85 kms from Madras, 25 km from Chingleput.
The best season is October to February.
is a 90-minute journey from Chennai. It is the oldest water bird sanctuary
in the country. Vedanthangal in Tamil means 'place of the hunter'. The
area was a favourite hunting spot for the local landlords 300 years ago.
The region attracted a variety of birds because it was dotted with small
lakes that acted as feeding grounds for the birds. Realising its ornithological
importance, the British government undertook steps to develop Vedanthangal
into a bird sanctuary as early as 1798. This was established in 1858 by
the order of the Collector of Chingleput District.
Click on images for enlarged
just 2 sq km, the small sanctuary can be reached by walk from Vedanthangal
village. The migrating birds come from far-off lands like Siberia, Australia,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka for nesting and breeding. A large bund or embankment
divides it from the nearby paddy fields and provides a shady walkway to
stroll around and watch the birds. The best time of the day is early morning
or towards sunset, when the birds are either flying out to nearby lakes
or coming back to roost. There are no boat rides here but two watchtowers
and one viewing platform provide vantage points from which the birds may
Egrets, Grey Herons, Night Herons, Open-Billed Storks, Darters, Ibises,
Spoonbills, Grebes, Pelicans, Garganey Teals, Shovellers, Pintails, Stilts,
Sandpipers etc come here to breed and nest for about six months from October
to March, depending on the monsoons.
has survived mainly due to the efforts of the local villagers, who have
recognised the value of bird droppings (guano) as a fertiliser of great
merit and have worked hard to preserve this place.