Total Km: 63 + 63 = 126 km
(We preferred to drive through Nehru ORR, even though it was 15 km extra either way. But better to drive through a beautifully build ORR than get stuck in miyapur mumbai highway traffic.)
Sunday morning, perfect weather for a weekend getaway, the idea was primarily to go and watch the migratory birds (flamingoes and their brethren). Had breakfast and left around 10-30 AM. Couldn't take my dog alongwith as he might not be very helpful when i'm trying to photograph these flamingoes. So with a heavy heart left him back home and went for this quick weekend getaway.
Blindly followed google maps and it took us straight to the crocodile breeding centre and the manjeera reservoir.
Link is here https://maps.google.co.in/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=17.658662,78.067989&spn=0.048009,0.055189&t=m&z=14&vpsrc=6&iwloc=A&q=Crocodile+Breeding+Center&cid=14684109593756023658
The only issue was when we were trying to drive inside the gate of the reservoir, there was a handicapable guard sitting at the gate who just didnt let us go in. We could see many others going in but he didnt let us through and was demanding 100 bucks for opening the gate. Again paid the price for not knowing the local language. Paid him 100, not because he was demanding but because the enthusiasm to shoot the birds was far more than having an argument with him at that point in time.
When we went inside the gate, first we crossed the crocodile breeding centre to the right and then the road came to a dead end with the reservoir right in front.
Some families came with their kids from nearby Medak city told us that this was the supposed to be the reservoir where every year the migratory birds come. Most unfortunately, this year none of the birds visited. The reservoir was in a pathetic state with hardly any water left and hence no migratory birds preferred to come down this time.
Disappointed, we walked back to the crocodile breeding centre hoping to atleast see something there. I was hoping something like Kukarail Crocodile breeding Centre of Lucknow, but again i was up for some surprises. There was this small museum kind of setup and when we enquired about the crocodiles, the official removed the curtains and showed us the backyard. :)
Hardly 9-10 juvenile crocodiles, enjoying their sunbath near a man made water pool. The same official told us that since there isn't any water left in the reservoir so this year birds didnt visit. And hence the summers are going to be real troublesoem for Hyderabadis as this is just the starting of Jan and we already have no water. Really don't know what is going to happen to Hyderabad in 2013. Big water crisis coming up it seems.
So at last we started to drive back, took the cellphone number of that official and hoped to call him next time before coming so that we know if there are any birds or not.
But all was not so dissapointing till the end as when we were returning, very near to the sanctuary we actually saw some beautiful black headed IBIS. Clicked a lot of pics and headed home.
Here are the snaps
A boat used only by reservoir officials to roam around, not allowed for visitors / tourists
A word of caution here - people who think they might get a boat ride in the reservoir - it's absolutely not possible unless you know some officials in Hyderabad. This is not a tourist place - it is not a place to sight migratory birds unless they come in plenty and you can spot them from the shore itself.
You can't take a boat ride inside so no point in wasting your time to go here. Betetr try some other place to watch the flamingoes.
The education centre / museum / crocodile breeding centre (all in one)
We were really lucky to spot atleast these, on our way back.. Beautiful Black Headed IBIS
At last, the end of the trip was worthwhile after clicking all these beautiful birds.