Wednesday 20 March 2013

Bats of Bull temple

Where else but in Bangalore would you find a giant Nandi, a huge Ganesha, two other temples, Bats, park, rocks and a playground for children.
As if this is not enough, there is one of the oldest engineering colleges just opposite and also a women’s college. It is also the origin of the Vrishabhavati.
The area is also part of the heritage ward of Bangalore and it is located on one of the oldest and busiest streets pf Bangalore.
This is the Bugle Rock Park of Bangalore. Apart from being a geological marvel as it dates back to billions of years ago, it also houses a watch tower built by Kempe Gowda.
But in this post, we are set to deal with the hundred of fruit bats that have made this park their home for several decades.
Old timers point out that the bats were present when the idea of Bugle rock park took shape. They say when the area of Basavanagudi was conceived in the early years of the 20th century, the Dodda Ganesha Temple and the Nandi were the only structures here. Both were small and today several structures have been added.
The area was full of rocks and trees and part from  bats, other types of wildlife was found. However, growing urbanisation and greed for land have ensured that the wildlife disappeared and only the bats remain.
The bats find the park ideal for habitation. The bats are also called as Indian Flying Fox. They belong to the Pteropus Giganteus family. They are listed as among the least threatened bats as per the 2006 IUCN Red list of  threatened species.
The Indian flying fox is a species of megabat and it is commonly found in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Maldives.
It is also known as the Greater Indian fruit bat and it lives mainly in forests. It is a very large bat with a wingspan between 1.2 and 1.5 m (3 feet 10 inches and 4 feet 10 inches). It is nocturnal and feeds mainly on ripe fruits, such as mangoes and bananas and nectar.
This bat is gregarious and lives in colonies which can number a few hundred. Their offspring have no specific name besides young. They have one to two young.
The Indian flying fox lives in tropical forests and swamps, where a large body of water is nearby. Since, the Bugle Rock formed part of a bigger swamp, they lived here.
Today, the bats prefer the roost trees in the central area of the park. There are a little more than two dozen such trees and they grow to a height of  20 to 40 feet.
The bats prefer the Ficus, Mangifera Indica, Rain tree, Jackfruit and Gulmohar trees here. There is need to preserve this little kingdom of the bats.    
Apart from the park here, another urban haven for bats is the office of the Commissioner of Police on Infantry road.  

1 comment:

  1. From what I have seen since my childhood that, bats were not present in bugle rock before, they were hanging on to a big tree in karanji anjaneya temple right next to bugle rock( I remember this precisely because I have phobia of bats and I never used to go to temple till they shifted! :D). One fine day they all shifted, probably that tree was not sufficient for them!..