Vedanthangal – India’s oldest bird sanctuary

by Puru


Jan 23, 2012

So it was the Pongal weekend and I was getting bored with nothing much to do. Then DD suggested that we go to this place called Vedanthangal, around 75 KM from Chennai. When I googled around a bit, was surprised to know that this place was the oldest bird sanctuary in India. More amazing it the fact that it was given the status of a bird sanctuary due to a petition of local villagers who were aghast at seeing British soldiers shooting the birds, way back in 1796! My salute to those early champions of environmental protection!

So it is by their efforts that Vedanthangal today is a flourishing bird sanctuary where migratory birds from the Northern hemisphere come during the winters. It also happens to be one of the most concentrated bird sanctuaries. You will be surprised to see so many birds at the same place, it looked like the Avian Mumbai to me 😛


Birds Birds everywhere

Anyway, since the distance was not too much we decided to go by bike, starting at 6:00 AM. I must say Chennai startled me by its chill, I had never imagined that I will ever shiver in this city. By the time we were outside the city limits, it became so much that I had to ride slow on purpose to keep the chill away.


A typical colony atop a tree

We took the OMR-Pallikarni-GST Road-Vandalur-NH45 and cruised towards our destination, the traffic was sparse. After Chengalpet, the scenery becomes quite good with small hillocks and winding roads. It was by 8:00 AM that we reached the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary, after some help from locals. The place was not pricey, Rs 5 per person and rs 25 for a camera.

Vedanthangal - India's oldest bird sanctuary 1

Bird in flight

The sanctuary is basically a huge shallow lake with trees and mangroves dotting the landscape and a small pathway runs along it for the visitors to see the birds. And did we see the birds! I have never seen so many of them at the same time in my life! There were thousands of them perched on trees submerged in trees that looked like mangroves. Since am nowhere near being an Ornithologist, I couldn’t tell what varieties they were, but I was sure they were from many different species. Being a photographer, I just did what I was supposed to do, capture them with my camera. There were watchtowers and special platforms giving a great view and we appreciated that very much. Have a look at the photographs and let us know if we have done well 🙂


Vedanthangal, a set on Flickr.

Vedanthangal PanaromaVedanthangalVedanthangalVedanthangalVedanthangalVedanthangal-0154
VedanthangalVedanthangalVedanthangalVedanthangalOn way to build a nestVedanthangal-6243
Kids love this placeVedanthangal-6260Vedanthangal-6263Vedanthangal-6265A child trying to scare away a monkeyVedanthangal-6278


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  • Location: Chengalpettu Dist, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Best Season: Winter

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About the Author


Puru is an IT Project Manager from Pune, India and an avid blogger. He is passionate about travel, photography, cinema and books. He blogs on Shadows Galore, Art House Cinema, The Mutinous Indian and Antarnaad.

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