It was a fine cloudy day of August in Bengaluru. The weather was luring us for a picnic. So without giving a second chance to anyone to change their plans, we left for the Bannerghatta biological park. After a long drive, we took a turn on Bengaluru-Mysore Highway. Driving on Bengaluru-Mysore highway was such a treat. One should be a bit extra careful for the left turn to Bannerghatta, lest you miss the turn in high speed as it happened in our case.
There is also a beautiful bus stand operational since 2011. A number of buses ply from important bus stands of Bengaluru city and thus provides good transportation facilities to the visitors. Finally, we arrived at the Bannerghatta Biological park which is a part of Bannerghatta National Park, near Bengaluru. It was founded in 1970 and declared as a national park in 1974. In 2002 a portion of the park, was declared as a biological reserve, the Bannerghatta Biological Park. The park remains close on Tuesday. On the other days, the zoo remains open from 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. while the safari remains open from 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. After reading rather studying the detailed tariff chart, we decided to go for the jeep safari.
The safari started by entering the gates of herbivore safari. As we moved forward a few hundred meters, we were greeted by a bison, few deer and a black buck. Our tour guide cum driver told us that the animals found in the safari were elephants, Gaur (bison), Sambar deer, Cheetal deer, barking deer, black buck and Nilgai.
Moving ahead, we saw a herd of elephants. There were babies too in the herd. Sighting the largest land mammal in front of us was a wonderful experience.
Next, we entered the bear safari. We have never seen such a large number of bears at one place. As the lunch time for the bears was approaching, all the ferocious mammals were roaming on the road.
Next was the turn to visit the white tiger safari and tiger safari. One white tiger, being ill, was kept in isolation. The tigers were truly royal. They do everything like a king, be it moving, be it resting or even sleeping. The tiger safari houses several Royal Bengal tigers.
It took around 45 minutes to 1 hour to visit all the safaris. After visiting the safaris, we headed to the butterfly park. The entire area was full of number of flowers and variety of butterflies. The butterfly park was opened in 2007. Such a large number of harmless, cute, colourful insects, flying all around us was a rare experience.
There is a butterfly museum too, which enlighten you about a lot many varieties of butterflies, their life-cycle, their colour pattern, habitat etc. They also run a short documentary film on butterfly’s life-cycle. Visiting the butterfly park in detail, we moved to our final destination, the zoo.
Till this time of the day, we started feeling hungry. So, we had some snacks there in a kiosk. Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation limited (KSTDC), is running a hotel, Muyura Vanashree, adjacent to zoo. There is also a restaurant namely the Hill View Restaurant within the zoo premises. Visitors can have their lunch and other refreshment in these hotels too. There are many refreshment kiosk inside the zoo premises.
Although the zoo was not very big but since there were kids and senior citizen with us so we took a buggy service (battery operated vehicle) for visiting the zoo. All the electrical carts are being driven by women drivers, which is a good initiative in the direction of women empowerment.
The first cage belongs to a zebra with it’s kid, followed by a 3 and a half year old giraffe.
Next were the cages of the bear, tiger, lion, panther, wild dogs, fox, hyena, owl, birds of different varieties and origins, porcupine, monkeys etc.
The boat ride of 30 minutes duration was also available, at a charge of Rs. 50/- per person but till now, everyone of us got tired, so we concluded our excursion and decided to return with a lot many sweet memories. It was a great day indeed, full of joy and fun. Although, we all were tired physically but recharged mentally. A day well spent amidst nature and wild life.