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See Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary in shoestring budget
Oct 01, 2008 04:02 PM 3030 Views

Accessibility:

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Take the bus for Kothamangalam from Ernakulam. In one and a half hour you will reach Kothamangalam. Take Tattekkad bus from here. After 20 mins, the bus will cross the Periar river. As soon as the bus crosses the bridge you have to get down. This is the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary stop. Assuming you started at 14 hrs from Kakanad NGO circle, you may reach Thattekkad by 16:30 at maximum. Cross the road to right side after getting down the bus.


Head for the main gate. There is forest office on right side as soon as you enter the main gate. You have to inform the duty officer about your arrival. He will direct you to a staff that will take you to the dormitory. Do not forget to collect the free pamphlet on Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary from this office. If you are a person who is afraid of darkness and with weak heart, it is advisable not to venture staying alone, as the place gets unusually lonely and aloof in the darkness of the thick jungle which you are not used to in normal life. But it is an experience of it’s own kind.


The dormitory is just a basic accommodation(a paradise in jungle). It has an iron cot, a chair, a fan, and electrical points. There is a caretaker Mr. Chander(Cell: 09745369151) who will look after you well. You have to just call him on his cell, and tell about you requirements of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, mineral water, guide, etc. and he will get these for you in the dormitory itself. There is a canteen also that is run by forest department. It is 5 mins walk from dormitory. It serves south Indian meals for Rs. 15.


But Chander charges a little more…like Rs. 30 for Chapati bhaji, Rs. 20 for mineral water bottle, Rs. 10 for coffee, Rs. 8 for banana. So, if you order anything to Chander, settle the charges first, else you may be in for surprises later on. Next day, chirping of birds will awaken you. Variety of bird calls start as early as 5 hrs. This is best time to see the birds. Visit the Bird Sanctuary with the help of guide. He will easily show you about 100 species through the telescope. Tere are more than 340 species of birds here. The guide charges about Rs. 100. The most reasonable and youngest guide is Mr. M S Sudheesh(Cell No. 09961945117).


Do not venture the sanctuary alone, as its dangerous and you can get lost. There are wild elephants about 3 Kms away from this place. There is a watchtower inside the sanctuary, where rooms are available for Rs. 1500 per day(meals included), and also an independent hut for Rs. 2, 500 per day(meals included) with an attendant-cook. These are by the Peryar river offering good views. You will be required to walk for at least 5 Kms inside the sanctuary so wear proper fitting light colored(preferable with greenish tone) clothing. Avoid bright colored clothing, as it will disturb the birds. Be careful of leeches. They will silently crawl on your legs and you will not feel anything till you return home and see blood stains on your socks.


Thattekkad Bird Snctuary was discovered by Dr. Salim Ali and it was constituted in 1983. Till now about 340 species of birds have been spotted here. Make it a point to see the rare birds like Frogmouth, Purple Heron, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Scarlet Minivet, Flying squirrel, Snake bird, etc. You will be able to cover the sanctuary in 5 hours maximum. So, if you started at 5:00 am, you can return at 10 am. After bath and breakfast you can take rest as you will be very tired. At about 2 pm it is advised to take your chair in the garden area of the dormitory where you can seat yourself and watch various birds visiting the garden between 2:30 to 5 pm.


The rare Malabar Grey Hornbill bird is sure to come here during this time, and you can take close pictures. Stay overnight here or take the afternoon bus to go to Munnar via Kothamangalam. Visit the reception and settle your dues. If you preferred to stay overnight at Thattekkad, take the early next morning at 6:30 / 7: 15 hrs bus to Kothamangalam(Rs. 7). From Kothamangalam you will get many buses to return to Ernakulam. You can even visit Munnar as it is a nearby tourist hill station.


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