type of migratory birds found are darters, median egrets and cormorants. Other birds, like pied kingfisher, woolly-necked stork, night herons, and open-billed storks can be found too.
Tunga river often deluges by heavy rains during monsoons, this is why most of the birds are spotted building their nests on higher branches of fauna!
The beauty of Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is so appealing that even a non-photographer would love to capture it for his memory. To have an aerial view of these avians, head up to the watchtower which is solely built for this purpose. Trekkers are also welcome here and are given spots where they can pitch tents to relish the lush green environment! The coracle boat rides during summers will help you spot few crocodiles.
Aesthetes, you now have a new place to explore! Get Going.
Starting Point: Bengaluru
Destination: Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
Best Time To Visit Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
The bird sanctuary attracts a large number of birds in the months of July to September. August is the ultimate month to plan your visit here.
Winters are also a great time to visit due to the pleasant weather.
Things You Need
- A camera (with ample memory space).
- Presence of mind to spot distinct birds quickly.
- Good company to tag along with who enjoys nature as much as you do.
How To Get To Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary?
There are frequent trains running between Bangalore and Shivamogga. It takes about 4-5 hours to commute. Have a look at the train schedules here.
The fare is moderately priced, ranging between INR 100 to INR 300. From Shivamogga, you can hire a cab to cover a distance of about 30 km and reach Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. You have to look for accommodation in Shivamogga itself as the bird sanctuary has no such facility.
Buses from Bengaluru to Shivamogga run frequently, almost every 30 minutes. The fare ranges between INR 500 and INR 800. From Shivamogga, you can hire a cab to cover the distance of about 30 km to reach your destination. It will cost you between INR 500 and INR 700.
The nearest airport is Mangaluru International Airport situated at a distance of 160 km from Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. There are trains and buses available from Mangaluru as well.
The total distance from Bengaluru to Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is approximately 310 km via Route 1. Route 2 is about 325 km and Route 3 is 340 km.
Bengaluru - CNR Underpass - Tirumakudalu Narasipura Sira Road via NH 75 - Soravanahalli via NH 150A - Bediswaste - Tiptur via NH 73 - Lingapura via NH 169 - Muduba Bus Stop - Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
Bengaluru - CNR Underpass - Hiriyur via NH 48 - SH 24 to NH 206 - Lingapura via NH 169 - Muduba Bus Stop - Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
Bengaluru - CNR Underpass - Channagiri via NH 48 and NH 369 - Gandhi Bazar, Shivamogga - Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
Route 1 is recommended. It is roughly a 6-hour journey. Route 2 and Route 3 will both take approximately 6 h and 15 min.
Have a look at the short stops you can halt at while travelling via Route 1
Choosing the correct route is imperative since your objective to drive such long distances should be compensated with breathtaking views and a heavenly atmosphere. You can hire a car if you do not wish to take your car. It is recommended to start early from Bengaluru to avoid heavy traffic during peak times. Enjoy the traditional Bangalorian breakfast en route.
About 70 km from Bengaluru, you will reach Kunigal town in Tumkur district. It is a famous destination for stud farms. The Mughal ruler, Tipu Sultan used to train war horses here. As of today, these stud farms are leased to the ‘Kingfisher Man', Mr. Mallya, for breeding race horses.
Sri Bettada Ranganathaswamy Temple is a sheer architectural beauty nestled on the hills. Other striking architectural marvels include the Narasimha Temple and the Someshvara Temple. History fanatics are bound to be left awe-struck by the sight of such temples.
In olden days, Turuvekere was famous as ‘Rent-free Village' which was offered to Brahmins. About 60 km drive from Kunigal, arrives the city of Hoysala temples. Needless to say their sculptures are overwhelming! Don't leave the place without stopping over at Chennakeshava Temple and Moole Shankareshvara Temple.
After another 60 km drive from Turuvekere, arrives the city of the ‘Queen's Pond' i.e., Arasikere. Arasi in Kannada means queen and kere means pond. Ganpati festival is celebrated with great gusto out here. Witness all the celebrations, cultural programs and other activities during this festival. Pay a visit to the magnificently sculpted architectures of Shri Kalameshwara Temple and Shri Siddharameshwara Gadduge. Even if you are not an ardent worshipper of God, you are sure to reminisce this trip for days to come!
40 km drive from Arasikere and you reach the Kadur town in Chikmagalur district. Kadur is well known for teak and coffee plantations. The city has got its name from the animals named Kadva (that belong to the family of deer) that were abundantly found all over the place before the Britishers hunted them down totally. Resting on a huge rock, Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is an impeccable site. The Yoganarsimha Temple is another impressive attraction.
Amidst the impenetrable thick forests and quiet roads, arrives your destination post a 95 km drive - the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary.
Here are a few attractions that you can visit in and around Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
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Gajanur Dam is located about 12 km from Shivamogga. The river Tunga flows through this village. To get some fresh air, be bowled over with nature's grace and to let oneself loose in the placid atmosphere, is what a visitor will look for once here. It is an apt place to visit post monsoons as the water level is comparatively higher during these times.
There is no entrance fee as such to see the dam. But you have to check beforehand if the gates are open when you reach. Mornings are perfect to spend quality time and rejuvenate your souls. Carry something to eat as there are no eateries present around.
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Sakrebailu Elephant Camp
Elephants or for that matter any wild animal should be given a chance to live in their habitat. Sakrebailu Elephant Camp is apparently one of the wonderful initiatives taken by the Karnataka Government, where the elephants are left in the wilderness while at the same time being protected from antisocial elements. Proper care and nutrition is provided to all elephants. The mahouts have a strong mutual understanding with these elephants.
Plan your trip early in the morning so that you get to witness the elephants bathing. If you are lucky enough, you might also get a chance to splash some water on them! To have a distinct feel, elephant rides are also available in these camps. Trekkers can relish the prettiness of the environment. Entry fee is minimal.