If you are looking fora place to escape from the city grind for a day in the months of DecemberMarch, then Kokkare is an absolute heaven. The village is 83 km from Bangalore, off the Mysore Highway by around 12 km. Getting here can be a bit tricky; so make sure to check the signages on your way here.
This place is famous for its Spot Billed Pelicans and the Painted Storks that can be sighted here in vast numbers during season time. This scenic village has paddy fields, cattle, water, and lots of exotic birds. The village is in the Maddur Taluka of the Mandya district of Karnataka.
What to See and Do in Kokkare
Kokkare is the local name for “Painted Storks” that are very famous in this region, “Bellur” meaning village of jaggery (raw sugar from sugarcane); hence, the village has derived its name from the bird. The village thrives on the bird’s droppings, which are called “guano”, as they are rich in potassium. The villagers use these bird droppings as manure for their cultivation. Indeed, the villagers believe that the birds bring in good luck and prosperity. That is the beauty of this place the birds love the habitat and the people love the birds!
The district abounds in sugarcane fields and this village is famous for having large colonies of Spot-billed Pelicans and Painted Storks nesting in trees within the village.
Kokkare village is on the banks of the river Shimsha, and it is a very beautiful sight to see the birds in their natural habitat when they arrive in the nesting season over here. The river Shimsha flows ahead and meets the river Kaveri.
The place is not a traditional sanctuary; the visiting birds here live and mingle freely with the humans. Seeing a Pelican here is as common as seeing a crow or a sparrow!
A Delight for Bird Lovers
The Spot Billed Pelican is an endangered species, and hence, the government makes sure that this region takes various measures to protect the natural habitat to encourage the continued migration of the birds.
The trees that the birds nest on are the Ficus and the Tamarind trees. There are many agricultural fields and sugarcane plantations. The other birds found in this region are Little Cormorant, Black Ibis, Grey Heron, Black crowned Night Heron, and Indian Pond Heron. Also, Ring Necked Parakeets (Rose Ringed Parakeets) have also been sighted here.
Other Attractions in Kokkare
Another attraction in this area is the Chennakesava Temple complex, which is a tourist spot itself. It is built according to the Hoysala Architecture. Ranganathittu is another bird sanctuary located a short distance away.
Getting There and More
Getting to Kokkare is not a problem as buses and cabs are readily available. The recommended way to get here is to drive down because it is difficult to find a hotel for accommodation. Moreover, there are no restaurants or cafes nearby; so do not forget to carry you own grub!
The route to take to get here is as follows: Bangalore – Bidadi – Ramanagara – Channapatna and before reaching Maddur, you will come to a place named Rudrakshipura. From here, you have to take the inner road for around 12 km till you reach your destination.
However, visit the place during the season time itself because without the birds, it can be a slightly dull place to be at considering the long drive!