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Old 28th January 2015, 01:05   #1
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Arrow Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

My first travelogue thread goes live after so many years of being a part of TBHP. I am excited but also wary of the fact that the travelogues on TBHP have reached a level of excellence and photographs look class apart, I hope I can meet those standards one day. So let the story begin.

Life gave me a chance to switch from work to studies and I came to Bangalore in April 2014. Time flew by very fast and I realized my studies would finish in a couple of months and life had just been too hectic in the last months with just what not at the Indian Institute of Management.

So decided that in the remaining few weeks had to hit the roads as much possible and explore places around Bangalore. I am a biker at heart so was searching for someone who shared the same feelings. The answer came in the form of a friend and fellow classmate Sayan, who was a travel freak himself. Sharing the love of bikes, we decided to hit the roads at the next possible date. We did a ride on our bikes to Yellagiri, covering 360 kms in one day (that will need another travelogue). Impressed and confident about our old 2006 Pulsars, we were ready for more. Exams finished on 20th Jan, enjoyed "Imitation Game" in the night and at 1 AM, get a call from Sayan, and we converse:

Sayan : What plans for tomorrow?
Me: No classes, so gotta plan something!
Sayan: Bike Ride?
Me; Grrriiinnn
Sayan: Where?
We discuss a few places
Me: Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary
Sayan: Done !

Googled the directions as follows:

Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-map_1.jpg

So the plan is set. Camera check, battery check, Bed check and good night to start early. Early is a bad word for me and Sayan equally. Since we knew the distance wasn't much (134 kms one side) and the sanctuary opens at 9 AM, we started around 8 in the morning, only to realise we were the only ones to have a holiday that day. School buses and morning office traffic made life at Bannerghata road hell (People in Bangalore would sympathize). Traversing through the never ending traffic, reached the Shell bunk and topped up the tank, got the air pressure checked and we were ready to 'crawl' again in the traffic. Riding a bike in the traffic often makes me feel, I am only half frustrated than the person sitting in the car - he simply waits and waits for the jam to clear. Anyways, negotiating the traffic finally we reached the NICE road. Time to open the throttle, and in no time the "Pulsars" were screaming at 80-90 kph speeds. We both have a penchant for high speeds but not rash driving. So it was a high speed cruising along the NICE road. An exit to the mysore road, and we hit the ever increasing traffic again. Man! this road has changed, it has more speed breakers than the number of towns and villages in the vicinity.

So speeds got reduced and saving a few good long stretches, the speeds were limited to 70 kph mostly. Craving for breakfast, we stopped at the famous "Rasta Cafe" around 40 km in our journey. I had heard of the place a lot, but probably was at the wrong time, it was empty, with a couple of staff sleeping on the sofas. I was later told that the place gets pretty crowded around midnight since the cafe is open from 8AM to 5AM. Anyways, any place with a hot breakfast and a nice coffee is a blessing for the famished ones. A few 'selfies' later, we hit the road again. Roads were better now (in terms of speed breakers, the tarmac is good all the way). After a small stop for a smoke for Sayan and a coffee for us around 30 km before the town of Srirangapatnam, we reached the right turn for the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. A few kilometers through a broken tarmac, we reach the entrance at 11:00 AM. Got the tickets (parking and entry), parked and we were ready for our escapade.

Ranganthittu is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Karnataka and attracts a lot of Birds during the nesting seasons of Jan to March every year. From painted storks to pelicans, from herons to kingfishers, you can spot a whole lot of varieties of these birds here. Migratory birds flock here to make their nests during these seasons.

The place is quite clean, large parking area and well directioned pathways. The star attraction is a boat tour through the waters of Kaveri around the islands that nest these birds. As you reach the river bank, the chirping of birds will fill the environment. You can spot birds flying around collecting twigs and food for their nests. The water is looks beautiful and the various species of birds make this place a memorable sight.

The boat ride costs Rs. 50 for the common boat and Rs. 1000 for the special boat. I would recommend the special boat ride to everyone. If you are a big group its anyways good, else just talk to everyone who are going to board the common boat and you might get interested people. The common boat ride is only 20 minutes and covers a much shorter area, whereas the special boat ride is around 40 minutes covering the complete expanse. It surely is very satisfying. We boarded the common boat but got others convinced during the journey so took the special boat ride. And it was a good decision. Spotted many birds, their nests, some close up sightings of nesting activity, prying crocodiles and bathing birds. Painted storks , pelicans and open bill storks were a plenty on the islands and watching them fly around, chirping and feeding their young ones was a treat to the eyes.

To cut the long story short, it was an experience I will never forget in my life. A satisfying bike ride, great tarmac to ride on, and beautiful nature to top it all, do you need anything else in life?

Let the pictures do the talking before I narrate the second half of the story to the land of Tipu.

The scenic waters at the sanctuary
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_134.jpg

The beautiful Pelican in flight
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_115.jpg
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The heron
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_119.jpg

Taking the nesting material - Spoon billed Stork
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_120.jpg

The Painted Stork in flight (one of the many that nest here)
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_121.jpg

The nesting herd of birds
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_122.jpg

The mighty crocodile basking in the sun
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_123.jpg

Prying the prey and swimming towards it
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Pelican posing for the camera
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_126.jpg

Forgot the name of this bird, if anyone could help!
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A pelican perched on the tree
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Pelicans feeding the babies
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Black cormorant in their nests
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The pied Kingfisher
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Painted Stork taking a bath
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One of the best pics I could get of an in-flight bird.
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Nests of the Indian Cliff Swallow - its makes nests only on stone ridges like these.
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_140.jpg

Painted Stork in flight
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A stone Plover
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The most striking bird with great colors (again forgot the name - help needed)
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_145.jpg

Flight controls - something we learned well from these beautiful species
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_150.jpg

Flying low to keep prying on the fish etc. in the water
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Another heron perched on the tree
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Avoiding a crash
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_156.jpg

Picking things from the water.
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_160.jpg


Capturing the beautiful birds and well satisfied with the tour, we had a stroll around the place. There are a couple of watch towers (often occupied by dating couples) to enjoy watching birds, but after the mesmerizing boat tour it looked not worth the effort. We were famished again and desperately needed lunch. The sanctuary houses a single canteen sort of restaurant, not many choices there. So we just had a pineapple juice there and headed straight to the highway in search of a good food joint.
Anyone planning to go to Ranganthittu should plan the food accordingly and always have water with you. A bright sun dehydrates you in no time.

Post lunch started our next story to the town of Tipu Sultan. A short trip, but the valor of Tipu and those ancient times of battle made us feel proud to be sitting in the land of such a brave warrior. Enjoy the Birds till then, the Tipu's story will follow in subsequent posts.
Attached Thumbnails
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-ranganthittu_141.jpg  


Last edited by justwheels : 28th January 2015 at 01:16. Reason: To complete some missing parts
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Old 28th January 2015, 14:43   #2
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th January 2015, 14:59   #3
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Superbly written travelogue and even better photography. Will show it to my dad ASAP because he himself is a bird enthusiast. The bird you were asking for is the Indian Pond Heron.
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Old 28th January 2015, 15:15   #4
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

The photographs are simply mindblowing.

I found the Nests of the Indian Cliff Swallow most amazing. What a piece of engineering. Nature really is amazing and wonderful. Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience with us justwheels!

PS. Any chance of more photos?
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Old 28th January 2015, 15:31   #5
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Smile Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Fantastic pics, some of them wall paper worth. Seeing the winged creatures in their habitat is a treat for the sore eyes. Anytime a trip to nature coupled with good roads is the ideal way to down the accumulated stress.

Where are the selfies and the pics of the Pulsars?
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Old 29th January 2015, 10:17   #6
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Thats a wow-stuff.. justwheels.
The captures are too good, and a nicely written log. Yeah keep the pics comin'
I've never been to this place anytime, would like to go soon.
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Old 29th January 2015, 10:22   #7
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Beautiful pictures.

How about a little more information on the camera and lens.
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Old 29th January 2015, 10:45   #8
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Smile Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Superbly written travelogue and even better photography. Will show it to my dad ASAP because he himself is a bird enthusiast. The bird you were asking for is the Indian Pond Heron.
Thanks Petrolhead_neel, the sanctuary is just an ideal place for a bird enthusiast, I am sure your dad will love a visit to this place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
The photographs are simply mindblowing.

I found the Nests of the Indian Cliff Swallow most amazing. What a piece of engineering. Nature really is amazing and wonderful. Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience with us justwheels!
Thanks RedTerrano. Yes you are right about the nests of the Indian Cliff Swallow. They are surely a piece of engineering. I will update the thread with my visit to Srirangapatnam to complete the travelogue soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Fantastic pics, some of them wall paper worth. Seeing the winged creatures in their habitat is a treat for the sore eyes. Anytime a trip to nature coupled with good roads is the ideal way to down the accumulated stress.

Where are the selfies and the pics of the Pulsars?
Thanks ghodlur. Surely a trip to nature is worth every time and money spent. As far as selfies and pics of the pulsars is concerned, I guess sometimes when you are behind the camera clicking beautiful birds, you often forget to click what you have with you. Nonetheless, will post some pics of the pulsars from a different travel (travelogue coming soon)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Thats a wow-stuff.. justwheels.
The captures are too good, and a nicely written log. Yeah keep the pics comin'
I've never been to this place anytime, would like to go soon.
Thanks Ddrive. The place surely warrants a visit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Beautiful pictures.

How about a little more information on the camera and lens.
Thanks bblost. Most of the pics are using D90 - Nikon 70-300mm lens. Some with a D3000 - Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
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Old 29th January 2015, 13:50   #9
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Hi justwheels

Good bird watching and It did remind me of Keladeo Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur.

You got to have knack for birds and their habitats along with good lens & camera.
I think you have both.

Loved them all. D90 & 70-300 is real good combo.

thanks
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Old 30th January 2015, 16:20   #10
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Two of them which you did not recognize are: Pond Heron and River Tern. Nice pics, I specially liked the Pelican in flight. We dont get to see that bird here (Or near about).

Do no want to hijack but if you are interested in photographing birds, come to Pune. We have at least couple of places (Bhigwan and Veer dam) where you can easily spot around 40-50 bird species in a single day

Here is my log of Bhigwan for last 3 years: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...5-updates.html

Last edited by neoonwheels : 30th January 2015 at 16:21.
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Old 30th January 2015, 22:46   #11
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Arrow Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Hi justwheels

Good bird watching and It did remind me of Keladeo Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur.

You got to have knack for birds and their habitats along with good lens & camera.
I think you have both.

Loved them all. D90 & 70-300 is real good combo.

thanks
Thanks Wanderers. Bharatpur undoubtedly is a beautiful place for birds and you get a lot of migratory birds in the season. And yes, D90 and 70-300 is surely a good combo to have. Helps to zoom in a lot and a decent continuous shot speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoonwheels View Post
Two of them which you did not recognize are: Pond Heron and River Tern. Nice pics, I specially liked the Pelican in flight. We dont get to see that bird here (Or near about).

Do no want to hijack but if you are interested in photographing birds, come to Pune. We have at least couple of places (Bhigwan and Veer dam) where you can easily spot around 40-50 bird species in a single day

Here is my log of Bhigwan for last 3 years: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...5-updates.html
Thanks NeoOnWheels. Appreciate your kind words. I read your Bhigwan travelogue, it surely is a place worth visiting. And please feel free to post your pics etc. on this thread, it will only enrich the interaction.
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Old 31st January 2015, 00:53   #12
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

Lovely pictures and thanks for the information on the camera and lens. I have been thinking of doing a trip to Bharatpur for sometime now. Your write up and couple of others on the forum on birds now compel me to visit Bharatpur! Thanks for sharing.

Last edited by Traveller Nayak : 31st January 2015 at 00:54. Reason: language/typo
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Old 3rd February 2015, 23:26   #13
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Continuing the story from where I had left, after an awesome experience of Bird watching at Ranganthittu, it was time to feed the stomach. Ranganthittu is not very well suited for lunch as there is only 1 canteen that serves limited options. Carrying your own food will surely help, specially if you have kids with you. For others, hit the highway back and you can find a few places.

So we did, hit the highway in search of food. Found a Kerala restaurant on the highway near the turn to Srirangapatnam city (opposite an Indian Oil petrol Pump). The place is neat but not lavish. Had Kerala parantha and butter chicken for lunch. Was good in taste and satisfied our taste buds to full.

Once done and charged, we were ready to roam around the Tipu's capital city - Srirangapatnam. A nice city with many relics of Tipu's time scattered across the small town of Srirangapatnam. But the noted ones are the Dungeons, Srirangaswamy temple, an Obelisk and the place where Tipu's body was found. The sun was beating on us and we decided to first visit the temple and the relics around it. The temple has a huge area around it where parking is easy. But the place is very dusty as the whole parking lot is just mud. Being a week day, there was very less crowd, but the temple reopens after 4:30 PM in the afternoon and we had around 30 minutes to walk around before we could enter. So we decided to visit the places of interest around it.

The nearest is the Dungeon (forget the full name of it). It is the place where Tipu used to imprison the British officers who were caught during war or otherwise. The place is two floors below the ground level and surely speaks of the authority that Tipu commanded in his kingdom.

The Dungeon
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-srirangapatnam2.jpg

The inside where the prisoners were chained to the walls
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-srirangapatnam1.jpg


After the dungeon, we decided to walk to the Obelisk. It is a monument that has great significance in the history of Tipu's rule but unfortunately is hugely neglected. Hardly anyone goes to the place seems. The road that leads to it, is completely dilapidated and houses a big government storage house. If you continue to walk past the storage house you will see the obelisk on top of a small ridge/hill. There are no proper walkways to the top and you have to follow the mud path.

The Obelisk (Smarak)
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-srirangapatnam8.jpg

The place interested only we both and a couple of foreigner ladies. The view from the obelisk is beautiful. It is actually on top of the Fort of Tipu Sultan and the remnants of the fort are clearly visible as you climb up to the obelisk platform. Flanked by the Kaveri river in the background, the place is full of history. It is the place, they say, from where Tipu challenged the British Assault on his fort. A beautiful marvel of engineering, you can see how Kaveri's water was used to create lines of defense to stop enemy movement.

The place provides great views of the river, the railway station of Srirngapatnam and the greenery around it. If the sun is high, do take water with you, there isn't anything available here.

Enjoy a few pics of the place:
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-srirangapatnam4.jpg

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After spending a long time perched at the place and talking of the history and how neglected the place looks, we climbed down to visit the Srirangaswamy Temple. The temple is a beautiful monument and attracts devotees and tourists alike.
Some pics of temple:

Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-srirangapatnam16.jpg

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After having satisfied our eyes with these historical monuments, we visited a small monument near the highway which had a board saying "Light and Sound Show". It is small structure which has been fitted with lights and a show is organised in the evening around 7:20 PM. We could not wait till then so just strolled around the place and then headed back to Bangalore.

Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-srirangapatnam26.jpg

A drive in the night on the Mysore highway becomes tricky sometimes as the highway is highly infested with local traffic and is very busy. The scantily marked speed breakers and innumerable towns/villages en-route make bike rides a bit tiring. Nonetheless, we meandered through the tarmac enjoying the cool breeze and small stints of brisk speeds to hit Bangalore by 9:00 PM.

We were fully satisfied with the choice of our places. Ranganthittu and Srirangapatnam are wonderful places and topped with a Bike ride, it was a day well spent. The pulsars had supported us well without any issues and surely needed rest now. Parked them in the garage, and we hit the bed soon.

An amazing trip and a travelogue that hopefully befits the experiences comes to an end. Hope you all enjoyed it with me.

The pic of my Pulsar that held strong through the trip (from a different travel):
Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era-imag0817.jpg
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Old 5th February 2015, 21:01   #14
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

awesome pics and brilliant composition of the frames. which lens btw
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Old 6th February 2015, 10:54   #15
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Default Re: Two Pulsars, Bird Watching and Remnants of the Tipu era

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awesome pics and brilliant composition of the frames. which lens btw
Thanks rav11stars. I use a Nikon D90 with a Nikon 70-300mm and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens. And then some post processing.

OT: I really loved your signature line.
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