I visited Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary last Saturday after attending one training at CMC Vellore. If you want to know about the bird sanctuary, search in Google and you’ll get more information than the ‘Vedanthangalites’. There are photos in Google Image and videos in Youtube too. But nothing can compare to the experience of actually visiting the place.
|Info. Click to enlarge and read|
|The bird droppings mixed with the lake water is believed to act as fertilizer|
Surely we Indians have a lot to improve in hygiene and sanitation. The crowded bus I boarded was smelly I wondered what it would be like in summer with all the humidity. I wished I had taken a taxi from Chennai although that could have cost me dearly. The idea that I had about Vedanthangal as I looked from the map was that it was a fast and happening town with lots of tourists, good shops and hotels. I planned to have lunch there and try to take a taxi for my return journey. But as we took the diversion from the main road, the road was heading deeper into the jungle with no sight of human habitation. And to my surprise, there are just a couple of small shops and no hotels. 'No lunch today' I told myself. There was hardly any vehicle; forget taxi, 'how do I go back?' Have I been misled. Did the guy who recommended Vedanthangal actually visited it himself or he simply heard about it?
I asked where the bird Sanctuary is; by then doubting if there is even a sanctuary. There was a counter to book tickets. 'Hmmm. So at least there is something to see'. As I entered the gate, there were sign boards of birds but still no sight of any real bird. 'Will I ever see one?' I don’t have a binocular and I don’t have trained eyes to spot and name any bird. 'Have I wasted my time coming here?' There was no human being in sight and I felt like a fool. Then I spotted one white one. After a few seconds ahead, some more. Then, my God, lo and behold, there were so many birds and my heart jumped!! Oh my goodness, there were so many of them. 'I have not been fooled. I’m blessed'.
|Since 18th Century..declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1972|
I rushed up the watch tower and there it was, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, spread out for me. For me. I was clicking and clicking. That was when I realized that a 5 optical zoom camera isn’t good enough even if it boasts of having 16 megapixels in a low budget camera. I decided, 'No pictures for a moment. Let it sink in'. 'Internalize the beauty that is there before you', I told myself. It was a spiritual experience.
|Ornithologists' Paradise. Area of about 30 hectares|
One visitor asked me to stay till evening because that is when much more will come home to sleep. Another asked me to come in December because that is the best time to visit. But I didn’t miss much I believe as the season to visit is said to be from November to March.
Most importantly, I got what I went there for: