5 birds to spot at Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary

Let’s talk about photographer’s paradise! A place that has endless opportunities to take pictures of the colourful migratory and local birds. Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is a heaven for photographers and bird watchers. In this post, I will be talking about the 5 birds to spot at Ranganatittu wildlife sanctuary. Ranganatittu also makes an awesome one day trip from Bangalore.

Birds to spot at Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary

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Where is Ranganatittu bird sanctuary?

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is the largest bird sanctuary in Karnataka state of India. Located in Mandya district, the sanctuary comprises of 40 acres of land and six islets on the banks of River Cauveri. It got its sanctuary status in the year 1940 by the King of Mysore and in the year 2014, the sanctuary and the area around the sanctuary have been declared as an eco-sensitive zone. The sanctuary is currently maintained by Forest department of Karnataka and is a protected sanctuary.

Even though the bird sanctuary can be visited throughout the year, the best time to visit the sanctuary is during the months of September and April as the sanctuary is filled with large number of migratory birds.

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary
Ranganatittu bird sanctuary layout

How to get to Ranganatittu bird sanctuary?

Driving

The easiest way to get to Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is by driving or riding. It is just around 130 kilometres from Bangalore city and takes 2 hours 45 minutes to drive. The road is straightforward on the Mysore Road.

The nearest city is Mysore and the sanctuary is only 20 kilometres from Mysore. And the nearest town is Srirangapattana.

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary

Public transportation

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary can easily be reached by public transportation. There are frequent trains between Bangalore (Majestic train station) and Srirangapattana. One can change at Srirangapattana (bus stop at Ranganatha temple) to catch a bus to Ranganatittu. The train journey between Bangalore and Srirangapattana is 2 hours 20 minutes and the bus between Srirangapattana and Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is 11 minutes.

  • The train tickets can be booked on IRCTC website.

Entrance ticket and boat safari

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is open everyday between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM and there is an entrance fee of INR 50 for Indian and INR 300 for foreign nationals. The best thing to do at Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is to take a boat safari. The boat safari is an extra charge and visitors can either opt to take the boat for themselves or with other visitors. The boat ride with shared visitors is INR 70 for Indian and INR 300 for foreign nationals. Camera costs extra as well. The tickets are purchased at the entrance of the sanctuary.

  • Note: The prices mentioned here may be outdated. The up to date information on the prices can be found at the entrance of the sanctuary.

5 birds to spot at Ranganatittu bird sanctuary

The tiny islands within the sanctuary make nesting grounds for the migratory birds. There are around 180 birds that have been recorded over the years. The common types of birds are Egrets, Herons, Cormorants and others. Best place to find about all the birds in Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is on the eBird website.

Painted Storks

The most prominent inland migratory birds that can be seen at Ranganatittu are the Painted Storks. They are found in the wetlands and have distinctive pink feathers and yellow long bill. They nest in colonies and are usually in shallow waters along the rivers and lakes. Painted Storks eat small fish, reptiles and insects.

Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary
Painted Storks

Black Crowned Night Heron

A medium sized bird is the Black Crowned Night Heron, or commonly known as Night Heron. They nest in groves of trees on islands to stay away from the predators. Primarily eating fish and other aquatic beings such as frogs, tadpoles, and lizards, the Night Heron usually hunt at nights and early mornings.

Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary
Black Crowned Night Heron

Asian Openbill Stork

Known for its white to grey body and black wings, the Asian Openbill storks are migratory birds. They migrate between North and South of India every year. The name Openbill is derived from their bill as there is a gap between the upper and lower bill. They mainly feed on snails.

Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary
Asian Openbill Stork

Little Egrets

A small white bird with dark grey legs is the Little Egret. They eat small fishes and other tiny creatures like prawns, shrimps and crabs. The birds are usually found on the wetlands, near rivers and lakes.

Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary
Little Egret (white with yellow neck band) with Asian Openbill Stork

Snakebird

Also known as Anhinga or Darters, the Snakebirds are the water birds found in the warmer areas. They are called as Snakebirds because of their neck. And they can dive up to a depth of 60 feet and can hold their breath for more than a minute.

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary
Snakebird

Bonus spotting: Crocodiles

The sanctuary is also home to many crocodiles (I know they are not birds). The type of crocodiles that are found in the sanctuary are the mugger or march crocodiles. These are the fresh water crocodiles. They are found everywhere on the rocks, basking in the sun.

When you take a boat ride, make sure you are careful and keep your hands inside the boat. The mugger crocodiles are very dangerous and can kill humans.

Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary

Other places around Ranganatittu

Kokkarebelluru

Kokkarebelluru is named after the Painted Storks is a village in the Mandya district, very close to Ranganatittu bird sanctuary. The Painted Storks nest in this village in large numbers every year. The distance between Kokkarebelluru and Ranganatittu is just 25 kilometres.

Kokkarebelluru
A village scene at Kokkarebelluru

Balmuri and Yedamuri falls

A short man made waterfalls along the small dam are the Balmuri (right) and Yedamuri (left) falls. They are a great place to have a picnic by the waterfalls and enjoy the scenic views by the side of water. This is the area where River Cauveri flows over a rocky bed.

Ensure to get into the water only when the water levels are low. Make sure to talk to the locals to find if it is safe or not. DO NOT get into the water during the rainy season or when the water levels are high. Also, make sure you are a swimmer before getting into the water.

Safety for solo female travelers

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary is safe for solo female travelers. It is a crowded and touristy place which is monitored. However, be careful of the wildlife especially the crocodiles in the sanctuary. And also be cautious and know your surroundings at all times, at nights specifically.

Closing Notes

I love visiting Ranganatittu bird sanctuary and I have been there three times already. The birds and the wildlife are absolutely amazing and it is truly a place where one can take countless number of pictures.

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11 thoughts on “5 birds to spot at Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary”

  1. Our daughter is an ornithologist and always looks for different birds when she travels. When we travel we try to find unique ones to photograph and share with her. I love the colourful Painted Storks and the fuzzy headed Egrets. But I am sure she would want to see the Snakebird!

    Reply
  2. Amamzing! Such a beautiful birds. I am not much of a bird watcher but I am always excited to see new animals I haven’t seen before. Especially while I travel. And even better if I manage to get a good photo of them like you did. This part of the world would have so many animals to see that I have never seen.

    Reply
  3. Bird-watching experience at Ranganatittu Sanctuary sounds amazing. I usually look out for birds when traveling so your photos are exciting! I love the Painted Storks and Little Egrets. I’ve never heard of Snake bird but it looks so cool.

    Reply
  4. I don’t know if I’d be able to snap shots of the birds fast. It would be so hard to do that while watching them! Yes, it’s nice to get out of the city sometimes and enjoy nature in protected places such as this.

    Reply
  5. I can see why it would be a natural photographer’s dream as well as bird watching enthusiasts! The painted stork is such a pretty bird and to see them in their own habitat.

    Reply
  6. India had been on our list for a long time, but we didn’t make it there yet. There are so many interesting places I’d love to visit there that I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’ll make sure to add Ranganatittu bird sanctuary to my list also. My husband loves photographing birds, so I’m sure we would have a blast watching those storks.

    Reply
  7. Good to know when is best to see the migrated birds during this visit. The painted storks and snake birds look fascinating. I’ve definitely got no concerns about visiting this sanctuary as a solo female.

    Reply
  8. Ooh! I love seeing what wildlife is like in other countries. The painted storks are so lovely! It would be fun to take a boat and see the various birds, too. What a great idea!

    Reply
  9. I have been to only a couple of bird watching trips here in India and Ranganatittu happens to be one of them. We took time out from an official trip in Mysore. And thoroughly enjoyed. It was like reliving that trip.

    Reply

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