A Visit To Mruguvani National Park for Birdwatching
Recently I went again to Mrugavani National Park in the morning, I got up without an alarm at 7 am on Sunday and thinking this is some divine sign decided to hit the road. It is only about 5 km from our home and is one of the last surviving green lungs for the city of Nizams. It is approachable both from Mehdipattnam via Lunger House and Hitech City via Outer ring road on the way to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport Shamshabad. You take exit 18 on the airport highway on the Vikarabad road, that goes to Ananthagiri hills also.
Even before me one Mr. Ramarao and his family were in the park waiting for the GHAC group to come so that they could join them on the safari.
|Mr. Ramarao ( Blue T-Shirt) With His Family|
I was very impressed with this nature-loving family who had taken out time on a Sunday morning to come to visit a national park and not hit a mall or a movie theater. I think as long as we have nature lovers like Mr. Ramarao who are introducing the kids to the bounty of nature at an early age we still have some hope of saving our planet. They were kind enough to allow me to take a picture and let it publish here.
The kids were very keen to spot the birds and agreed to be quiet so that they could listen to the birds. Unfortunately, the forest guards have closed most of the area of the park and you are allowed only in a small area that is more of a city park than a national park. There is a small museum about the flora and fauna of the area at the entrance of the park.
|A Bulbul Singing Happily|
Last few times when we went to Mrugavani National Park the safari bus was not working, fortunately, the bus was working today, but unfortunately, the driver has decided to come late.
While waiting for the driver I decided to take a stroll in the park and click some pictures, as a few days earlier my luck started with a Chameleon who was raging red with anger on finding us intruders in his domain. Next on the radar was a bulbul who was happily chirping on the neem tree, probably thanking Mother Nature on the abundance of fruits on the neem tree. The forest is actually a very dry place with most of the trees being thorny scrubby and bushy kinds and really large trees very few in numbers. But these small trees are a good hiding place for small birds like bee-eater, bulbul, sunbird, Pied Buschat, Ashy Prinia and of course our national bird the magnificently psychedelic peacock.
I also spotted some birds that I don’t recognize but am putting on the net for my more learned friends to identify.
The park has a good population of deer, who have almost become domesticated due to the food being offered by the guards to them. One of them happily accepted potato chips from a kid. (not a good thing to do). Finally the driver obliged us with his d(r)ivine presence and after giving us some gyan on how to behave in the woods started the bus, and we entered the core area of the park and had close encounters with peacocks, deer and I even spotted a Greater Coucal a relative of Koel but the size of a crow. We were told that the park has some resident leopards, but none of them was working on this Sunday so we could not meet any of them, and they don’t give prior appointment so better luck next time.
But I was very happy to see the cassia trees in full bloom in the park and clicked this picture below. A tree was dispersing its seeds in air to start the next generation. Mother nature is in abundance even in a dry scrubby forest, all we need to do is keep our eyes open.
One bird that I was looking for was totally absent the common sparrow, but it seems along with cities they are vanishing from our wooded areas too! We have started a sparrow conservation project in our building will keep you posted on the same.
How to reach Mriguvani National Park: If you have been to Chilkur Balaji temple, then Mrugavani is much before on the same road, take exit 18 on the ORR towards Vikarabad and drive slowly otherwise you will miss the entrance.
As this is the summer vacation time it will be a good change for kids to go and skip the mall for a change.
The gate of Mruguvani National Park will be on right side after a few kilometers from exit 18 on ORR towards Chilkur. Timings of Mrugavani National Park Chilkur: The Park opens from 9 am to 5 pm. There is a ticket of around 10 Rs and if you want to take safari they will take a family of 5 in 50 Rs in a bus ( if it is functional and the driver is in good mood).
Is it safe to Vist Mrugavani National Park ?: It is pretty safe to visit the park as it is gated and lot of families visit it every day.
While Mrugavani National Park is not large like Pench or Jim Corbett National Park, and you will not find any tigers but being in the city it is a good place to go with kids and introduce them to mother nature.
Some of the animals and birds found in Mrugavani National Park are Cheetal (spotted deer), Sambar, Wild boar, Jungle Cat, Civet Cat, Mongoose, Monitor Lizard, Indian Python, Russell Viper, Indian Cobra, Indian Hare, Porcupine, Oriental Garden Lizard, South Indian Rock Agama.
The common birds spotted in Mrugavani are: Peafowl, red vented bulbul, green bee-eater, jungle babbler, Indian Robin, Myna, Ashy Prinia, Purple Sunbird, Pond Heron, Little Egret, Black Drongo, Scaly-breasted Munia etc.
Google map to Mrugavani National Park:
Travel Tip: Please carry water and snacks as the shop in the park is very basic and sometimes out of stock.
For other fauna and flora that I was able to click please visit this link.
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