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Old 17th June 2013, 12:13   #1
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Default A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Having started school, the kid was getting restless on the weekends. And I was itching for a drive somewhere close-by. So, we decided to visit Bannerghatta National Park on Sunday.

A quick review

The drive to the Park was excellent. We left around 9:30AM and reached there by 10:15. We went through NICE road paying the 30Rs one way toll. Its always a pleasure to zip through NICE road and we were at the National Park quickly. I'd recommend people on the Sarjapur Road / ORR / Whitefield area to do this. Its easier than bouncing through BTM / Bannerghatta road.

Once we reached, we paid the parking charges of 20Rs and entered the park. The parking lot is a bit of a drive but the lot is well laid and maintained. Being early, it was easy to get a good spot. (Do try to park under one of the sparingly few trees on the lot). From the parking lot, the ticket counters are about 150 meters. There are no boards pointing the way towards the ticket counters. Its all intuitive Indian path-finding at its best.

The queues were just building up and we were able to get our tickets in a few minutes. The fees are

Grand Safari + Zoo = 210 Rs / adult and 40 (I think) per child
Camera - 25 Rs

The Safari was good. The safari van was reasonably clean (maybe its the first trip). The driver didn't rush through when he spotted animals. Would move the van a bit forward so that people in the back can also get a good view (and photos). The assistant was also helpful to capture some photos where its difficult to get from the side windows. Pretty good guys. The safari lasts for about an hour.

Once the Safari gets over, they point you in an obscure direction shouting "Zoo! Zoo!" .. we headed that way and ended up back in the parking lot. We finally figured out that we need to go back to the same entry gate and re-show our tickets. Then they let you in and now you turn right (instead of taking the left at the entry gate for the Safari) to go to the zoo. The zoo is well maintained and they do have some shops inside as well to catch a bite if hungry. We took most of the stuff we wanted with us.

The zoo is quite big and you can walk it with a couple of breaks. We have a 2 1/2 year toddler who was all excited but ran out of steam after an hour or so. When he gathered steam again (from his snack), we were kinda tired. The zoo exhibits are pretty good and its easy to see the animals. Do watch out for the monkeys. They hang around the zoo freely without anyone to keep watch over them. The first section are all reptiles and we couldn't see any of the snakes etc. So, we skipped to the back of the zoo where the elephants, zebras, leopards are kept. There are some exotic birds as well (macaws, parrots etc.)

If you walk all the way to the back, there's another gate which ends up at a lake. And there's boating going on there. For 50 Rs, they let you take a paddle boat around for half an hour. I think its a complete rip-off. Please do not do this unless you are a romantic nut who thinks being in the middle of the lake paddling away like a dog while trying to whisper (or wheeze) sweet nothings to your SO is your thing. I saw a few doing this and had a good laugh.

We finished the zoo by 1:30 PM and were home by 2:30 PM. So it was the perfect Sunday outing where we could come home and rest for a while as well.

Here are some pics. Taken using a Sony HX20V (Program Auto - Pop color setting used for most photos)

The deer - the first thing you get to see in the Safari. There are a lot of them just roaming around.

A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park-dsc00792.jpg

This bear didn't want to show us his face. I think he was more inclined to get his breakfast.

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A lioness. Pretty good looking one too. Was sharpening its claws on the tree.

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The male lion. Completely disinterested in the surroundings. Just walked towards us and then turned around and sauntered away into another clearing.

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Another lioness peeking out of the grass.

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A beautiful tiger. He/she was very close to our van. Came within a few feet, jumped into a small ravine and walked away.

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White tiger!! Amazing that they are still able to keep these alive even after their numbers are dwindling.

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The white tiger did put up a good show, walking around, jumping a bit and then walking away. The swagger on the tigers are unmistakable "you're here in my place. I am letting you live. thank you and goodbye"

A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park-dsc00829.jpg

This tiger was just lounging around. My kid "papa.. does tiger have fever?" "err.. no..its just lying around" "oh.. get up, TIGER!" haha..

A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park-dsc00831.jpg

"Art photography"! lulz.. (I have no clue about photography other than point and shoot.. just sharing this! )

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Primates. Domesticated, of course!

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On to the zoo... we see these beautiful white peacocks. Absolutely stunning.

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Snack break - having never given him junk food, he was all smitten by the chips. He doesn't know that would be his last Lay's chips for a while.

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The Honorable Home Minister and I.

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The lake I mentioned above. looks like my son's thinking "really, we got a bigger lake in the back of our house than this one...maybe I should get a few paddle boats in there..

A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park-dsc00878.jpg

Elephants - as usual, once the crowd gathered, the mahout decided to make some quick bucks. Someone would give him 10rs and he'd make the elephant bless the child. Our kid - absolutely refused to be within 10 meters of the pachyderm. On the way back though he sings "Elly, the elephant.. " arrghhh!!

A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park-dsc00880.jpg

Zebra - he got super excited about this. He's got a few DVDs that show rhymes with zebras dancing etc. and boy, was he hooked. Took us some time to get him out of there.
A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park-dsc00884.jpg

And.. the end. Pretty fun trip and definitely would do again. Parents with toddlers, a few quick tips

1. Kids get pretty hungry when they are doing these activities. We under-estimated our kids' hunger. Once we fed him, he was ok. We kept giving him snacks and juices to keep him going. So, pack their favorite meal.

2. Try to get a stroller in there even if your kid is a bit grown up. Easier than them trying to walk the entire area.

3. Bring your own water. The water sold there looks mighty suspicious

4. Go early. By the time we got out, there was quite a crowd by the ticket counters.

Let me know if you have any queries.
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:28   #2
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th June 2013, 11:51   #3
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
Having started school, the kid was getting restless on the weekends. And I was itching for a drive somewhere close-by. So, we decided to visit Bannerghatta National Park on Sunday.
Thanks for a nice write-up and pics.

I'm a little confused. Some of the animals like elephants, zebra are caged, but the big cats seems to be in the open. There's a mention of a zoo as well as a safari ride which is usually when wild animals are out in the open. So what is the real picture? Can you shed some light on this? Thanks.
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Old 18th June 2013, 12:04   #4
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavy Horse View Post
Thanks for a nice write-up and pics.

I'm a little confused. Some of the animals like elephants, zebra are caged, but the big cats seems to be in the open. There's a mention of a zoo as well as a safari ride which is usually when wild animals are out in the open. So what is the real picture? Can you shed some light on this? Thanks.
There is a Safari where Lions and Tigers are in the open. Its actually a very big fenced forest area (not really wild open). There is a adjoining Zoo near the entrance also where other animals are kept.

I find it amusing that the Safari vehicles are very secure for these not so wild animals. On the other hand the Safari in actual forests (like Bandipur) use open vehicles. Not sure who is afraid of who

Last edited by srishiva : 18th June 2013 at 12:06.
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Old 18th June 2013, 12:46   #5
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

@Mad_max - Didn't you check out the butterfly park?

Last edited by GTO : 18th June 2013 at 13:25. Reason: STRICTLY no SMS language please. Correcting
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Old 19th June 2013, 23:06   #6
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Nice thread, By the way,
My dad is a superintendent in Bannerghatta National Park and that makes it obvious that he gets special access to animals and restricted areas of safari.
I have been there so many times that i cannot remember the count, But to people who wants to know more about this place, There is a rescue center inside safari, where they usually take care of breeding, medication and has enclosures for newly bought animals, especially big cats.
There is a small lake where they take elephants for bath and watertainment,
jungle lodge is available for those who wish for a night stay and they provide food and campfire, If you go in large group, like 10 to 15 members, you can ask for V.I.P bus where a whole safari bus will be give to the group and they "might" make a stop at rescue center if you request the driver.
Totally this is the only place nearer to Bangalore one needs to go if they are bored of concrete jungle and need some touch of nature with wild animals.
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Old 20th June 2013, 09:17   #7
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Nice compilation there, Mad Max.
Your kid looks very cute in the pics. This took me back to my childhood days - always used to look forward to visiting the zoo

The pics of the wild cats came out quite well. Banerghatta seems to be full of absolutely lush greenery. Never visited the park all thorough my college time in Bangalore. The pics make me wish I had

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 20th June 2013, 10:46   #8
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Here are a few pics which are rare for common visitors to Bannerghatta National Park.
Courtesy: My Dad
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Old 20th June 2013, 11:26   #9
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Bannerghatta has a total area of more that 25,000 acres and it said that the forest goes so deep that it joins some green belts of Tamilnadu and few elephants migrate such distances during mating season and rarely, leopards are also found near some parts.
There are many hill views, and observatories that are not allowed for visitors of safari or park,Only officials pay visit to keep a check on green belt and any animal casualties due to hunting or diseases.
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Old 20th June 2013, 11:27   #10
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahven View Post
Here are a few pics which are rare for common visitors to Bannerghatta National Park.
Courtesy: My Dad
You are the right person to take us to areas where common people are not allowed .

I would like to be near wild cats when they are feeding it with beef and of course with safety measures. That is one sight i would love to watch. I still remember the way the wild cats gets aggressive and fight for the food.

We travel to dubare forest just to experience the elephant snaps which you have posted.

Let us know if its possible.

Last edited by brraj : 20th June 2013 at 11:44.
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Old 20th June 2013, 12:26   #11
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Quote:
Originally Posted by brraj View Post
You are the right person to take us to areas where common people are not allowed .

I would like to be near wild cats when they are feeding it with beef and of course with safety measures. That is one sight i would love to watch. I still remember the way the wild cats gets aggressive and fight for the food.

We travel to dubare forest just to experience the elephant snaps which you have posted.

Let us know if its possible.
I just gave a serious thought about having a small Team-BHP meet in the wild when i saw this thread, But we need to make it in a small group of around 15 members when its not crowded during a weekday.Visit to Rescue center(where animals are kept in rehabilitation, circus animals rescued , breeding and treatments are done), observatories, Lake and pretty long stops near big cats will be possible.
Im going to collect all the details that i can soon.
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Old 20th June 2013, 14:31   #12
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

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I just gave a serious thought about having a small Team-BHP meet in the wild when i saw this thread,
Post it in Quick bangy meets thread once you are ready.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-b...alore-310.html (Quick Meets at Bangalore)

Quote:
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But we need to make it in a small group of around 15 members when its not crowded during a weekday.
Make it first come first serve basis.
If on weekdays ready to take leave aswell.
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Old 21st June 2013, 13:48   #13
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

brraj - We couldn't do the Butterfly park. 3 year old kid has only so much energy! And parents too..

Would love to visit the rehabilitation center as well. Would be great to lend a helping hand to the hard working compassionate people taking care of these animals.
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Old 21st June 2013, 13:59   #14
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

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Let me know if you have any queries.
Nice log there ! Did you try the butterfly park? Its on the other side of bus stand. But a very nice place to visit too.
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Old 13th September 2013, 21:58   #15
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Default Re: A walk in the Park - Bannerghatta National Park

Sharing some pics from Butterfly park for those interested

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I found butterfly park to be very special and my little kid could hold the butterflies in hand. Also another point worth noting is that they are breeding only the local butterflies than going for some jazzy foreign ones.

NOTE: many visitors try to hold the butterflies with their wings. That is really bad for the butterflies and i see many dead/injured butterflies. If we do not make sudden movements and place our fingers near the flowers, butterflies naturally sit on our fingers.

Last edited by rajshenoy : 13th September 2013 at 22:00.
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