On Monday the 3rd of May I decided to set off for Suvarnamukhi pond in the Bannerghatta national park. This was the same route me and a bunch of friends pathetically failed to find just a few months ago. In our defense I can say none of us were local.
This time I set off alone with the power of Google earth in my hand( its lifesaver trust me, the satellite images show even the slimmest of forest trails. As I left home the rain continued to trickle, I like rainy days, overcast skies makes movement easier, but on the flipside it reduces chances of spotting fauna.
I set off before sunrise around 5.30am, my route was as follows. Yelahanka > (402d) Majestic > (365?) Bannerghatta Circle. I reached the location at about 8.30am.
The route begins at the base of the hill where the temple of Champakadhama stands. Once I was up I knew I had to keep moving south-westwards, find a trail and follow it till I reached the pond.
The Suvarnamukhi pond is the origin of a stream by the same name that runs through the park. The Pond is said to have curative properties and is flanked by a couple of temples. I’ve heard is quiet a popular trek with local families, but the day being a Monday I was rather alone and that’s the way I wanted it.
As far as the sights are concerned the top of the hill gives one a lovely vantage point to the town below. As I moved along the trail brightly coloured lizards (Rock Agamas) kept me constant company, basking on the rocks and doing WWF imitations.
Weighing in at 70grams...RRRROCK AGAMAAAAAA!!!
Most wintering birds head back to their summer fields in the north by this time of the year. I still managed to spot a lone brown shrike, strange. Other sightings included the usual, bee-eaters, wood swallows, swallows, robins etc.
The path itself was easy apart from the initial climb. It was well wooded till after the pond. But that didn’t stop the rising sun from retarding my progress. Another thing I noticed was that the trail was littered close to the pond despite of signs warning visitors against doing so.
For The Record: I didn't heed the warning.
The distance to the pond is about 3.5k. I reached the pond at about 9.30am, rested for a while, soaked my feet (yes! I’m cured yay!!). I decided against heading back so soon or entering any of the temples. Instead I wandered further southwest. About I kilometre later the trail is no more. Instead there is a very pleasant climb in a semi-bare rock face. Carrying a large camera and binocs made the climb a bit annoying, the lizards mocking my clumsiness. But the summit, if you can call it that makes it worth it. It provides a neat overlook of the local fields, forest, roads and ponds.
As the sun rose higher I decided to head back. The walk back wasn’t as enjoyable. I wasn’t the only one wary of the heat, so was the local fauna.
Robber Flies?, An ID would be appreciated.
I then headed towards the National Park for Lunch and after lunch decided to head down to the butterfly park. I assumed it would be a nice place to get a few pics but I was badly mistaken. Not only is the structure somewhat of a ‘greenhouse’, at 12pm the butterflies active, overactive actually, they refuse to sit in a place for more than a couple of seconds making them almost impossible to snap. I soon gave up and moved out of the structure.
The one that didn't get away.
There is a pond at the back of this structure with a short walking path and a couple of benches. On the opposite bank there is a concealed path with a large ditch to the left filled with rain water, this path leads you to the wall of the lion safari, it’s kind of creepy because you can constantly hear them roar somewhere nearby. I doubt visitors are allowed here but I went along anyways (if you visit this space often I’m sure you saw that coming). This area provided some of the best photos of the day and was a perfect end to the trip.
Magpie Robin by the ditch.
...And to round it up, a customary dragonfly image.
Geographical Co-ordinates: 12° 48′ 3″ N, 77° 34′ 32″ E
Map to Suvarnamukhi