Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jayamangali (Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Sanctuary

I along with my friends Mr.N.Sateesh, Mr.T Srinivasa Rao, Mr.T.S.Krishna Rao, left for Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation reserve at 6.00am on 1st November 2011, in my Car (Maruti 800).

It was my dream from many months to visit this sanctuary, my friend Mr.N.Sateesh called me the previous day and we were on the move. all the four of us were new to this place.

We started towards Yelahanka-Jalahalli-Nelamangala-Kyatsandra, after having breakfast at Pavitra Hotel at Kyatsandra, from here proceed 6 kms and move left towards the service road and take a right turn under the bridge towards Koratagere-Madhugiri Road. it was a horrible with lot of potholes everywhere (please dont use this road) - It is better use the Bangalore Hindupur highway towards Gowribidanur-Kodigenalli-Jayamangali (Good and near). reached Jayamangali by 9-00 am, as the weather was cloudy, we waited for the sunlight but with no sign. 

At the sanctuary there is a forest guest house, one can stay overnight over with a permission from Tumkur Forest Office, but food items should be carried for preparation. We spent some more time at paragola, recently constructed by Forest Dept. At 1-30 pm light showers started and we left the reserve through the second route and reached Bangalore by 5-00pm.

How to reach:

Route 1


Bangalore – Tumkur – Koratagere – Madhugiri – Puruavara (11 Kms from Madhugiri) – turn left on ID Halli road – turn right at Barkanahalli (after 7 KMs) where the board says ‘Jayamangali Blackbucks Reserve’. (NOT GOOD - 157 kms from Bangalore)

Route 2


Bangalore - Hebbal - Yelahanka - Doddaballapur - Gowribidhanur - Thondebavi - Kodigenahalli - Maidanahalli (This one is OK and Good - 128 kms from Bangalore)

Maidenahalli Blackbuck Reserve

Jayamangali (formerly Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve is Tumkur District's only notified protected area. It neighbours Maidenahalli, a small village in Madhugiri Taluk, at the north-eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka state, India. This area is a part of the plains of Deccan plateau and borders Anantpur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is a 798-acre (3.23 km2) patch of grassland with Eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis. It has the largest contiguous population of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Karnataka, apart from Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary.

Brief history

The open grasslands of peninsular India were once widespread across the Deccan Plateau. Post- independence, however, they have shrunk to isolated patches thanks to immense pressure for cultivation, human habitation and other reasons that also include industrialisation. In 1987, the forest department of Tumakuru Division began protecting the area when the blackbuck’s presence was brought to their notice. In 1992, after sustained efforts by the forest department, the jurisdiction of the area was handed over from the Revenue Department to the Forest department. The Forest Department then fenced a portion of the area and raised a nursery. A concrete watchtower was erected along with two wood houses and watchmen sheds. But, the ownership of the land still rested with the revenue department.

Tumakuru’s nature lovers worked hard to have the area granted the status of a Protected Area, like a wildlife sanctuary. The first ever Status Survey report on the area was published by Tumakuru-based Wildlife Aware Nature Club (WANC) in 1997. This helped the wildlife wing of Karnataka Forest Department to source data on this area and recommend it be declared a 'Conservation Reserve'. The Government of Karnataka accepted this proposal. In February 2007, vide Government Order No: FEE 342 FWL 05, 798.33 acres (3.2307 km2) of the area was finally notified as Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve, (though the original area proposed to be included in this Conservation Reserve was 893 acres). Thus, Tumkur District's first protected area was born.


This area is located 23 km to the north east of Madhugiri town (Karnataka) and about 20 km to the west of Hindupur town (Andhra Pradesh). The geographical co-ordinates of the forest watch tower inside this area are 13 44’ 20” N and 7 19’ 41” E. It is located 4km away from the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve.

Climate and vegetation

The climate varies greatly according to the seasons- from a minimum of 8 degrees Celsius in winter to a maximum of 43 degrees Celsius in summer. The rainy season is from late June to mid-October. The average rainfall is approximately 300 to 350 mm.

The vegetation is mainly plains grassland.

Flora and fauna

More than 80 species of plants have been recorded from this area. Many of these plants have medicinal value.


Sixty-seven species of butterflies belonging to seven families have been sighted in the area. Most of the species recorded are common throughout the Indian Peninsula and some are typical of the arid regions.

Jayamangali (Maidanahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve has the second largest contiguous population of Blackbuck in Karnataka, after Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary. In total, 19 species of mammals belonging to 11 families have been recorded in the area, including the endangered Blackbuck. The first ever census of Jayamangali Blackbuck reserve was jointly conducted by the members of WANC and Karnataka Forest Department in the area on 15–16 November 1997, during which a population of 408 Blackbuck was recorded. A subsequent census was held by the above on 1–2 October 2002, which revealed a population of over 600 blackbuck.There are no hotels and lodges in Jayanmangali BbCR, so carry food and water.

Mr. Narasimha Murthy, Forest Guard, Guided us to have some pics of Blackbucks near the reserve, we had a sight of Fox, and later we followed the herd of Blackbucks and concentrated on one herd. We could be albe to make some pics, which are published.

Blackbucks are very shy animals, they dont allow you near.

Blackbuck is one of the fastest of all terrestrial animals reaching to speeds of up to 80 km/h and is one of the few antelopes where males and females have distinctive coloration, as the male bucks are a distinctive black and white and have long twisted horns, while females are fawn coloured with no horns. In its scientific name Antilope cervicapra, 'Antilope' from 'anthalops' (Greek) a horned animal; 'cervicapra' from 'cervus' (Latin) a deer and 'capra' (Latin) a she-goat.

The blackbuck, is the provincial animal of India it is known as Krishna Mriga in Kannada. Also known as Krishna Jinka in telagu, it has been declared as the state animal of Andhra Pradesh. Other local names for the species include Krishnasar in Bengali, Kala Hiran, Sasin, Iralai Maan, and Kalveet in Marathi. It is often simply called Indian antelope though this term might also be used for other Antilopinae from the region.

Blackbuck usually roam the plains in herds of 15 to 20 animals with one dominant male

One of the few antelope which exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism, the genders in the blackbuck are readily distinguishable.  Both sexes have white underparts, including the insides of the legs and lower chest, as well as a white ring surrounding the eye and a white chin.  Females and young are yellowish-fawn on their back and head, and are generally hornless.  Males gradually darken from tan to deep brown or black with age, beginning after 2 years.  The build is slender, and the tail short.  The horns, found only in males and appearing before their pronounced colour change, are twisted in a tight spiral with up to five turns.  Ridged laterally, they may grow 35-73 cm / 14-29 inches.

According to the Hindu mythology Blackbuck or Krishna Mriga is considered as the vehicle (vahana) of the Moon-god Chandrama.

According to the Garuda Purana of Hindu Mythology, Krishna Mriga bestows prosperity in the areas where they live.

The diet of the Blackbuck consists mostly of grasses, although it will eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet. The maximum life span recorded is 16 years and the average is 12 years.

The distinctive horns of the Blackbuck are ringed with 1 to 4 spiral turns, rarely more than 4 turns, and can be as long as 79 cm (31 in). A trophy Blackbuck is greater than 46 cm (18 in). In the male, the upper body is black (dark brown), and the belly and eye rings are white. The light-brown female is usually hornless.

Population densities are approximately 1 animal per 2 hectares.  During the breeding season males become territorial, defending an area usually ranging in size from 1 to 17 hectares from rival males, and attempting to keep the largest group of females within it for the longest period of time.  This territoriality can last anywhere from two weeks to eight months.  Dominance among males within a herd is achieved primarily with posturing and threatening gestures: fights with the sharp horns are rare.


Apart from the blackbuck, other mammals present in the area include wolf, Bonnet macaque, Jungle cat, Small Indian Civet, Indian Gray Mongoose, two species of bats, and six species of rodents.


About 125 species of birds belonging to 37 families have been recorded in the area, of which 22 are migratory. As expected of grasslands, the area is rich in ground birds, shrikes, larks and raptors. This is one of the few habitats in Tumkur District where the Indian Courser (Cursorius coromandelicus) and Painted Sandgrouse (Pterocles indicus indicus) have been seen. Some of the surrounding villagers claim to have seen the Great Indian Bustard in the past. Although none of the authors nor any birdwatchers have the bird in the area, efforts are on to sight this highly threatened species.


Since it is a grassland, it has quite a number of reptiles typical of dry areas/plains. About 26 species have been recorded in the area, including 14 different species of snakes.

1 comment:

  1. very good description & useful information.

    Can u suggest me best time to visit the place ?