Bannerghatta Butterfly Park

Location: Bannerghatta National Park
Date: Mar 21st 2010
To get there: [Click here for Google Map].
Distance: About 25kms from Bangalore
Trail type: Gravelly road, asphalted in some places. There are cross country paths to reach temples or ponds.
Facilities: Near the national park (about 2kms from the starting pt of the trek) has plenty of road side eating places and a KSTDC restaurant. Constant development is taking place here. Bannerghatta town is bustling, though I have never explored it.

Mar 21st being the 3rd Sunday we decided to tag along for the bird watching outing co-ordinated by Geethanjali. I was giving this the miss since getting the family to the starting point by 6.30am is a task by itself. However, we decided to give it a try and managed to make it just 10minutes late. That was enough to catch the group before they set off.

The trail, she had picked for this month started from the turn-off to the right at the circle in the center of the town. The road was muddy/gravelly and asphalted in spots which is what we walked on. The group was large and so the pace was slow. Suited us fine as my son is 5 and daughter is 9.

We walked for about 2kms along this road. Initially we crossed a village, then a hillock and dry shrub vegetation. In this stretch we were able to enjoy a foraging Hoopoe, a flyby of an Oriental Honey Buzzard, melodious Ashy prinias, Pied Bushchat, Red-Wattled Lapwings, Bulbuls among others.

The road then curved around a stagnant water body where buses were being washed. On the right after that, there were a nice clearing and an inviting stone bench. Kids immediately wanted to open our backpack and have a go at the buns, cakes and biscuits which was our breakfast. It was indeed a fantastic spot as while eating we enjoyed the antics of a Green Bee-eater close by.

Few metres after that, the group was looking to climb a hill to reach a pond and temple. It being already 9am, we decided to head back home instead. Our car-pool group, 3 engineers (Gautham, Gautham and Krupa) and our family decided to check out the Bannerghatta Butterfly park. So, we deviated to take a look. Good decision.

The foliage from the ticket counter to the enclosed building housing the butterflies was great. We got to see Asian Paradise Flycatcher, White-Browed Fantail (could be White-throated as we didn't ID properly) and a large flock of active Small Minivets. Fantastic birding.

The butterfly building was quite good. About 8-9 species could be enjoyed flitting around flowering bushes. At the back they have a museum with display that is quite large and informative. A continuously playing film on butterflies can also be seen.

After spending a couple of hours here, we headed back and were in Jayanagar by noon after a surprisingly easy drive.

Overall the bird trail may have been better enjoyed further down from where we started. The butterfly park is great for kids 4-12. Well worth a stop when visiting the zoo or trekking near this location.

Some more images: