A couple of Sundays ago, we drove to Bannerghatta National Park on an impulse, starting late for the first time, after a very leisurely and heavy breakfast. We left home, Im ashamed to say; at 11:00am.
It was my first trip to the park, which is rather surprising to most people who wonder why we go all over the place for birds and wildlife and ignore the park that lies in our backyard so to speak.
Ever since learning of the opening of the butterfly park there and reading Kousik's post on it, I have been wanting to go there.
The Butterfly Park is among several glass houses that serve as nurseries, there are a large variety of flowering plants and the area just around the entrance has huge numbers of Red Pierrot Butterflies. It was a first time sighting for me.
Also found was a Common Blue, also a first time sighting for both of us. I was hoping, given the numbers outside, there must be hordes on the inside.
I was wrong. The park is a large glass house, temperature controlled with trees and plants that are butterfly friendly. There is an artificial waterfall inside that forms a small stream and ends in a pool. A few gold fish swim about in the pool and a small bridge has been constructed over the stream.
At first sight, its quite impressive. Hordes of common grass yellows flutter around, as do the Common Mormon. Sadly though, other than a few Angled Castor and a solitary Blue Mormon there were no other species. A greater variety is seen in my office garden. Surprisingly, given the hordes of Red Pierrots and others just outside, there is not a single representative inside.
I was extremely disappointed to note that few of the larger butterflies had injured wings. There are several boards within the park with photos of various butterflies, but no live specimens. Even the Tiger butterflies, Lemon Pansies and Chocolate pansies that are quite common are not present here.
Common Blue Portrait
Still, it is a recommended outing for small children and those wanting to try out new camera equipment. It was quite nice to see small children looking at the fluttering butterflies in wonder!
I also did see a rather stern looking, heavily built man be completely disarmed by an Angled Castor that decided to sit on the sleeve of his shirt. The man was immediately surrounded by a group of youngsters with mobile phone cameras who told Uncle to please hold still while they clicked away.
Avoid the weekends, particularly Sundays, if you don't want half of Bangalore there with you.
Parking is plentiful.
The park is open on all days except Tuesdays.
Timings : 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cost of ticket: Rs 20 (Adults) Rs 10 (children)
Where to eat:
The park has a lot of stalls and the atmosphere resembles that of a fair.
The Jungle Lodges & Resorts have a restaurant, we reached there at around 2 and found that the only thing available was meals (North and South-Indian) Amazingly the North-Indian meal has curd rice and the south Indian meal has Dahi. :)
Black Shouldered Kite
Before leaving for home, we drove around the bannerghatta area and spotted a few birds, notably a Black Shouldered kite and an Indian Roller.