Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary

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Credits - Pixabay

Photo of Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary by Saumitra Shinde

The royal ambience of Indian palaces and forts have been well documented in novels and movies. The mingling of birds on the tune of Sitar played by a royal musician is portrayed beautifully in several stories. The idea of music playing in the courtroom or the queen's chamber with a peacock walking around gracefully is so alluring that we try to imagine the scene when we visit a fort or a palace.

You may think that it's a thing of past and an experience like this is available only in 5-star hotels. But there's a fort in Karnataka where a muster of peacocks, peahens, and peachicks flock. Even though it's minus the music, fountains, and royalty, the Bankapura fort will take you back to the good olden days where our national bird strolled through the courtyards of our kings and queens.

Photo of Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary 1/1 by Saumitra Shinde
Credits - Wikipedia

Why travel to Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary

Bankapura is a historical site famous for the Peacock sanctuary, Bankapura Fort, and the Nagareshwara temple. The Chalukyas can be credited for building temples in Bankapura. Due to its importance, the place was attacked and ruled by the Bahamians in the 16th century followed by Marathas for a brief period until Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali took over. The place was later subjugated to the British rule.

Credits - Pixabay

Photo of Bankapur Fort, Bankapur, Karnataka, India by Saumitra Shinde

The ruins of Bankapura Fort houses the peacock sanctuary and the magnificent 66-pillared Nagareshwar temple. In the olden times, the temple was a place to research Jainism. The inscriptions inside the temple suggest that it was dedicated to Shiva.

Credits - Pixabay

Photo of Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary by Saumitra Shinde

The ruins spread over 140 acres, of which 52 acres of land is dedicated to Mayur Vana where peacocks have stayed for three decades. Due to the abundance of the national bird on this site, the government declared it as a sanctuary.

Credits - Wikipedia

Photo of Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary by Saumitra Shinde

The sanctuary is revered amongst birdwatchers and ornithologists especially because of its efforts in the conservations and breeding of peacock. According to the records, approximately 1000 peahens and peacocks have found their abode in the sanctuary. Around 4 km of the area has been reserved for the birds to walk without any human intervention in this sanctuary.

Credits - Pexels

Photo of Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary by Saumitra Shinde

Apart from the main attraction of the sanctuary, there are several other birds like the Indian Robin, Nightjar, Winged Kite, Grey Hornbill, Parakeets, Great Horned Owl, and many more that can be spotted in the sanctuary.

The place is a delight for bird spotters, photographers, and those who love to spend some time revisiting historical places and being close to nature.

When to go

The sanctuary is open throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is September to April.

Timing - 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM (Monday to Sunday)

Getting there

By air: Hubli is the nearest airport to the Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary and there are several cheap flights from Mumbai & Bangalore. You can stay overnight at Hubli and leave the next day early morning for the sanctuary.

By rail: There are many trains leaving from Mumbai and Bangalore for Hubli. However, train journeys can long and tiring. The shortest train journey from Mumbai and Bangalore to Hubli is 14 hrs & 8 hrs respectively.

By road: The nearest place to reach by road is from Hubli (1 hour). However, if you are up for a road trip then Goa is only 6 hours from the place.

The Bankapura bus stand is right next to the fort.

Accomodation

There are no accommodations in Bankapura since it's a very small village. However, you can stay in affordable places in Hubli since it's the nearest town.

Credits - Pexels

Photo of Walking with Peacocks - The Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary by Saumitra Shinde

India has an abundance of fauna and efforts like the Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary can help in the growth of the same. If you happen to know a similar place then do share your story with us here and spread awareness for the development of such places.

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