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.
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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.
How to get to Ranganatittu bird sanctuary?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other places around Ranganatittu
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.
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.
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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