Sunday, July 09, 2006
Approximately 100 kms from Chennai, along the Chengalpattu road, is Vedanthangal - India's oldest bird sanctuary. Despite its proximity to Chennai, this is one place I'd never been to. It was by chance that I decided to check it out - we were visiting a relative on the route, it was a sunday mid-afternoon, the sky was overcast and there was a gentle breeze - just the right weather for long drive. The road was awesome - 6 lane and devoid of traffic for most part - we were cruising at 80+ kmph most of the way.
The sanctuary is a big swamp-like area with huge trees tovering over a large body of water. Along the circumference is a well laid out footpath for visitors to walk around and see the birds. There's also a light-house-type structure which provides a vantage location to view the birds. The area is well maintained and very verdant.
Despite this not being right season for bird-watching at Vedanthangal (the best time is Nov-Feb), there was a large flock of birds - mostly pelicans and storks. It was quite a sight to see huge birds with such large wings making a graceful flight.
Vedanthangal is surely worth a visit - I was pretty impressed. Just the drive, was a joy. The place is very well maintained. The only thing lacking were the guides and some binoculars on hire.
For people intending to go there: Take the highway down south from Chennai, via Tambaram, Vandalur and Chengalpattu. Approximately 90 kms from Chennai, just after Mamandur, take a right. There are well placed signs along the highway, so finding your way is not a problem. And remember to take those binoculars.
Captain's log. stardate 9.7.06