Quick 3-hour trip from Chennai When one of my good friends got married in Chennai it provided me an opportunity to steal a quick visit to Vedanthangal. It was end-March and already the fag end of the season. Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is the oldest birds sanctuary in the country! The Vedanthangal is 85 kms from Chennai off the Trichy national highway.
The lake was recognised as a sanctuary first in 1936, and then, in 1962, it was accorded the legal status of a reserve forest under the Madras Forest Act. Subsequently in 1972, the entire lake was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act. The sanctuary is replete with trees such as Neerkadappai (Barringtonia), Karuvelam (Nilotika) and Neermathi (Terminolia) which enable migratory birds such as the Little Cormorant, Pond Heron, Night Heron, Snake Bird, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Spoon Bill, Grey Pelican and Painted Stork to build nests.
Vedanthangal continues to be a paradise for bird watchers, especially during the winter season, when birds descend on the tank in hordes. Grey herons, little cormorants, white pelicans, hornbills, storks, egrets, darters are the popular winter visitors to this secluded retreat. Some of them travel thousands of miles all the way from Siberia, to avoid the biting cold. November to February are in fact the best months for bird watching at Vedanthangal. Every year, these migratory birds come from afar to nest here during this season. Though my visit was brief, I did come back with a very rewarding experience!