Bird watching at Nanmangalam Reserve Forest and Nanmangalam Lake


Tagged as: Chennai Bird Watching Posted By Satheesh Babu

Nanmangalam Reserve Forest and Nanmangalam Lake is one among the many bird watching places found in and around Chennai. The specialty of this place is, it is very near from the heart of the city and is easily reachable. If you are in Chennai and you love Bird watching then you can plan for a bird watching trip to this place.

How to reach there?

This place is located at Tambaram-Velacherry Main road, exactly at around 5.2 kilometrs away from Tambaram railway station in Tambaram-Velacherry Main road. You need to take left and travel around 2 kilometers further on the Sembakkam-Hasthinapuram link road which will lead to the Lake in left of the road and the reserve forest on the right side.

 Google Map: Location on map..

About this place

There are many varieties of birds you can spot here since it has both water bodies and forests. The wiki list include,

Indian Robin and Magpie Robin, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and White-breasted Kingfisher, Great Horned Owl, Common Iora, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Purple Sunbird and Loten's Sunbird, Spotted Dove and Laughing Dove, Indian Nightjar, Eurasian Stone-curlew (Thick-knee), Ashy Woodswallow, Common Woodshrike, Blue-faced Malkoha, Common Babbler, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul and White-browed bulbul, Oriental Honey Buzzard, White-eyed Buzzard and Shikra.

During the Wintering months Indian Pitta, Rosy Starling, Orange-headed Ground Thrush, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Common Kestrel, Booted Eagle, Common Snipe and Blue-tailed Bee-eater.

This place is not like you just step in and spot a bird, you need to really wait with patience. Remember birds are very sensitive and they are very shy and it always keeps themselves away from humans. It’s also good to note that this place is a forest and not a bird sanctuary where you see birds flocking the place. Patience is the most important thing in bird watching, you first try to find a spot where you find more activity and slowly approach the spot. There are good numbers of birds living here which are not usually spotted around where the human population live, so it’s merely your luck and patience that will help spotting these winged beauties.

Even though it is a reserve forest, this place is regularly intruded by the nearby villagers and the people living around who is littering and use this forest as a public toilet. This makes us to feel that this place is not properly moderated and maintained by the forest authorities. Government and people around here should take some measures to save this forest and the bird habitats from getting destroyed further.

Some pictures of birds,

Ashy Prinia

Pheasant tailed Jacana

Plain Prinia

Purple Moorhen

Spotted Dove

Rufous Treepie


Things to consider:

  1. This forest is a reserved forest and is illegal to trespass. But, you can find some birds around the forest and lake. You need to get prior permission from Forest department if you want to get inside the forest, so don’t walk deep into the forest. We are not aware of the process of getting permission so I am leaving it to the readers to find it themselves. Please comment here if you are aware of, it may help other readers.
  2. You need to reach the place early in the morning around 7:00 AM since birds are very active at this time.
  3. As I said, patience is very important thing in bird watching. So, be patient and wait without registering your presence often.
  4. Be environment friendly, do not litter as this place is already encroached heavily and is fastly vanishing. Do not go in larger groups and disturb or spoil the forest in any way.

For more pictures of Birds at Nanmangalam,




How to get permission to get inside the forest?
Commented by Yukesh on 8/28/2022 7:20:40 AM

How to get permission to get inside the forest?
Commented by Yukesh on 8/28/2022 7:20:04 AM

How to get permission to get inside the forest?
Commented by Yukesh on 8/28/2022 7:19:39 AM

Nanmangalam reserve forest permission
DISTRICT FOREST OFFICER CHINGLEPUT DIVISION, 5/9 Varadharaja Pannai, Vandavasi Road, KANCHEEPURAM Phone : 04112-223014 E-mail:
Commented by Balu Ganesan on 3/18/2015 3:53:12 AM