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Bhadra Tiger Reserve

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

Most sorted place and a true Birds Paradise!

Bhadra Tiger Reserve” is one of the most sorted places in India for naturalists bird photographers and in fact anyone who loves nature and birds I have visited this place a few times and don’t see a reason why I would not visit again in future. It’s truly a birders paradise.

Jungle Lodge Resort (JLR)

One of the best ways to soak into the beauty of Bhadra Tiger Reserve is by staying at “Jungle Lodge Resort (JLR)” which is known as “River Tern Lodge”.

I must say that if you do have elders accompanying you, do opt for cottages near the reception and dining area so that they avoid the physical stress to reach the cottages on the other side of the bridge

Out of all the properties JLR has to offer across Karnataka, this is in the best location and very well maintained. I don’t think any other place around Bhadra Tiger Reserve can match this.

The resort has a view of the large backwaters and reservoir It’s very well planned and each cottage has its own view of the reservoir.

Different Seasons & What It has to offer

  • SUMMER: If you visit this place during summer, there is so much bird activity in the reservoir it will completely keep you occupied

  • MONSOON: If you visit during monsoon, you will be mesmerized by the landscape around you, especially in the Boat Safari. Though during this time, you will miss out on seeing many species of birds

  • WINTER: f you visit during winter, a jeep safari into the forest covered in the mist will completely blow your mind

Apart from many birds, the Reserve is famous for two of the most elegant big cats in India Tigers and Leopards Given the large population of these big cats, the chances of spotting them are quite high if traveling during the right time

Boat & Jeep Safaris

Staying at JLR gets 2 safaris, you can choose between a boat and a jeep safari. I would highly recommend taking the boat safari in the morning and the Jeep in the evening. Let us now see what all the boat and jeep offers

Boat Safari gives you a chance to shoot some wonderful landscape photos, especially if there is mist at the time of the safari. You will also be able to see many different species of birds, this is mainly due to the abundance of fish in the reservoir.

River Terns

c.One of the main reasons why Bhadra Tiger Reserve is special is because of the large number of “River Tern” birds, which runs in many thousands during breading season Apr to Jun. During summer when the water in the reservoir resides, a few small islands emerge and this is where thousands of River Terns call their home. The sequence of events of River Terns in Bhadra

  • In Late Mar/ Early April, they find their partners for mating

  • In Late April / Early May: Thousands of eggs are laid across these small islands & many start hatching

  • Late May / Early Jun: Chicks start growing fast and everyone leaves the island before the monsoon starts

The trick here is that if the monsoon cycle is not followed carefully, the chicks won’t have much time to learn to fly before the start of monsoon, by when the water starts covering the island. Those unfortunate chicks die

Many other bird species found in Bhadra are; Osprays, Brown Fish Eagle, Ashy Woodswallow, Oriental Darter, Spotted Billed Ducks… and many more. Birds that I have photographed in Bhadra Tiger Reserve can be found on my website.

Jeep Safari has an entirely different experience to offer, the main attraction being the big cats and other mammals. It is true that each time, the River Tern and other bird species pull me to this place, but whenever I visit, it is the dense forest and the surroundings which makes me feel alive.

6. Few things for Photographers

a.Do check out the description of this video, for a few key tips for photographers so that your chances of getting wonderful and unique shots of birds and landscapes in Bhadra is going to be high

Thank You for watching this video! You can find the photos and other details on my website mentioned in the description box below.

b.If you genuinely like the video, do subscribe to the channel & please leave your comments...

Have a Good Day!

Let me now share a few key tips for photographers so that your chances of getting wonderful and unique shots of birds and landscapes in Bhadra are going to be high.

  • Telephoto Lens for Birds: If you want to get a good reach of these birds, you gotta have a lens that is at least 500mm. Anything less than 500mm will push you to the edge and you will find it really hard to get the desired reach. For shooting landscapes and people, any other lens will work quite well

  • Higher Shutter Speed: You always have to have a higher shutter speed due to the constant movement of the boat, and you will have some movement even when the boat stops. You also need to have a steady hand to reduce the shakes. Similar situation when you are on a Jeep safari

  • Multiple Shots / Bust Mode: Multiple shots will help capture the moment that you would intend to shoot. If you take photos in a single-shot mode, the chances are very high that you will miss the moment

  • Check out River Terns & Other birds photos shot in Bhadra – Seeing these photos will give you an idea of how these birds have been photographed, the compositions and angles, etc.

  • Be creative – Finally, you have to be creative to be able to take a creative shot

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