Kaggaladu - Home to colourful birds

Kaggaladu is a small village in Tumkur district in south eastern part of Karnataka state. Since 1999, the villagers have been a welcome host for Painted Storks and Grey Herons, which annually breed on the trees inside the village and raise their young ones. The village was first made known to the outside world in 1999 by members Wildlife Aware Nature Club (WANC), a Tumakuru based NGO . WANC has been monitoring the nesting colony and the wetlands used by these birds since then.
Residents of Kagaladu village near Sira town in Tumkur district conserve the painted storks which nest on the tamarind trees inside the village
A group of young kids stand guard near the Painted Stork and Grey Heron nesting colony at Kaggaladu Village in Sira taluk of Tumkur District.
Painted storks nesting inside Kaggaladu, Sira Taluk, Tumkur District
Painted storks nesting on one of the many tamarind trees inside Kaggaladu
The birds nest and roost on tamarind and ficus trees. While there are nests of both the species on some trees, on majority of the trees only Painted storks breed. The nesting birds are joined by more Painted storks and Grey herons who arrive to roost. Grey Pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis) occassionally visit the village during the breeding season and roost on the trees in the village.

Ownership of trees: The five tamarind trees which are lying on either side of the Sira-Changavra main road belong to the state government. Three other tamarind trees and one ficus tree are privately owned.

Protection by the villagers: The villagers protect the birds seriously and take to task anyone who tries to harm them. According to the villagers, the Grey herons have been nesting here on a single tamarind tree since 1993. Their numbers increased in 1996, when a lone tree in the neighbouring Muddakanahalli, on which these birds were nesting, was disturbed by poachers and some birds were killed. The villagers are so interested in conserving the birds that, they have prevented the Government authorities from auctioning the tamarind harvest. They are not even harvesting the tamarind in the trees owned by them. While many of the villagers are interested in protecting the birds just because they look beautiful, a few believe them as harbingers of prosperity, hence their protection.

A painted stork, Kaggaladu, Sira, Tumkur

Feeding: It has been found that the birds use tanks lying within a radius of twenty kilometres from Kaggaladu like Kallambella tank. The birds feed their young ones with fish, crabs and even snakes, it has been observed.

Weather: Kaggaladu lies in the dry belt of eastern Karnataka. The average annual rainfall is approximately 600 mm. The maximum temperature in summer rises to above 40 Celsius. In winter the temperature may descend down to 15 C.

Other Wildlife: As the area lies in the plains of the Deccan Plateau, bordering Andhra Pradesh, the wildlife found here is related to the drier areas. WANC is compiling a detailed report of the flora and fauna found in the area. But notably a few herds of blackbuck roam around Kaggaladu and surrounding villages. Also some of the villagers claim to have sighted the Great Indian Bustard in the area, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Painted storks nesting inside Kaggaladu, Sira Taluk, Tumkur District
Painted storks at Kaggaladu, Sira Taluk, Tumkur District

Location: Kaggaladu is located about 9 km to the north-west of Sira Town on the Sira-Chengavara Main Road.

Nearest international airport : Bangalore International Airport, Devanahalli 

Nearest rail: Tumkur 

What to eat? Carry own food or eat at Hotels in Sira Town. One good one is Hotel Kamath near Sira Town along National Highway 4 on Tumkur Road.

Where to stay: Tumakuru City or better stay at Bangalore City and drive down.

Other attractions: Along the way one could stop over at-
Painted storks and water birds at Kaggaladu kere, Sira Taluk, Tumkur District
The sun sets over Kaggaladu Chikkakere wetland, used by many of these birds to feed.
i) Kallambella wetland to see waterfowl.
ii) Historic Seebe temple at Seebe village.
iii) Historic Mughal architecture at Sira Town.

Getting there: Since the Bangalore - Pune/Mumbai National Highway No: 4 passes through Sira Town, the best way to get there is to drive down from Bangalore city (about 3 hrs drive). Sira is about 50 km away from Tumkur City and about 120 km from Bangalore.

Driving directions:

1) Drive on the National Highway 4 towards Tumkur town.

2) 3.5 km after the Kyathasandra Highway toll gate and about 3 km before Tumkur City, the highway splits into Shimoga Road (which enters Tumkur City) and Sira Road (which bypasses Tumkur City).

3) Travel on the Sira Road / Tumkur Bypass and after the bypass ends continue towards Sira/ Hiriyur. (This is one of the best stretches of this highway in Karnataka!)

4) As you near Sira Town (after about 50 km from Tumkur) just before the highway turns north-west and by-passes Sira Town get off the highway and enter Sira Town below the underpass.

5) In Sira, travel along the main road inside the town. Just after the Sira Bus-stand ask any one for the office of  Sira Circle Inspector of Police. You will be directed to drive from the bus stand to one of the circles leading out of the town towards north-west. There, turn north (take a right) and go to the Sira Police offices complex (offices of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sira Rural Sub-Division and Sira Circle Inspector of Police).

6) Just behind these police offices, the road turns west (take a left) towards Chengavara village.

7) Drive along the road and about 9 km from Sira, you see the heronry towards right in Kaggaladu village.

Moghul architecture at Sira town in Tumkur District
The historic Sira town is on the way to Kaggaladu heronry and visitors can stop to see some interesting architecture of the erstwhile Mughal Empire and Palegars (Chieftans). Above is the 17th century Jama Masjid. 
1. Please maintain a low profile and make sure you respect the locals.
2. Make sure you don't interrupt the local traffic when you park your vehicles
3. Leave nothing including disposable and non-disposable garbage.
4. Carry adequate supply of water, as this region of south India gets pretty hot and dry during summer.
For more information about a destination, have a tourist destination or your property listed on this page or to buy an image please email the author at tumkurameen@gmail.com 


  1. hi thank you for such a beutiful pictures of kaggaladu village .
    I am an villager just 5 KMs from there.
    you really have done a good job.for many a days i am thinking of doing that one but i have postponed that since i didn't had one good camera.
    thank you its beautiful.

  2. Thank you for the encouraging words Suri.

    I'm glad you liked the pictures. You should visit the place and involve yourself in its conservation. It belongs to you people more than any one else.

  3. Beautiful pictures and beautiful place, Thank you soo much for your effort.

  4. Hai, Ameen I am really proud of your act by making the world know of this tiny viilage and its glorious sanctuary where even lots of people of karnataka are aware of this, I am sampath owning a precious piece of land where i am practising organic farming applying bio-dynamic methods. plz do visit my farm I am ex-serviceman who will be glad to join you in getting invloved in your project activities for the sanctuary, great job.

  5. Dear Mr.Sampath,
    my name is bhuthesh, i am from J.Hosahalli. it is around 8 KMs from Kaggaladu along Sira - Changavara road). currently i am doing my B.E in Bangalore. it is very glad that you have served in army and you have returned to practice agriculture. seeing you i rememember Captain G.R Gopinath, who served in army( he fought in 1971 bangladesh war), then he returned to his village to practice agriculture.Finally he went onto establish Deccan aviation and Deccan airlines and made common man fly. i wish you the same success and hope you will of great inspiration for many farmers there. And also please tell me about Bio-dynamic methods and where is your farm? so that i can know more about your style of farming.

    thank you.....,


Post a Comment

Stories on Travel, Nature and more...
You can reach me via email at: tumkurameen AT gmail DOT com

Popular posts from this blog

Dhanaulti - A quaint, enchanting hill station in the Himalayan foothills

Bangalore to MM Hills - Travel through less traversed jungles and country-side (Part 1 of 3)

Super drive: Delhi by car from Bangalore