The IHB Guide to Birdwatching in Bangalore

Bangalore, The Garden City, is one of the few cosmopolitans that still enjoys the luxury of harbouring some sheltered birdwatching havens, in and around the city. So, gather your binoculars and pay a visit to the birdwatching arenas our city has to offer!

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

The most centrally located spot for a birdwatcher to make a quick getaway, Lalbagh offers a mix of opulent gardens with exotic flora and wet habitats that attract several birds to its vicinity. Psst – make sure you pick a day during the week and avoid public holidays to dodge the crowds. Settle at a secluded spot and enjoy the peace and quiet while you keep a keen eye out for a variety of striking birds and even some colourful butterflies.

What to look out for: Black Pelicans, Purple Herons, Brahminy Kites, and White-Breasted Kingfishers.

Hebbal Lake

Another pick that is not too far from the city centre, is Hebbal Lake, located right beside the flyover. The well-maintained walkway constructed around the lake makes for a serene walkway and good line of sight to spot birds. The best months to visit the lake for the purpose is between September and January.

What to look out for: Kingfishers, Spot Billed Ducks, Spot Billed Pelicans, Grey Herons, Median Egrets, Painted Storks, and Yellow-Tailed Wagtails

Manchinabele

Located just a short drive away from Bangalore (approx. 30km/60 mins through the Bangalore – Magadi main road) and located just before the Tippagondanahalli reservoir, Machinabele also has a scenic dam that serves as a visual treat. With ample greenery around the water body, it is no wonder the area has turned into a birdwatcher’s treasure. However, entry into the area is restricted so ensure that you plan in advance and take the necessary permissions from the local authorities.

What to look out for: Rosy Starling, Oriental White Eye, Pied Crested Cuckoo, Indian Silverbills (White throated Munia), Blue-face Malkoha, Scaly Breasted Munia, Tawny, Bellied Babbler, Rufous Treepie, Long Tailed Shrike, White-browned Bulbul, Brahminy Starling, Pied Bushchat, Coppersmith Barbet and Indian Roller.

Bannerghatta National Park

We’re all familiar with this landmark, a close getaway from the city to spot some wildlife. However, the park has also gained a lesser known reputation for the hobby of birdwatching with as many as 150 species of winged wonders! The scrub and forest habitat is perfect for many migrating birds to take refuge and the jungle lodges in the area offer a comfortable stay for birdwatchers to make a fruitful weekend outing. The ‘Alley of Flycatchers’, as it is known, is a must-visit and you will be sure to come back with many additions to your record book.

What to look out for: Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Jungle Owls, Coppersmith Barbets, Oriental White Eyes, and Indian Pond Herons. Keep your fingers crossed and you may even come across the rare and shy, Yellow Throated Bulbul.

Nandi Hills

Well-done roads and a scenic drive up the hill sets the tone for a wonderful birdwatching experience atop Nandi Hills (approx. 50km/70 mins through the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway). Though, quite a crowded place on the weekends that is not exactly bird friendly, a weekday visit makes it worthwhile. Carry your binoculars and find a cosy spot amongst the many benches and gazebos placed at the numerous viewpoints and you are good to go.

What to look out for: Indian Blue Robins, Booted Warblers, Malabar Whistling Thrushes, and Blue Capped Rock Thrushes, Falcons

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

A fair drive from Bangalore, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a hotspot for any bird watching enthusiast, as it’s literally a bird watcher’s paradise! Open seven days a week from 9:00am to 6:00pm, you can spend an entire day there, gazing at an array of exotic and migratory birds under the cool shade of the trees for Rs.50/adult. You can even enjoy a relaxed boat ride amongst the meandering paths of the lake comprising of six small islands, and spot some massive crocodiles right by your side (not for the weak-hearted).

What to look out for:  Pelicans, Painted stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Egret, Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Heron Breed, Great Stone Plover, River Tern, Streak – throated Swallows.

Don’t forget to tag us in your photos! 😉

The Whitefield Art Collective – Luru’s Largest Community Art Festival

What’s Happening?

So we’ve all read and heard the buzz around Whitefield’s newest mall VR Bengaluru (famously referred to as the Black Box on Whitefield Road by Bangaloreans), and they’ve taken it up a notch by recently announcing details of the inaugural edition of the Whitefield Art Collective! This is going to be the largest community art festival our city’s seen as it’s a month long initiative to catalyse civic pride in the heritage, art & culture that Luru’s known for.

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Right, and when is this exactly?

VR Bengaluru will launch the Whitefield Art Collective presented in association with artchutney.com on February 13, 2016 . This will be open to visitors from February 13 until March 13 2016, so you have plenty of time to fit it right in!

The Art Connect

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The mall already boasts a unique permanent art collection inspired by our city. They’ve got their courtyard rocking a huge Channapatna toys installation and their inside has a 100 ft mural depicting the history of the city. Other art includes Synergy by Dimply Menon, The Capsule by Thara Thomas and Seeds on the Left Bank of The River by Murali Cheeroth to name a few.

#IHBPicks

Our fav displays from the sneak peek have to be Chillies & Bubblegum God by Dr. Subodh Kerker (both pictured below), keep an eye out!

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What else?

An Art Bazaar featuring affordable art and photography by emerging artists will also take place. What we’re looking forward to though, is a video installation featuring the work of eleven artists that will be screened in a pop-up lounge. 

#IHBLoves

We absolutely heart their attempt to focus attention on the issue of environment pollution with the VR Green Project along with this launch. What’s totally awesome is that the project features an electric vehicle painted by renowned artist Farhad Hussain, in an effort to celebrate a solution that offers citizens a mobility choice that is more sustainable. What’s even more awesome is, it will be auctioned at a later date with the proceeds being donated to a non-profit organization working on sustainability. Big ups!

The Tunage

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Thalavattam will be performing live at Garden City. This is a unique percussion project that harnesses the universal power of music to inspire people to REDUCE, REUSE and RETUNE. We’re loving that they fashion their musical instruments from ‘found objects’ such as paint cans, PVC pipes etc. and mimic street drummers to create cutting edge sounds that inspire creative action for the planet. The concert is open to public and will commence at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, 2016. Don’t miss it!

More Deets:

Visit their website here.

Follow them on FB here and on Instagram here.

Oct Weekend #2 – Bangalore’s weekend guide of where to go and what to do!

Friday, 9th October

THE F16’S + FEDAYI PACHA (EVENT PAGE)

oct2What: The F16’s album promotional tour and oriental dub music by Fedayi Pacha
Where: The Humming Tree, Indiranagar
When: 8:30 pm onwards
Whoa: A night of alternative dance music and tunes inspired from India to the Balkans. You don’t want to miss these one of a kind artists!
Wait: Cover charge is Rs. 600

Saturday, 10th October

BENGALURU COMEDY FESTIVAL 2015 (EVENT PAGE)

oct2aWhat: Luru’s first comedy festival!
Where: UB City
When: 4:00 pm onwards
Whoa: The festival is over two days. You can even attend on Sunday, but be prepared to laugh your pants off with India’s finest and funniest. Psst- they’re going to have 3 stages!
Wait: Buy tickets here 

Speaking of two day events (saturday and sunday), here’s another one:

PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP 

What: A product photography and post processing workshop
Where: V M Studios and Photography Koramangala 8th Block
When: 10:00 am onwards
Whoa: A perfect self employment opportunity for those who can cater to local merchants and vendors who sell their products online to e-commerce majors.
Wait: Open to all with a DSLR. For more details click here.

Sunday, 11th October

THE MONKEY HEART PONG TOURNAMENT

beer pong-01-02What: Our very first beer pong tournament!
Where: Monkey Bar, Indiranagar
When: 4:30 pm onwards
Whoa: The slots are filled up, but you can still sign up in case you get a chance to play, or you’ll be first on the list for the next tournament.
Wait: Sign up here 

Happy weekend xx

The Cubbon 5 – Introducing the statues of Bangalore’s most precious park

If you’re Bangalorean, you’ve definitely walked or driven past the stone inhabitants of Cubbon Park. You’ve been living with them in the city for years, but do you know all of them? Don’t worry, with mpmurthy’s help and epic photography, we’ve rounded up all the statues that glare down on us while we hustle and bustle!

Statue #1 – The Empress of India

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Who: Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901)
When: George Frederick Ernest Albert, Prince of Wales & Duke of Cornwall & York unveiled this statue on 5th February 1906.
Where: In a corner of the park near Mahatma Gandhi Circle.

Statue #2 – King of the United Kingdom

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Who: King Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January1901 until his death in 1910.
When: Installed 1919
Where: At the North-Western point of the Queen’s park.

Statue #3 – The Namesake

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Who: Lieutenant-General Sir Mark Cubbon KCB (23 August 1775 – 23 April 1861) was a British army officer with the East India Company who became the British Commissioner of Mysore state in 1834.
When: The statue was unveiled in March 1866 by Lewin Bowring.
Where: In front of Karnataka High Court.

Statue #4 – The Maker of Modern Bangalore

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Who: Sir K. Seshadri Iyer KCIE (b.1845 – d.September 13, 1901), or Sheshadri Aiyar was an advocate who was also the second Dewan of Mysore state since the reinstation of the Wodeyar family on its throne in 1881 and was the longest serving Dewan of the princely state as well.
When: Unveiled by (then) Viceroy and Governor General, Lord Charles Baron Hardinge of Penshurst on the November 20, 1913.
Where: The staue is situated in front of the State Central Library (also called Cubbon Library)

Statue #5 – Maharaja of Mysore

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Image Courtesy: Darshik

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Who: Chama Raja Wadiyar X  (also known as Chama Rajendra Wadiyar X) was the ruling Maharaja of Mysore between 1881 and 1894. Chamaraja Wadiyar was a great patron of arts and music and a violin virtuoso himself.
When: Installed in 1927.
Where: On the way to Lavelle Road. In the central portion of the park near the tennis pavillion with a floral display and fountain in the front.

Top Instagram handles that every Bangalorean should follow!

Love it or hate it, social media is pretty darn cool, and the coolest most fuss-free of them all has got to be Instagram. So, we’ve rounded up a list of handles that every Bangalorean should absolutely follow.

1) For the Foodies, you can follow:

@thebangalorefoodies

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@thebangalorefoodharem

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2) For stunning city images, follow:

@so.bangalore

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@namma_bengaluru

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3) If you are a true Bangalorean with a love for sports:

@rcb_official

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@bengalurufc

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4) For all things Bangalore, you can always follow us at iheartblr 😉

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Through The Lens – Starbucks, Indiranagar

Starbucks, in the neighborhood of Indiranagar, has exposed walls. What we loved was them covered in hand painted coffee tree art and a lovely unique brick.

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The classic ‘jaali’ pattern, that is normally used for sun shading and breezeway structures, were abstracted and are layered like a mesh throughout the space.

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Starbuck’s predictable all-wood of course strikes again, but we’re not complaining. It’s exactly the cosy feeling you need when settling in for a cuppa Joe. x