Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a must visit place for nature lovers. The sanctuary is made on the banks of river Cauvery and it is an apt place for bird watchers, provided you visit this place during the season time. The Bird Sanctuary is named after Sri Ranganatha Swamy, an incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu. It is an island on the river Cauvery and it is spread on an area of 40 acres. The Sanctuary includes six islands and was declared a bird sanctuary in 1940.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is an important nesting and breeding ground for the thousands of bird species. This sanctuary welcomes the arrival of a large number of migratory birds of different flocks from as far as Siberia, North America and Australia. Once you get inside the sanctuary, you have to walk parallel the Cauvery River to reach the boating point. If you are an avid nature lover, then you are going to enjoy this walk. One can find some deciduous forests, bamboo, eucalyptus, figs, jamun trees along with some flowering plants. These are very properly maintained and the sanctuary is kept very neat and clean.
The best attraction of this place is the boating. One can either pay Rs.60 per head and go for a 10-15 minutes boating or you can hire a boat (maximum capacity 10-12) for Rs.1000 and enjoy a 30-40 minutes ride. It is highly recommend opting for the Rs.1000 one as in this one can reach very near to the nests to the birds. Trust me this 30 minute Ranger Guided boating (in proper season time) is going to be the best boating experience of your life. The boat tours of the islands are available throughout the day, and are a good way to watch birds, crocodiles, otters and bats. The seasons for visiting the park are: June – November (during the nesting season of the water birds). It is recommended to visit this place during evening as all the birds were expected to be in their nest.
Since it is river water, sights of crocodiles are quite common. You are almost sure to view some crocodiles either swimming or sleeping on the islands. The experience of you sailing in the same river where crocodiles are swimming is absolutely thrilling. We were lucky enough to see crocodiles swimming at around 50 meters away from our boat. As per the ranger, crocodiles are afraid of the boat and its continuous movement.
The journey towards the bird’s nest and far off islands are really thrilling. There are quite a few islands kind of set-ups, where these birds make their nests. Sailing through these islands can give you an awesome feel, as if sailing through dense forests. You can observe all these birds from a very close proximity. We had observed little cormorant, large cormorant, darter, white ibis, open-billed stork, egret, heron, great stone plover etc. These birds were in bunches and making a lot of noises. It was very refreshing to observe these storks feeding the new-born, flying in groups in a very symmetric manner back to their nests, repairing their nests, catching fishes from the river, trying to block other birds from entering their nests etc. overall it was an awesome experience and a must go place for avid nature lovers.
The place is safe, well maintained, neat and clean. There is a cafeteria where you can get snacks and other beverages. The sanctuary has well maintained washrooms. It will be very refreshing and thrilling to see crocodiles and numerous birds in the same place. The only sad part was the Rs.500 charge for DSLRs. Though P&S, Mobile cam are free 🙁
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Boating Facility at Ranganathittu & Charges
Sanctuary is having a boating facility operated by the forest department rangers and this should not be missed in the sanctuary. The boat ride offers you not just with the scenic beauty of the islets but also with glimpses of a wide variety of beautiful birds as well.
During your boat ride, you can enjoy the green landscape of the Sanctuary & catch glimpses of crocodiles, bats, and otters along with the migratory birds.
Boating charges for Indians are Rs.70 per person in share while for foreigners it is Rs.300 per person. The exclusive private boat service can be availed from INR 1,000 to 3,000 based on the distance and time with which you can enjoy a private safari.
Boat rides can take up to 30 minutes but private boating will take more time based on your preference. The best time would be morning so that you can avoid the heat during noon and crowd at day time.
Facilities at Ranganathittu
Ranaganathittu is having almost all facilities which a traveler is looking for. Decent toilet facilities, enough pergolas, information center, and cafeteria. I would recommend avoiding the cafeteria due to limited quantity and the high price of the food (most of the menu items will be in south Indian cuisine).
There are a couple of temporary stalls available near the parking area for snacks and sugar cane juice. People who don’t want to go for boating can also spend enough time in the garden as well.
Best time to visit Ranganathittu
January to march will be the best season to watch most of the species. From June to September marks the monsoon season & another great season as these are the nesting month for the birds. However, due to water rise in Kaveri River in the rainy season, the boating facility would not be there.
How to reach Ranganathittu?
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is at a distance of 19 km from historical Mysore city, and about 128 km from the garden city of Bangalore. The bird sanctuary is at a distance of just 4 km from the Srirangapatna.
While coming from Bangalore to Mysore, take the sharp right after the Srirangapatna town and follow the road towards Vrindavan garden. After 3 Km take the right turn to reach Ranganathittu Sanctuary.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Timings
09:00 am – 06:00 pm on all days