Vedanthangal – The story of the people and their birds


It was back in 1796 when a group of soldiers decided it would be fun to go hunting for some birds. Local villagers came across this scene and it didn’t sit well with them. That’s how the petition began to protect the birds from hunting and poaching. And this is how Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary was born, the first ever bird sanctuary in India.


Now, 226 years later, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary continues to be one of the finest sanctuaries for more than 40,000 residents as well migratory birds (annually) who visit the sanctuary during their winter migration period.

Vedanthangal – The story of the people and their birds

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a 74 acre protected area in the Kanchipuram District in Tamil Nadu. It is an easy day-trip from Chennai. Birds from various parts of the world arrive during the migration season, some of them have a healthy global population, and some, very rare.

One of the reasons why birds love coming here is because of the presence of many lakes in the area. These lakes and the mangroves within provide these birds plenty of food and resting places. Birds have been around for as long as we know as they rarely change their migration pattern and route. So even centuries ago, this area had a very healthy bird population. Due to this, the area was one of the favorite hunting grounds for the local influential people. After the petition of 1796, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary finally came into existence in 1858.

Vedanthangal – The story of the people and their birds

The story of Vedanthangal is also a story of a symbiotic relationship between humans and birds. The locals protect these birds because they know that birds droppings in the lake water is basically fertiliser, hence they are helpful when it comes to agriculture. And in return, the birds have a great source of food and a safe place for nesting.

Birds such as garganeys, teals, gray pelicans, open-billed storks, painted storks, spoonbills come from places like Sri Lanka, Siberia, Myanmar, Canada, Australia and many more. For a birder, Vedanthangal is a birding haven. And those who aren’t into birding, they too will not be disappointed because nature is never disappointing. To be able to see thousands of birds in one place is an experience one will never forget.

  1. When is the best time to visit Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary?
    October to March is the migratory season, this is when large flocks of birds start to arrive.
  2. Is there an entry fee and fixed timing?
    INR 25 for adults; INR 10 for parking; INR 25 for still camera. The sanctuary is open from 6AM to 6PM.
  3. Where exactly is Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary located?
    The bird sanctuary is located in Madurantakam town in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu.

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