BANGALORE: Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is one among 20 important bird sanctuaries in the country and in the district. It is an important tourist place between July and September as this is the period where birds used to come here.
The sanctuary is covered with thick forests with River Tunga flowing through it. Three types of migratory birds – median egret, darter and cormorant – along with local birds come and stay here for three months.
These birds club around the branches of trees, which give a spectacular sight. If you stroll around the place, you will be amazed by the chirping of more than 5000 birds in the sanctuary. On the sandy bank in the middle of nowhere you will enjoy the company of birds and bask in nature’s glory having the rare opportunity to wake up with the rising sun and the call of the birds.
Give it a thought
During every monsoon season, the birds which migrate from far away places to the Mandagadde bird sanctuary, about 30 kms from Shimoga, for procreation, will have to face problems if the water level in Tunga dam reaches 585 ft mark. Nests, eggs and younger birds used to wash away in the flood water every year. But a rehabilitation project planned to rescue the birds from flooding is still on the papers for decades due to lack of coordination between the departments.
The maximum level of the Tunga dam is 588.24 ft and on Tuesday, the water level in the dam was 585.65 ft.
As the government has failed to provide rehabilitation facility to the affected people, the water cannot be stored to the maximum level in the dam.
The bird sanctuary has been facing many problems. Ten years ago, over 30 per cent of birds, nests and eggs in the sanctuary have been washed away in flood water. In 1982, most of the sanctuary has been damaged in the flood water. After this, the number of birds in the sanctuary has come down. But in recent years, more number of birds used to stay here for procreation.
Before you pack your bag
As there are no big hotels present in the Mandagadde tentage should be carried if one is planning a overnight stay. Huge sand covered river side which is at a little distance away from the sanctuary may be used. Mandagadde has quite a number of small hotels, and no lodges.
En route Mandagadde you will see the Dam site at Gajanur and the elephant training camp at Sakrebyle.
Early morning visits to Sakrebyle are the best.
Other places of interest nearby are: Sakrebyle Elephant training camp, Gajanur.
How to watch
You can watch different species of birds by standing on the watch tower of the sanctuary. But it is advisable to seek local help or get the guidance from the Forest Department to identify the bird species and explore the sanctuary. Boats are available for a closer watch.