Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary Chennai

Location: Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, India
Area covered: 30 hectares
Major Wildlife Attractions Birds
Best time to visit: November to mid March
Places To Stay Forest Rest House

About Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Vedanthangal Bird SanctuarySituated close to the small town of Padalam in Kanchipuram district, Vedanthangal is the oldest water sanctuary in India. The place was granted legal protection in 1798 and recognised as a sanctuary in 1936. Further in 1962, the Madras Forest Act accorded it the status of a reserve and was upgraded to a wildlife sanctuary in 1972 by the Wildlife Protection Act.

The sanctuary is close to both Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram, both of which make a good evening getaway. The place is a paradise for people looking to experience the countryside added with a dose of excitement of wildlife. The place also makes a good spot for a lazy evening stroll.

Wildlife Attractions in Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
As you enter the gates of the sanctuary, the sight of numerous trees flocked by birds busy in their chirping and chatting catches your attention. The migratory birds as if packing their luggage before flying off to their permanent habitats thousands of miles away. The birds here are accustomed to the visitors and are not afraid to venture quite close to them.

Prominent among the birds found in the sanctuary are Painted Stork, Cormorant, Egret, Spoonbill, Oriental Darter, White Ibis, Grey Pelican, Grebe, Sandpiper, Shoveller, Tern, Open Billed Stork and Pin Tailed Duck. The migratory birds which include Brahminy Kite, Booted and Short Toed Snake Eagle, Montagu's and Eurasian Marsh Harriers, come from as far as Australia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Vedanthangal Bird SanctuaryIt is an excellent place to spend some quite hours watching birds go about their daily routine. There are paved paths dotted with watchtowers and benches that are especially good for bird watching. The birds are best viewed if they do not notice the visitors. It is advisable to sit in a quite corner without making any noise and observe the birds.

Other Attractions

Karikili Bird Sanctuary
Another great retreat for ornithologists, Karikili is situated just 9 km from Vedanthangal on the Uttaramerur road. It is better to spend a night at Vedanthangal and reach Karikili by early morning, the best time for bird watching.

How to Get There
By Air : Chennai is the nearest and most convenient airport, connected by daily Indian Airlines flights from Delhi (6:40, 10:15, 16:45 & 19:00), Mumbai (7:05, 9:20, 11:45, 18:10 & 20:30), Bangalore (8:30) and Kolkata (14:30 & 18:10).

By Rail : Chengalpattu is the nearest railhead. Delhi is conveniently connected through the Thirukkural Exp. (6:00, Sat) & T N Smprk Krnti (7:25, Tue, Thu) while Mumbai through the Madurai Exp. (00:15, Fri) & Nagarcoil Exp. (12:05, Tue, Sat). Daily trains running Chennai-Chengalpattu include the Nellai Exp. (21:00), Kanyakumari Exp. (17:30), Pandian Exp. (21:30), Pearl City Exp. (18:30), Anantapuri Exp. (19:30) & Rock Fort Exp. (22:30).

By Road : To travel by road from Chennai, take the national highway no. 45 to Chengalpattu and head south towards Padalam junction. A right turn here will lead to the sanctuary road. The sanctuary can also be accessed from other nearby towns of Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram, but the road is not very well maintained. State transport buses ply between Chennai and Chengalpattu, the best option however would be to travel in your own four wheeler or hire a taxi from Chennai.

Distances from Major Cities
Chennai : 86 km (SW)
Chengalpattu : 30 km
Delhi : 1784 km
Bangalore : 29 km

Travel Tips/Important Information

* You can get fruits, tea, soft drinks and snacks just outside the sanctuary.
* There is an interpretation centre at the park gates from where guides can be hired.
* It is better to plan a weekday tour as it gets very crowded during weekends.
* Park charges are Entry Fee : Rs. 5, Camera Fee : Rs. 25, Parking : Rs. 10
* Sanctuary timings are from sunrise to sunset.
* Carry along a pair of binoculars, a bird book and a camera with zoom lens to enhance your experience.