BR Hills


We finally made our long awaited trip to BR (Biligiri Rangana) Hills last weekend. We took Monday off to make a long weekend out of the October 2 holiday. Like on our previous trip, we broke our trip in Mysore, spending a night there. Early morning, we went back to Kukarahalli lake. It again turned out to be a very nice birding session with no rain this time. Along with the birds we had sighted last time, we had our first sightings of the Black Ibis and the Bronze-winged Jacana. Another thing to note was the huge number of Spot Billed Pellicans and an almost complete absence of Painted Storks (we spotted just one).

After breakfast, we left for BR Hills. Took the Mysore-Ooty road towards Nanjangud, after which took a left turn to go to K.Gugi wilderness camp via Kamrajnagar. The road was decent in most places, except for a bad patch of around 3-4 kms due to some road construction work near Nanjangud. Right after the entrance to the park, a drive of around 15 kms took us to the K.Gudi wilderness camp.

BRHills-JLRCampElephant BRHills-Loghut
JLR Camp Elephant Biligiri Loghut

The highlight of the trip this time was the sheer beauty of the place. Picturesque landscapes (probably the best we have seen yet) greeted the eye through the entire duration of our trip. The monsoons have left the forest green and beautifull. JLR property at BR Hills is quite different from its other properties. The area is more pristine; almost in the middle of the jungle. We had booked a log hut (Biligiri) which was located almost at the end of the camp. Just sitting in the balcony of the log hut provided a splendid view of the nearby hills.

BRHills-BrownFishOwl BRHills-GreenBeeEater
Brown Fish Owl Green Bee-Eater

The number and type of birds seen inside the camp itself were amazing. Just after our first lunch (after checking in) in a span of 3-4 minutes we had four lifers just behind the Gol Ghar. We could see birds flying everyway, we could not decide where to look. It was over in a few minutes and the same birds were not spotted at that place again.

BRHills-ScarletMinivet BRHills-ScarletMinivetFemal
Scarlet Minivet (Male) Scarlet Minivet (Female)

On the safaris into the forest over two days, we saw a huge number of deers (spotted, barking and sambhar), a couple of Indian gaurs, two herds of wild elephants, a number of wild boar, couple of Malabar Giant Squirrel, a mongoose and some birds (Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Jungle Owlet and more). We were not lucky to get a glimpse of any of the big cats, wild dogs and sloth bear which stay in the 540 sq km sanctuary. But just driving through forest itself in this beautiful weather was very pleasurable.

BRHills-SpottedDeer BRHills-ElephantFamily
Spotted Deer Elephants

In addition to the safaris, we went on a drive on the main road in our own vehicle towards the entrance of the park. This drive itself yielded a good number of bird sightings. Also a walk around the JLR camp provided the excellent sightings of Wagtails, Minivets and the Nuthatches.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we are already waiting for our next trip into the forests.


Bird List: (* first time sightings)

  • Indian Roller
  • Long tailed Shrike
  • Green Bee-Eater
  • Rufous Treepie
  • Red Whiskered Bulbul
  • Red Vented Bulbul
  • *Eurasian Collared Dove
  • Spotted Dove
  • Laughing Dove
  • White Throated Kingfisher
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Grey Tit
  • *Heart Spotted Woodpecker
  • *Pigmy Woodpecker
  • White Bellied Drongo
  • Black Drongo
  • *Velvet Fronted Nuthatch
  • *Scarlet Minivet
  • Golden Fronted Leafbird
  • Pied Wagtail
  • *Hill Myna
  • *Brown Fish Owl
  • Orange Headed Ground Thrush
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Magpie Robin
  • White Breasted Waterhen
  • Large Cuckoo Shrike
  • Rose-ringed Parakeet
  • Greater Caucal
  • Common Iora
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Lesser Golden Flameback
  • *Chanageable Hawk Eagle
  • *Bay Back Shrike
  • Oriental White Eye
  • Fantail Flycatcher
  • Pipit
  • Small minivet
  • Jungle Babbler
  • *Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
  • *Jungle Owlet
  • *Mountain Imperial Pigeon
  • *Malabar Whistling Thrush
  • *Malabar Parakeet
  • Grey Junglefowl
  • Black-headed Oriole
  • Blue Faced Malkoha
  • *Large Green Barbet






8 Responses to “BR Hills”

  1. October 13, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Sachin/Neelu, I have seen your photos in INW and considering that you are making them using the panasonic camera is just amazing. Esp liked the Black headed Munia image. All the best and keep those beautiful images coming.

  2. 2 Anonymous
    March 2, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    hey, nice travelougues, We are a travel site – would love to see you contibutions on our site http://www.holidayiq.com. Check our new Videos section for soem good travel activity.

  3. 3 Mohan
    August 7, 2008 at 9:55 am

    hi Sachin,

    Which Camera did you use for these shots..

  4. 4 thoughtsinflight
    August 7, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    We used a Panasonic FZ50 for all images in this post.

  5. 5 Anonymous
    November 11, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    how can we get to BR hills using public transport from bangalore??

  6. 6 Krishna
    November 23, 2008 at 7:09 am

    can you tell us more about the drive from bangalore, if i plan to travel by my car? How much time would it take at normal speed.

  7. 7 thoughtsinflight
    December 7, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Not sure of using public transport to BR Hills, but by road it is around 220 Kms. So takes around 4.5 hours of driving at not very high speeds. Road condition is excellent until Mysore and pretty good until the diversion to Nanjangud along Ooty-Bandipur road. After this there are short patches of bad road, but nothing terrible. Overall road condition is pretty good.

  8. January 25, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Hi! I’m a photographer from Mysore. :) Amazing shots using the Panasonic, specially the bird ones! Cheers!:)

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