07 April, 2007

Land of Blackbuck - Destination Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve, Maidenahalli grasslands

A herd of blackbuck in the grasslands of Jayamangali Conseravation Reserve near Maidenahalli village in Tumkur district, Karnataka

A) INTRODUCTION:
Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve borders Maidenahalli, a small village in the plains of Deccan Plateau, at the north-eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka state, bordering Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh. Apart from Jayamangali reserve, a few herds of blackbuck are found scattered through the eastern parts of Karnataka. But the single largest population of blackbuck in Karnataka, apart from Ranibennur Wildlife Sanctuary, is found in and around Jayamangali reserve. This is a seven hundred ninety eight acre patch of grassland planted mainly with eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis. It is probably the best place in Karnataka to photograph blackbuck, raptors and grassland birds apart from other grassland flora and fauna. 

A screenshot from Google earth (FROM SOUTH) of Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve near Mydanahalli village in Madhugiri taluk, Tumkur District dated 14 July 2014.
And here is Jayamangali conservation reserve on google maps


B) FACT FILE:
Area: Forest department owned land is a little less than 3 sq. km but wildlife here is spread across the landscape that includes private farm land.

Status: Conservation Reserve (declared under Wildlife Protection Act 1972) and private property with public access.

Key attractions: Blackbuck, Indian fox, wolf. Over 130 bird species particularly grassland ones. Beautiful views of open plains and grasslands and with the backdrop of granite hill chain of Closepet (or Closepete in Kannada).
A baybacked shrike at Jayamangali Conseravation Reserve near Maidenahalli village in Tumkur district, Karnataka
The area is home to many dry habitat
 birds like this baybacked shrike.

Nearest town:
1) Inside Karnataka: Madhugiri (23 km)
2) Across border in Andhra Pradesh: Hindupur (apx. 20 km)

Nearest airport: Bangalore International Airport, Devanahalli (About 100 km via Chikballapur)


Nearest rail:
1) Hindupur (apx 20 km): On Guntakal Junction - Bangalore City line

2) Tumkur (68 km): On Bangalore City - Arasikere Junction line.
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C) IF YOU GO:
Best time of the day: Summers are very dry with day temperatures hovering around 40 degrees centigrade. Try being at the place early in the morning or late in the evening. The weather is pleasant any time of the day during winters and monsoons.
Jayamangali reserve's open vistas and beautiful grass-covered maidans (plains) remind one of African savannah
The open vistas and beautiful grass-covered
maidans (plains) remind one of African savannah

Worth seeing: Apart from the wildlife, views of the vast plains of Deccan Plateau and the prominent granite stone hill chain that runs from Bellary to Ramanagaram made up of a granite called the Clospet granite.

What to eat: Food is not available here. Carry your own food and water or eat at hotels in Madhugiri town.

Where to stay: There are no lodges in the area. There are tents bases where campers can pitch tents. Tents are available at the Madhugiri Range Forest Office. The forest department has constructed a two room rest house here in early 2009, with basic amenities.Visitors can request forest department for permission to camp in the area or stay at the rest house.

Permission to stay over:
1) Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) 
Tumkur Territorial Division,
Kunigal Road,
Tumkur City- 5721 02
Telephone : + 91 (816) 2201196 (Updated Jan 2009)
There is a 2-bedroom forest accommodation at Jayamangali blackbuck Conservation Reserve, Maidenahalli area, Tumkur district
The reserve has basic accommodation in the form
of a 2-bed room forest rest house.

2) Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF)
Madhugiri Territorial Sub-Division,
Forest Office,
Madhugiri Town 572132
Tumkur District
Telephone: Not working (Updated Jan 2009)

3) Range Forest Officer (RFO)
Madhugiri Territorial Range,
Forest Office,
Madhugiri Town 572132
Tumkur District
Telephone: Not working (Updated Jan 2009)

For FAQS, more information and detailed history, please see https://sites.google.com/site/maidenahalli/faqs 

Getting there: The best way to get there is to drive down from Bangalore city (less than 4 hrs). Jayamangali area is about 23 km away from Madhugiri Town and about 138 km from Bangalore (via Tumkur).
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D) DRIVING DIRECTIONS FROM BANGALORE CITY:
 (Note: Day trips can be made from Bangalore)


Route No: 1 - via Dobbespete - Oordigere - Madhugiri - Puruvara



1) Drive on Tumkur Road along NH4.  About 20 km beyond first toll gate of Nelamangala, take the exit just before Dobbespete town flyover.
2) Below the underpass, turn north (take right) and ask any one for the road to Oordigere. You need to avoid National Highway 207 that leads to Doddaballapur and beyond to Devanahalli (International Airport). 
Dobbespete - Koratagere road update (Mar. 2014): Work to widen this road is in progress. It is in a bad condition. Looking at the amount of work remaining it is better to avoid this road till end of Aug 2014.


A view of Dobbspet - Koratagere stretch of the Bangalore - Madhugiri road in December 2013
The Dabbespet - Koratgere stretch is being widened and is in a bad state. Avoid this road at least till end of Aug 2014
3) Proceed towards Koratagere town along the road beyond Oordigere village. 
4) About 2 km before Koratagere town, you will join the Tumkur-Madhugiri stretch of State Highway 33. Continue driving north towards Madhugiri town beyond Koratagere.
Koratagere-Madhugiri road update (24 Aug 2013):  This single road is being expanded as State Highway 33 (Kollegal - Pavagada state highway). Be careful about a brief fifty metre section under repair just as you exit Koratagere town towards Madhugiri. Road continues to be narrow and uneven till Madhugiri town. Don't drive fast in small/ compact cars (Alto, Eon etc).
5) As you enter Madhugiri town, keep driving north (straight) along the state highway skipping a road on the left (that leads to Madhugiri Fort). Drive through the town for a km till the road splits again into two.
6) Turn right/ drive east (ask some one for road to Hindupur town if you are confused).
7) About 1.5 km from Madhugiri town the road again splits into Hindupur road on the left (north-east) and Chikballapur/ Gowridbidanur road that goes straight (east). Drive on the Hindupur road (on which there is a board by the forest department showing the direction to Jayamangali Reserve, with an image of blackbuck).
Madhugiri - Puruvara road update (24 Aug, 2013):  Road was tarred in 2006 and is NOT in the best of conditions through most of it. The 1 km stretch leading out of Madhugiri town is in a bad shape with a bridge under construction. 
8) 11 km from Madhugiri town, you will reach Puruvara village. On the left side (north) along the main road is the entrance of ID Halli road where a board depicting Jayamangali blackbuck reserve can be seen.*
Puruvara-ID Halli road update (24 Aug, 2013): Road was tarred in 2006 and is in a bad shape, becoming worse each passing day. Don't drive fast in small/ compact cars.
9) Travel on the ID Halli village road for 8 km. Just after the twin villages of Badakanahalli and Gire Goudana halli, the habitat abruptly changes into open plains.
10) Half a km after Giregoudana halli village, turn right (north-east) on the unmetalled track. A board depicting a blackbuck and showing the way to the reserve is located at its beginning
ID Halli road - Jayamangali watch tower road update (24 Aug. 2013): This is just a metalled track and is basically soil and stones. Drive carefully.
11) The grasslands and blackbuck habitat begins on this track. You can stop your car and bird along this 3.6 km track till you reach the gates of the blackbuck reserve. Pass through the gates and drive for a km to park your vehicle at the water tank on ground near the forest watchers' quarter/ rest house. Take guidance from the forest watchers about the area and recent wildlife sightings.

*NOTE: From Puruvara village, Maidenahalli area can be reached from both west (via Badakanahalli and Giregowdana halli villages, describe above) or from south-east (via Kodigenahalli - Maidenahalli village crossing). The former allows better views of the area's landscape, unlike the later which mostly passes through dense Acacia nilotica (Babul or kikar in Hindi/ Urdu and jaali gidaa or kari jaali in Kannada) vegetation.

Route No: 2: via Tumkur - Koratgere - Madhugiri - Puruvara
a) Drive on the National Highway 4 towards Tumkur City.
b) Drive for 9.8 km beyond Kyathasandra toll gate (and about 5.3 km after by-passing the exit to Tumkur City) take the exit and turn north (right) from an underpass to drive to Koratagere & Madhugiri towns.
Tumkur-Koratagere road update (24 Aug 2013):  Road is being expanded  and tarred. NOT in the best of conditions - particularly a couple of km before Koratagere town till Madhugiri town. Don't drive fast in small/ compact cars (Alto, Eon etc). Many speed-breakers which were at every village, were removed in 2006-07 after a court order. But be careful though, as speed breakers are known to spring overnight, to force stop public buses at each village.



c) Follow from step no: 4 in the Route No: 1 mentioned above.  

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Did you find this information useful? Any questions or comments? Want local naturalists to help you around the area and surroundings with natural and human history?

Please email me: tumkurameen AT gmail DOT com 

8 comments:

  1. Appreciate your efforts on spending time to share Comprehensive Information with photographs on Mydenahalli and its famed black bug. May this grassland habitat flourish with its species and remain natural for years to come.

    Thanks
    Raghu

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's nice info Ameen. Keep them coming.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Earthsublime and Gautham : )

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice and informative post.. i was not aware of this place before.. u r post encouraged me to visit this place..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thats wonderful and complete piece of information provided shows your dedication, would love to visit the place, it would be nice if you could join with us we could fix a date.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Ameen,

    I am excited to go through your bogs, your enthusiastic work on conserving the nature particularly on Jayamangali (Maidenahalli) Reserve. I am one of those blessed ones who spent my early childhood seeing those many Blackbuck around Maidenahalli/Puruvara area. Thank you for your great work on protecting them. I found this blog when I was looking for some pictures of Jayamangali. I am highly impressed with your dedication on nature conservation Thank you for your detailed information and beautiful photographs on this area. Please do post at least one picture of river Jayamangali.

    Thanks
    Manjunath

    ReplyDelete
  7. hi,

    thanks for posting the information. We had been to this place yesterday and your blog was really helpful for planning and execution.

    my experiences are shared at http://www.naanushande.com/2008/06/maidenahalli-blackbuck-reserve-forest.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shande, I am glad you found my blog useful. Very kind of you to acknowledge my write-up. Cheers,

      Delete

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