Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore


Located on the outskirts of Bangalore, Bannerghatta National Park promises a retreat from the chaotic city life, a rendezvous with nature. It boasts of 25,000 acres of zoological park that includes a Tiger and Lion Reserve, a Butterfly Park and a zoo. Owing to the close proximity to the IT capital of India, it has emerged as a very popular tourist attraction. One of the main attractions is the Grand Safari conducted by KSTDC which includes lion, bear and tiger safari and lasts for one hour.

Leopard, Bannerghetta National Park

I recently had an opportunity to try the Grand Safari and will say I am disappointed. I really felt sad at the sorry state of the animals. At the onset, I had imagined the animals in a more natural habitat while the safari progressed in a caged vehicle (that's how I would describe the mesh covered mini-bus that took us through the safari). But it seemed more like a big zoo with wider enclosures. The animals seem more domesticated than wild. There is no thrill or adventure that you normally expect from a jungle safari.

Wild Buffalo, Bannerghatta National Park

It may have been the wrong time of the year (summer is quite unforgiving in India), but the first thing I noticed was the predominantly brown landscape. In the herbivore enclosure, the deers were feeding on cut grass provided by the park attendants. The bears looked quite lost walking along the barbed wire fence with the unrelenting sun bearing down mercilessly. The only available refuge in the vicinity were small buildings made of brick and mortar like you see in a zoo. The lions looked forlorn in the receding shades of trees stripped bare of its foliage. A white tiger was lying in one of the small pools of water in a desperate bid to cool off the heat. But with such low level of water, I wouldn't be surprised if the water became boiling hot in sometime.

White Tiger, Bannerghetta National Park

The park attendants in the safari vehicle seemed courteous and waited for everyone to take pictures of the animals. But at times, I felt, they were a bit too obliging. On one occasion, the driver parked the bus next to a bear and started calling out to it loudly so that it may give a better pose for the photographers. No one in the safari seemed to mind this. Instead, everyone seemed more excited at the opportunity to click more pictures. It was sad to see the animals didn't exhibit any of their natural instincts. These animals are in a rather sorry state, reduced to mere performers put on a show for entertaining the visitors.

Ostrich, Bannerghatta National Park

We event went on a stroll through the zoo and found it over-crowded with visitors. The whole place had an aura of ill-maintenance. The cages were not very well-kept and the animals didn't look much healthy.

King Cobra, Bannerghatta National Park

Well-connected by bus services, even air-conditioned Volvo buses, that ply between the city of Bangalore and the park, the park seems to be doing well with huge number of daily visitors. However, major improvements are needed in maintenance of the zoo as well as providing a better and more natural habitat to the animals in the reserves. The wilderness may just help them get back their missing wild side.

Crocodile, Bannerghatta National Park

65 comments:

  1. Stunning photos!
    I especially like the white tiger :)

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  2. Your story is a sad one, and, unfortunately, a common one. But your photography, as always, is top-notch.

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    1. It's really sad that such occurrences are now quite common. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Awww my heart goes out to these caged animals, it's so sad to actually see what these animals must endure, they're not living, merely surviving. You've captured the realness of what these animals experience, as sad as they are you did an amazing job of tugging at my heart strings.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head when you say, these animal are just surviving.

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  4. Yeah, truly a sad story. Your photos are stunning though, Remo. :)

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  5. Lovely pics Remo! I also felt disappointed on my visit.

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    1. Maybe we have just too much expectation. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Breathtaking shots!!! Well done!

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  7. Your stunning photographs are not the subject here. Its rather the abject misery of the subjects of your photographs. What to expect of a race that is hell bent on ravaging its own kind? Its a joke to expect sympathy for poor animals from us humans. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. I find lot of people share similar views. But still don't seem to change for the better.

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  8. Wonderful shots. It is sad to know that they are not really free.

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  9. Things came to know by your write up is really sad but apart from this all pictures are just outstanding...

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  10. Definitely sad, zoos on one hand can become the only way for certain species to thrive...but on the other hand, is it really living if the animals are kept in such confinement?

    Your photos, while beautiful - as are the animals themselves - definitely express the sort of listlessness felt by these creatures.

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    1. is it really living if the animals are kept in such confinement?
      I guess that's a big question.

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  11. nice captures... could you see lion cubs?

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    1. Unfortunately, I was too upset after going around the zoo for sometime and decided to leave from the place. It's possible there are lion cubs though I didn't see any.

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  12. Great pics! This compels me to visit Bannerghata next time I'm in B'lore.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thank you for appreciating the pictures. Do make a visit and write about the place. I hope with more public awareness, the condition of animals in the park may improve.

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  13. ive been to this place in the recent past and I have similar thoughts to share. the grand safari in itself was a bad experience. the bus that took us was a ksrtc mini bus converted to use in the park. it made so much of noise while climbing the small hilly area, i wonder aint there any rules regarding decibels in so called biological park!! no greenery - yes. driver/guests disturbing animals -yes. in the bus i got a feel that seeing these animals in zoo was a better idea than the safari itself. there was no scope for photography anyways with the way they have covered the windows of the bus! i seriously dont think these animals wud do any harm to any one even if walk through the park :(

    but then my thoughts were proven wrong when i saw the zoo! the safari was proved to be worth the money cos the zoo was no more than a picnic spot for many! i saw crowd at every nook and corner forming groups and having lunch in the perfect picnic - style carpets! it was a sad experience! the only breather was the butterfly park! i din see a snap on the butterfly park, din u go there?

    and which lens bro? came out quite well!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I was too upset after spending some time in the zoo and left. Didn't check the Butterfly park.

      I used Canon 70-200 mm for these pictures.

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  14. It was a good experience to read the articles and contents on this site.
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    1. Thank you Nona. Good to know you liked the post.

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  15. Finally got around to your review. You can find it here.

    http://luciferhouseinc.blogspot.in/2012/06/tryst-with-shutter-bug.html

    Sorry for the delay. Was caught up in office work and giving expression to some of my own ideas on my blog.

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    Replies
    1. Loved the review. Thanks for taking time to go through it. Really appreciate it. Will get to ironing out some of the issues once I get some bandwidth.

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  16. Thoroughly enjoyed the post and the pictures. Have been to the park several times over the years and each time I get there, the animals look in a condition worse than the previous time.

    Very sad to look at the last picture of a crocodile. That is, even if it can even be called that looking at his state.

    Cheers,

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    1. Welcome to my blog. Glad you liked the post. It is indeed a sad state of affairs. What could have emerged as a treasure trove of nature's bounty, close to a bustling city, has been allowed to fall to a depressingly deplorable state.

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  17. Awesome blog. This is my first visit to your blog. Crocodile died tear on my eyes. Sad to see that.

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    1. Welcome to the blog Latha. Good to know you like the blog. The condition of the animals wasn't that great. But, I can assure you the Crocodile was pretty much alive, at least while I was there :)

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  18. I've been there and feel saddened by the sorry state of the animals! Nice post by the way! Loved the pic of the bird!!

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    1. Thank you Preethi for stopping by. You liked the Ostrich? And don't blame me if the Ostrich's pic doesn't resemble one :)

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    2. Yeah the pic of the Ostrich!...Perfect capture..Love the eye and the reflection in it..beautiful!

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    3. Thanks for the flattering words. Made my day :)

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  19. Felt the same when i visited the place last time. Happy to find that the poor White tiger lived all these years long. Felt like animals are glassed up as exhibits. It is not a natural habitat, no less than a Zoo.

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    1. It may not have been the same white tiger that you saw on your last visit. I was told there was an outbreak sometime back in which a good number of animals died, mostly the big cats.

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  20. Amazing the visit was worth…
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  21. It's sad to know the state of these animals. I've lived in Bangalore for 2 years, but never had a chance to see the zoo. Keeping the animals in a natural habitat will make them more engaging, and there's always thrill for the visitors. Seeing them caged or in wired landscape is very heart wrenching. Loved your photos - particularly the close up of Ostrich and that of white tiger!

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    1. A more natural habitat for the animals so close to a city like Bangalore would have lot more charm and appeal then the current place which evokes feelings of pity. Hopefully, with more awareness, the administration will take some steps in the right direction. Thank you for stopping by.

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  22. I agree, that really is a caged bus. The JLR property there has tours that take you further inside. You should try it out, if you haven't already done so.
    Superb pictures, especially that of the cat family.

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    1. I wasn't aware of the JLR tours. Otherwise would have tried it. Not sure if I can convince myself to go back again. Thanks for stopping by.

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  23. These are beautiful pictures. Very beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Kshipra for the encouraging words.

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  24. Awsome, all of them! Especially the croc.

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  28. Whoua, le tigre blanc ! I have seen animals in Namibia last automne. But no the white tiger.Not so many in the world

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  29. I can imagine you where disappointed. But the setting, is not what people demand ?! For the best, it should not be national park, but animals in liberty every where.

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    1. Actually, national parks were created with the intention of providing this freedom with the added sanctuary from game hunters/poachers.

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  30. Nice pics Ramakant. I missed out on capturing the tiger..

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    1. Thank you Binu for the kind words. I had opted for the Safari as I wanted to shoot the tiger. But was disappointed with the conditions in the park.

      Delete

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Tryst with the Shutter Bug by Ramakant Pradhan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.