Kokkare Bellur Travel Guide– Winged angels have always fascinated me. Whenever I hear their chirp, my eyes start looking for them and many times I get only audio without a visual treat. So I was always on the lookout for a place where I can get a good sight of birds and listen to their voice too.
I have visited places like Ranganatittu, Karanji Lake to satisfy my soul. Recently I got lucky to get a chance to visit Kokkare Bellur. I was very much excited to visit the place and meet kokkare clanor painted storks and pelicans.
KOKKARE BELLUR BIRD SANCTUARY
Painted storks, pelicans, Ibis, and Heron are some of the species of birds that come to Kokkare Bellur every year. They come in large numbers and nestle in a limited area around the town. River Cauvery flowing close by provides feed for the birds.
Painted storks are big in size, white-colored with light pink bordered feathers are basically the residents of wetlands around the Himalayas. They migrate to lay eggs and stay till the young ones can fly. They prefer freshwater bodies and pick particular trees.
Pelicans are smaller in size compared to painted storks, come in flocks, and live comfortably with storks. Along with these two major visitors, one can sight ibis and herons also.
KOKKARE BELLUR LOCATION & ROUTE
Kokkare Bellur is situated in the Maddur taluk of Mandya District in Karnataka. It is situated at a distance of 70 km. from Mysore and about 88 km. from Bangalore.
Starting from Mysore, there are two routes. First one traveling on the Bangalore-Mysuru highway and taking a deviation after Maddur. The other one passes through Malavalli to reach the Kokkare Bellur. I prefer the Malavalli route as the road passes through a lot of greenery to feast the eyes and less traffic adds to the attraction.
If you are traveling from Bangalore, take the Bangalore-Mysuru highway and take a deviation before Maddur.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
We had the information that birds can be sighted from Mid-January onwards. So we made our first visit during the first week of January. There were very few birds on 2-3 trees. It was a nice sight which made us curious and check when we can see more of them.
The locals told us that more birds will arrive by mid-January. They also told us that when they are in huge numbers they will walk on streets along with people.
We again visited during the first week of February and could sight many birds on trees. Though they were not in huge numbers, we could sight them on many trees. We could watch them resting, playing, flying which was very beautiful and interesting. But the number was not as much as we expected.
It was a wonderful sight to see them comfortably resting on huge trees in groups. We also sighted some black ibis around the small water body.
We reached the place around 11 am. Maybe they will be more in numbers during the mornings as they go fishing to feed the young ones. Eagerly waiting for one more chance to visit this place when birds will be in abundance.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT KOKKARE BELLUR
During my first visit, I was expecting something like a waterbody, a landscaped park with huge trees around and in the center of the water body there will be birds, there will be a place where we can sit for hours and watch them. I was expecting something like Ranganathittu. But the scene here is totally different.
There is no place marked for the birds or the bird watchers. There are huge trees on which you can find the birds. You will have to look for them all around the place. The place is not huge and you can find them easily. There is no place to sit and watch, you have to stand and watch them.
Look for the trees with white shade in the bottom and if you look up you will find flocks of birds. There is a small pond with some trees where you can find Ibis.
If you are looking for some landscaped garden with a restaurant amidst nature to watch the birds, you will be disappointed. No such developmental activities are done here. The reason is to keep the natural environment which the birds love, intact and not spoil nature for our comforts.
The locals are very proud and happy about the birds visiting their place and provide a comfortable atmosphere for them. Some local people go to the extent of taking care of the young birds if they fall accidentally.
You have to stand in open places and watch the birds in their natural forms.
WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE HEADING OUT?
- This place is only for those who love birds and would love to watch them without disturbing them.
- Better if you visit early in the morning, to sight more birds.
- No eateries/hotels are available at Kokkare Bellur, so finish your breakfast/ lunch at Malavalli or Maddur.
- Carry binoculars to get a better sight of the birds and cameras to capture their beauty.
- Do not leave anything like plastic, water bottles, etc. in this place.
- Public transport may not suit the timings, so better to travel in your own vehicle.
There is an information center within a walkable distance. There is a small museum where photos and information about birds are displayed. The person in charge was kind enough to give us information about the birds. It is not a big museum but has some information and a nice place.
HOW MUCH TIME NEEDED?
If you are interested in just seeing the birds about an hour is sufficient. But if you want to watch them, you can spend as much time as possible here.
The nearest place where you can stay in Maddur. Mandya has some decent hotels and lodges. Bangalore-Mysore High way has plenty of hotels. Mysore is well known for tourism and you can find all types of hotels suiting all budgets here.
Visitors who love nature, greenery, and peace should opt for Mysore to stay rather than Bangalore.
NEARBY PLACES TO VISIT
Ranganathittu is an ideal pick for bird lovers which is worth visiting. But birds are in abundance here from October to January.
You can trek Kunti Betta, visit Tonnur Lake which is near Pandavapura. Do not forget to visit ‘Alemane or jaggery making units. Do taste and buy some fresh jaggery at a most economical rate here.
KRS is a good option if you have kids with you, which should be visited during the evening to enjoy the colorful light and water combination.
Those who are interested in history and temples can visit Srirangapatna, Nimishamba Temple, Karighatta temple. Karighatta is a small hillock atop which is a small temple. The view you get to see while climbing the hill is awesome.
There are a lot of other places like Balmuri Falls, Chunchughatta Falls, Gaganachukki-bharachukki falls, and so on. You can pick places based on the availability of time and weather.
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