Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary

Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : Adults: INR 25,
Children: INR 5,
Parking: INR 10,
Camera: INR 25

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Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary, Vedanthangal Overview

Situated in the city of Kancheepuram, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a protected sanctuary covering a total area of 30 hectares. This sanctuary is a popular migratory home for around 40,000 different species of birds from all over the world. It is said that such a vast number of birds are attracted to this location because of its various small lakes that prove to be a fertile feeding ground for the birds. As soon as one enters here, the birds can be seen eating, swimming, homemaking, diving, squawking or simple perching on the trees. They seem to enjoy every bit of their extended vacation before the long flight home. The mighty birds here are accustomed to having visitors and may venture quite to them. 

Vedanthangal literally means 'the hamlet of a hunter' in the local Tamil language learning. It was so named as because of being a famous hunting grounds for the local landlords during the 18th century. Realizing this ornithological importance of the region, the British government decided to build it into a bird sanctuary in the year 1798, making it the oldest of its kind in the country. The sanctuary is a haven for bird watchers and wildlife photographers. The Barringtonia mangroves, the rich floating habitat, extensive paddy field and those mighty flying creatures make the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary a beautiful setting to escape to crowd and noise of busy city life. Moreover, nothing equals the thrill of watching the glorious birds gently flapping their wings and soaring towards the high sky. 

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Bird Watching at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

The sanctuary is home to thousands of native and migratory birds flying here from all around the globe. Some of the recognized native birds here are - cormorants, darters, grebes, large egrets, little egrets, moorhens, night herons, paddy birds, painted storks, pintails, pond herons, sandpipers, shovellers, terns, white ibises and many more. Among the migratory birds, garganeys and teals from Canada, snake birds and glossy ibises from Sri Lanka, grey pelicans from Australia, grey herons and open billed stork from Bangladesh, painted storks from Siberia, spoonbills from Burma and the spot-billed duck are most famous.

These magnificent winged creatures can be viewed via binoculars from the clear, stone paved paths following the western embankment of the lake. Watchtowers are also constructed keeping in mind the satisfaction of the tourists. You can spend long hours just sitting on the granite benches here, watching the birds go about their daily routine without getting bored. Just take a binocular, a bird book and a zoom lens camera and enjoy the fabulous biodiversity of the landscape.

Photography at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

With its vast array of birds and fowl, Vedanthangal is a very dear destination for wildlife photography enthusiasts. There can be no greater thrill than to capture a bird gently flapping its wings as it soars high above in the sky, and you can experience the same right here in this sanctuary. The biodiversity here is overwhelming, and you will find yourself chasing after these winged beauties. The surrounding landscape only adds to the beauty of this place, making photography here a fulfilling and joyous activity. 

History of Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal or the 'hamlet of the hunters' was so named because of its fame as a rich hunting grounds. The local landlords and kings during the 18th century came here to hunt for various native and migratory birds. The local Villagers had an age-old tradition of protecting the birds because of their relationship with the productivity of the crops. They knew that the bird's droppings in the water acted as a natural fertilizer.

Owing to this, they complained to the collector of Chengalpet Lionel Palace and urged the colonial government to declare the region as a protected zone. Their efforts resulted in obtaining a 'cowle' from the collector, deeming the region as a bird sanctuary where hunting was strictly prohibited in the year. Later, in the year 1962, Madras Forest Act legally accorded the status of a reserve forest to Vedanthangal.

Best Time To Visit Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary

The best time to visit the place from November to March as this is the time when both the native as well as the migratory birds can be seen building and maintaining their nests.

Stay Near Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary

Decent, well-maintained AC rooms are available at the forest guest house at a reasonable price. Meals can be arranged here on request. To avail the facilities, the booking has to be through the Wildlife Warden's office in Chennai or Range Officer, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary.

Tips For Visiting Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary

1. Do not disturb the birds or hurt them in any manner. Causing any harm to them is a criminal offence.
2. This destination is crowded during the weekends, so preferable time to visit would be during the weekdays.
3. The sanctuary is a well-maintained area, do not litter the grounds.
4. Take binoculars available from the counter to view far off birds from the watchtowers.
5. There is an interpretation centre from where you can hire tour guides to obtain adequate information about the birds.
6. Various eateries selling refreshments are available just outside the main gate of the sanctuary. 

How To Reach Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary

The sanctuary is situated around 87 kms from the capital city of Chennai. This distance can be easily covered by taking a bus from Chennai to Padalam junction via Chengalpet. From here, a private cab can be hired to travel the remaining 16 kms.

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