Location: In the northern part of Tumkur district of Karnataka.
Distance: 145 km from Bangalore, 23 km from Madhugiri and 20 km from Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh
Time taken: 2.5 – 3 hrs
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur road – Neelamangala – Dobbespet (take right turn under flyover) – Koratagere – Madhugiri – Puravara – Maidenahalli – Jayamangalai Black Buck Reserve
Note: After Madhugiri, look for a left deviation with a big board featuring a blackbuck and Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve. Take that left and look for further such boards for direction. If you are in confusion ask the villagers.
How to reach there: Private vehicle
Where to have food: It may be ideal to carry food so that you can have little picnic. Or you have light stuffs at Puravara – I suggest you try the egg fry sell by a vendor at the junction, you can have food at Madhugiri but it suffers on cleanliness. The best would be come back on the highway and have at either Kamat Lokaruchi or Reliance A1.
Where to stay: At Jayamangali forest guest house
What to see: Black bucks and various birds.
Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve was earlier know as Maidenahalli Blackbuck reserve forest. It is located near Maidenahalli village. This 3.23 sq km reserve forest is the only protected area in Tumkur district. Apart from here blackbucks are also found in Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary in karnataka. Other species of mammals like wolf, jungle cat, India grey mongoose, Rabbit etc, reptiles and birds are available.
Please note that wildlife is watched best either early in the morning or in the evening. If you want to be there early in the morning say by 6 – 7 am then you must leave from Bangalore by 3.30 – 4 am. One can visit the reserve throughout the day and to view the black bucks you will have to trail them for some distance through the grassland.
After driving through rugged highlands you will reach a blue gate which is the entrance to Jayamangali Black Buck Reserve. You will be asked by the forest reserve staff to enter your name and vehicle numbers. Also, you will be asked to give Rs 100 for camera fees. But as per my knowledge there is no camera frees. I countered the staffs and they fumbled. We gave only Rs 50. It depends upto you whether you want to give or not. You can park your vehicle near the water tank. Walk little further on the left hand side of the mud road and you will find a watch tower. Your view from the watch tower will be more interesting if you have a binocular.
The left hand side of the road inside has large grasses and bushes which will give a feel of a deciduous forest. One can walk in for little bit of jungle photography. On the right hand side of the road has the maximum number of blackbuck of herds. To take decent picture of wildlife here one must have a good camera with more than 10x zoom. This was one of the best wildlife experience I ever had. You get to see Blackbucks in their natural environment and so close. This thrill is you play hide and seek and trail them to view them. On the other hand blackbucks also watch you if are coming to close!
To view the complete set of pictures visit – TravelingBeats Photo Gallery.