Where Wild meets Domestic!
Every once in a while, we root for our animal way of life and feel the need to head back to the company of the wild. That’s probably why zoos were set up. Bannerghatta National Park is on the outskirts of Bangalore, it is amazing that you can drive down to in a little over an hour. Bangalore is small indeed!. The transition from concrete jungle to real jungle, of real trees, grass, birds and animals, comes as an almost shock to the senses.
At Bannerghatta National Park, Savio, his wife Jane and me, set out first on the Grand Safari!!. I found this safari amusing. We were locked in this mini bus with mesh over the windows, and little holes from where you could get pictures, and we drove off to see the sad lions, tigers, bears and deer.
Its summer now and the predominant colour in the landscape is brown. The tigers panted in the receding shade of trees striped bear of their foliage. The lions lay sleeping on their sides in melancholy depression. The Bears walked along the barbed wires, on well worn animal tracks, the bears were probably the worst hit; they had a small enclosure and being a fairly large number, had trodden it to a dust bowl. Most of those in the bus however could not see the sad state of the animals and were lapping up the sight of these large carnivores and herbivores as we drove by.
The highpoint of the safari however came when, to one particularly exciting sight, the decibels in the bus increased sharply and the guide shouted, “No sounding”, he might as well have added the word ‘your horn’ and this instruction sent me in splits :)))))))))
Towards the end of the bus ride we got off the bus at the Butterfly Park, and were glad to leave the ‘sounding’ crowd behind. The butterfly park was an adventure in itself. A Green House, brimming over with all kinds of common flowering plants and yes, hundreds of butterflies. Savio, aspires to be a part time photographer and soon got trigger happy. All the pictures in this post are his, and so you’ll agree that he is getting there, sure and steady :).
Amidst the bright coloured shoe flowers and butterflies was this little gushing stream full of a colourful set of gold fish that swam, back and forth, entertaining the milling crowd. After nearly an hour at the butterfly park, we took a small detour for a quick lunch and then headed straight into the zoo.
Bannerghatta National Park doesn’t have much by way of restaurants and food is sold at a premium, so it’s best you carry your own food and water if you’ve particular about what you eat and how much you pay for it.
The zoo has this large congregation of the wild, from all kinds of birds to a wide range of animals and reptiles by way of snakes and an iguana. What stole the show for me though, were the 3 king cobras! the first I’ve ever seen upfront, the 3 Hippos, they make this awesome grunting sound and the Indian Hornbill with its huge yellow beak, honestly I didn’t know that bird was so large. By the way, the zoo also has this nice huge cage with pelicans and herons and you can actually see some of them building nests high in the iron ribs of the roof.
While the park is reasonably well maintained, I think much needs to be done by way of making it accessible for people with disabilities, especially flattening out areas or putting little mud ramps so that those on wheelchairs can move along.
The zoo is full of benches and little huts that you can open a picnic basket in, but plastics in the zoo are banned and people are checked to ensure they don’t take plastic in. however this does not stop some stupid people throwing stuff at animals. Like we saw one of the Langoors chewing on a plastic pen!
Transport to and from the park is terrific. You have these beautiful Volvos that take an hour and a half from the Majestic bus station and you travel in this great air conditioned bus all for the princely sum of Rs 28!, no jokes J
So go ahead, visit the Bannerghatta National Park J