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In Hyderabad, head to KBR Park to spot peacocks

HYDERABAD, TELANGANA, 23/06/2018: A peacock enjoying the perfect ambience in the KBR Park after heavy rains led to cool climate in Hyderabad on June 23, 2018.
Photo: K.V.S. Giri

HYDERABAD, TELANGANA, 23/06/2018: A peacock enjoying the perfect ambience in the KBR Park after heavy rains led to cool climate in Hyderabad on June 23, 2018. Photo: K.V.S. Giri   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

Peacock sighting is an added attraction that is inviting walkers to KBR Park

At 7 am, 10-year-old Sai Tejas standing at the outer periphery of Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park (KBR Park) is squealing in excitement. His 12-year-old sister Sai Sandhya is standing still with their mother’s mobile camera ready. She tries to hush Tejas as she stretches her arm to angle the phone at the tall metal barricades of the park; they have spotted a peacock that is seated just beyond the barricades. As the bird takes flight, Sandhya makes a video, a wide smile of satisfaction on her face.

In Hyderabad, head to KBR Park to spot peacocks

To make the best use of the summer holidays, many parents are encouraging their children to go for early morning walks or strolls at the KBR park. Spread over 390 acres, KBR Park is the biggest green lung space in the city and also home to 452 peacocks, according to a wildlife official. All year round, the National Park is teeming with morning walkers and fitness enthusiasts, mostly adults. Quite naturally, come vacation season, parents do their best to drag their children out to stay active and adopt healthy lifestyles, and if possible, get close to Nature. Some even come equipped with badminton racquets, nets and balls for a friendly match. Playing, however, is only allowed on the outer periphery of KBR.

Walking, jogging, yoga or the open air gym facility (with cross trainers, air swings, twisters, and arm exercise equipment) are not the only reasons why children agree to accompany their parents for a stroll in the park. “It is the peacocks. I bring my kids here whenever they get a longer duration of holiday. Every time I brought my daughter, I have used the peacocks as an incentive; she isn’t tired of the incentive yet,” smiles Lakshmi K, a regular walker at the park.

Things to do

Inside the park too, one can spot more children during the vacations. At this National Park, tickets are priced at ₹25 (adults) and ₹10 (children). “On school days, only adults’ tickets are sold. During weekends and holidays we sell a considerable number of tickets for children as well. Of the total ticket sales, around 30% tickets are for children,” reports the ticket seller at the entrance of the park.

In Hyderabad, head to KBR Park to spot peacocks

Inside the park in the area around the yoga hall and acupressure walk way, children have gathered to see peafowl surround a lady who is still on the ground in Shavasana.

“Daddy, will they bite her?” asks five-year-old Keerthana, fear and curiosity in her voice. Her father replies in the negative and explains that birds and animals don’t harm if we don’t harm them. Saying so, he squats down holding Keerthana close to him and stretches out his right hand to some peafowl. He makes a clucking sound and the peafowl walk steadily but cautiously towards him. Unfortunately, his hand is empty because the park has a ‘No feeding’ rule. Reassured, Keerthana repeats her father’s gesture, and is utterly delighted to see the birds respond to her as well.

Safety first

The safety of both human and non-human visitors in the Park, is monitored with the aid of CCTV camerasand security guards stationed every two kilometres.

Nine-year-old Judah Mathias’s first visit to KBR Park will be a memorable one. “I am here only for the birds. I was a little sad when I didn’t see birds the moment I entered. After I walked further inside, I saw more and more peacocks and peahens and spotted a little red-faced chameleon as well, apart from two squirrels that scurried very close to me. I noticed that the peacock’s neck is blue and the peahen’s is green,” he shares excitedly.

In Hyderabad, head to KBR Park to spot peacocks

However, he is still waiting to see the peacock dance. “I thought they open their feathers and dance all the time,” he says innocently. His only solace is that he saw a peacock take flight. Will he come again? “I might, if my uncle doesn’t make me walk the entire park and allows me to play in the children’s park,” he smiles.

The forest department too is doing its bit for its young visitors during the holidays with camps and screenings to encourage children to get close to Nature. As part of the camp, nature walks and short films on distinguishing types of snakes, the kinds of birds that visit the park during different seasons, are shown.

If you haven’t tried a morning walk in the park with your child you must do it, because it is always best to teach them young, and you will enjoy it too.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 3:33:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/peacock-calling/article27326300.ece

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