Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is about 18km form Mysore and is home to some of the most exotic birds. It is a group of small islands in the Cauvery River. it includes of a group of six islets, the isolated islets and the abundance of aquatic insects during the monsoon make Ranganathitttu a favorite abode for birds. Sanctuary is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts nature lover and bird watchers.
Ranganthittu was formed as a result of a small dam across the river Cauvery in the 1600s. The Bird Sanctuary at Ranganathittu owes its existence to the world famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali who convinced the Maharaja of Mysore in 1940 to declare Ranganthittu as a protected area.
The sanctuary is not very large it covers an area of 0.67sq.km. But is home to a great variety of birds and a few reptiles.
The sanctuary is home to a wide species of birds including cormorants, darters, white ibis, spoon billed storks, open billed storks, painted storks, white necked storks, egrets, herons, terns, kingfishers, sandpiper etc.
There are a few mammals in the sanctuary like fruit bats, bonnet macaques, palm civets, common mongoose and common otters.
there were hundres of bats in this bush
Marsh crocodiles make up the reptile population of the sanctuary.
The sight of fruit bats, crocodiles and birds flying around is a beautiful sight to watch. You can take a boat ride around the sanctuary and get a closer look at the birds and the crocodiles.
The entrance of the park has huge bamboo surrounding the winding path. On both sides of the path are boards with pictures and information about the different birds that are found in the sanctuary. There is a small canteen situated near the lake made in a clearing between the bamboos.
If you are a nature enthusiast it is best to visit the sanctuary in the early hours of the morning before the sanctuary gets crowded with visitors.
It is said that some of the birds come here from far off place like Siberia, Australia, and even North America. Authorities have created additional islets at the sanctuary to make way for more number of birds to lay eggs and breed. the birds begin arriving in sanctuary in December every year and finally leave with their little ones in August only to return yet again the following year.
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