Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is located in Kanchipuram district, 85km from Chennai. It is the oldest bird sanctuary in the country and has been in existence presumably for more than 200 years. Vedanthangal is a bird watchers paradise, especially during the winter season, when birds in a myriad of colours and kinds descend on the lake in hordes. A beautiful sight to behold indeed!
Every year over 1,00,000 birds make their home in a lake housed in this 30-acre marshy park. The best time to watch these migratory birds is between November and February. Bird watching is best early morning or in the evening. A watching tower is also available.
Grey Herons, Little Cormorants, White Pelicans, Hornbills, Storks, Egrets, Darters are the popular winter visitors to this secluded retreat. Some of them travel thousands of miles all the way from Siberia, to avoid the biting cold. Every year, these migratory birds come from afar to nest here during the season i.e. between November and February. But their numbers are slowly dwindling because of the increasing pollution in the area and the dropping water level of the lake. Proper maintenance of the sanctuary is also lacking.
Some of the resident birds listed are Coots, Moorhen and Terns. In all 115 species of birds have been recorded in this sanctuary.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Rail: Chengalpattu (30-kms) is the nearest railway station.
Road: Tourists visiting Vedanthangal by bus can catch the direct metro bus to Chengalpattu either from Parry's Corner or Tambaram, Chennai. It takes anywhere between 40 minutes to one and a half-hours to reach Chengalpattu. From there, private buses ply to Vedanthangal at an interval of every 40 minutes reaching the destination in roughly about half an hour. In addition, they wait at the sanctuary for about 30 minutes, sufficient time to complete bird watching, as the sanctuary is not very large.
Accommodation is available at the Forest Rest House in Vedanthangal.