This post is about a wildlife reserve which is not known to many people though it is not too far from Bangalore. I am talking about the Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve at Maidenahalli which is around 100 odd kms from Bangalore.I read about this place first in Rohini’s Blog sometime last year. A few weeks back we decided to go on a day trip to some nearby place as it had been quite some time since we did such a trip. Nagesh wanted to go to a birding/wildlife place. We remembered Maidenahalli and decided to go there. What seemed the most challenging aspect was the route.
- We started from home on a Sunday morning around 8.30. The plan was to have breakfast at Dobbaspet. We managed to reach the Davanagere Benne Masala Dose joint opposite Dobbaspet Police Station by 10 and enjoyed some dosas! We got the delicious Thatte Idly packed for lunch as Maidenahalli or nearby areas do not have any eating options. The nearest town is Madhugiri.
- After the left turn turn for Devarayanadurga where we have been previously, the road was not that good. The greenery on both sides of the road compensated for the bad road.
- We passed through Koratagere and the majestic fort of Madhugiri perched on the second biggest Monolith in Asia came into sight. What a place to build a fort! After the town of Madhugiri you need to take a left turn after about 1 km on the road to Hindupur. This road had a board indicating the black-buck reserve. This road leads to Puruvara.
- After crossing the village you have to go on the I D Halli Road past the villages of Badakanahalli and Giregowdanahalli. About 1.5 kms from here there is a board on the right side of the road indicating the reserve. From here a mud road starts which goes into the reserve. We reached here around 1 PM.
We were greeted by kids at the gate of the reserve shouting cheerfully that there were no black-bucks in the reserve. The terrain had changed gradually once we crossed Puruvara. This was plain land territory. The beautiful skies added a magical touch to the scenery. We spotted some Green bee-eaters and Drongoes flitting nearby.
As we moved forward the government IB came into view. The caretaker Mr.Murthy came to us and said that he would come with us in our car to show us the black-bucks. According to him, we were pretty late in reaching there as the blackbucks do not come out after early morning as the farmers in the adjoining lands start their work and the black-bucks keep away from humans. He suggested that we come back again for camping. Early morning would be ideal to watch the black-bucks in action as well as foxes and birds. The IB has basic facilities only and food is not available there.
He soon spotted a herd of blackbucks in the distance. They started watching us warily and ran away pretty soon. Nagesh managed to get a few record shots and one very good shot of a leaping blackbuck.
However this did not feel satisfactory. We decided to come back some other time for overnight camping. We went back to the IB and had our lunch. We spotted some Rufous Shrikes, Large Grey Babblers, Brahminy Starling and Common Iora.
On getting out of the gate of the reserve we spotted a Black Winged Kite with lizard. Our trip had ended well!
Thank you for the excellent narrative, and giving a flavor for what to expect. We are planning a day trip out to Maidenahalli today, and thanks to your article, we are starting at 5AM from Bangalore. Hope to have a good time and some good black buck sightings, and will post an update / pictures once we are back.
Thank you for the nice words. I recently heard that the forest department has clamped down on visitors and aren’t letting anyone into the reserve now. This has happened in the last few days due to some miscreants acting up a few days back :| How was your trip? Did you have trouble getting in?