Aug 152012

Rediscovering Nature in the IT Corridor of Hyderabad at Durgam Cheruvu

Diyanat Ali founder of GHAC at durgam cheruvu
The Birders at Durgan Cheruvu
Durgam Cheruvu was named because it meant Secret Lake and was very difficult to both find and reach. During the times of Qutub Shahi Sultans the lake was surrounded by jungle so thick that except for few locals nobody knew of its existence. Its water was pure and potable, so the sultans built secret system of pipe lines to take the water from the lake to the Golconda Fort around  10 KM away to the top of the fort using a very innovative system of pipes,  and Persian wheels to lift water. The reason this lake was chosen was because it was very difficult to reach  and chances of enemy poisoning the source of water for the fort was remote, hence water bodies close to the fort were ignored for water supply to the kings and Durgam Cheruvu was used as source of water for the Sultans.

common kingfisher on a rock at durgam cheruvu
Kingfisher Hiding Behind A Rock
Where is the lake today?Well if you are in Hitec City in Hyderabad it is bang opposite Inorbit mall continuously being encroached by builder mafia and debris being dumped in to it. The lake is still surrounded by dense jungle but most of it is concrete and glass except for the core area which still remains pristine.

We visited  the lake last Sunday early morning with GHAC Nature group for bird watching. GHAC founder and full time adventurist Diyanat Ali was the skipper. After parking our vehicles in a lane where Tea Shops have mushroomed we hiked down to reach the shore of the lake. It started as a slow day for bird watching with multiple generators in the vicinity belching out smoke as well as loud noise that kept the birds hidden. Fortunately after 45 minutes the gensets stopped breathing and slowly we started hearing the chirping of bird sounds.

birds at durgam cheruvu
Red Vented Bulbul 
We spotted 11+ species of birds like common Coot, Little Grebe, Little Crake, White Breasted Waterhen, Common Moorhen, Common White Breasted Kingfisher, White Belied Heron, Median Egret, Cattle Egret, Red Vented Bulbul ( with a twig in its beak to build a nest), Spot Billed Duck, Little Cormorant, Magpie Robin and our national bird the Peacock.

While hiking for coming back to the main road I was more focused on the ground due to rains it was slippery. It turned out to be a good decision, not only I avoided a few falls and saved my camera but I also captured some beautiful bugs and wild mushrooms on the camera. I was also very happy to capture some wild flowers including 2 beautiful trees of Indian Acacia one with yellow flowers and another with lavender.
flowers and thorns of acacia durgam cheruvu
Pink Acacia Flowers

But in my opinion the highlight of the day was Kingfisher whom we caught on camera not only diving in water but also trying to hide from us behind a rock as if shying away from being clicked.
kingfisher in flight
Kingfisher Landing On The Rock
We parted ways thanking Diyanat Ali for helping us identify various birds and some of the insects also. We are already planning the next bird watching session. Watch out this space for more.
butterfly with wings spread durgam cheruvu
Crimson Rose Butterfly
Thanks for reading.

mushroom growing in woods around durgam cheruvu forest
A Wild Mushroom’s Topical View

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