“Kokkare” in Kannada means Crane. Kokkare Bellur village has got its name due to the fact that many migratory birds have found this place suitable to breed and nest. Kokkare Bellur is approximately 75 kms away from both Mysore and Bangalore situated in Mandya district. If driving from Mysore, on Mysore-Bangalore highway take a right turn near Rudrakshipura and drive for about 15 kms to reach Kokkare bellur else on the same highway take a left. The Shimsha River flows southwards just 800mts from this village. The river along with 3 other water tanks Tailur Kere, Maddur Kere, Sole Kere in the vicinity offers sufficient food and attracts many birds like Painted Storks, Little Cormorants, Little Egrets, Black Ibis, Grey Herons, Night Herons, Pond Herons, Glossy Ibis and the most important them of all the threatened bird species, the Spotbilled Pelican.
Thomas. C. Jerdon a British physician, zoologist and botanist posted in Deccan and Eastern ghats in 1853, discovered this bird sanctuary. Later in 1976 the Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Shri S.G.Neginhal popularized the place and educated the villagers the importance of protecting the birds.
Picture – Kokkarebellur Village
The villagers of Kokkare Bellur need to be appreciated as they respect the birds and take utmost care not to disturb their nestlings. It is a perfect example of symbiosis, wherein the villagers benefit from the bird droppings as it is rich in phosphorus and potassium, which is used as manure and the birds have a secure and appropriate place to nest. They nest in Peepal, Ficus and Tamarind trees in the village and they are in perfect harmony with the environs. The villagers are friendly and help you by pointing out the trees with bird nests.
Nests of weaver birds can be seen hanging from trees and the birds themselves busy fluttering around trying to find a twig or two to add to the nest or searching for food for the babies tucked inside the long cozy nest.
The best time to visit the place is from January to June. But please understand it is not a place to picnic with music, noise and litter lest it should disturb the fragile ecosystem. Let the villagers and the birds co-exist peacefully as they have done so since 500 years.
Type of Place: Bird Sanctuary
Situated: Kokkrebellur, Mandya District, Maddur Taluk
Distance: 75 Kms from Mysore, 80 Kms from Bangalore
Transport: Good road and well connected by bus