Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, the bird-watchers’ paradise, is just a 20 minute drive from Mysore. The place can be reached with the help of Google Maps.
With a land area of 67 hectares, the sanctuary has over 220 species of birds such as storks, egrets, ibises, pelicans, spoonbill, river tern, kingfisher, cuckoos, mynas, sparrows, wagtails, quails, warblers and herons.
Shri Kantirava Narsaraja Wodeyar, the ruler of Mysore in 1640, constructed a weir (a structure like dam) on cauvery river that led to the formation of islands and islets that eventually turned out to be the current “Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary”.
There are a total of 30 bird sanctuaries in India.
Apart from birds, Ranganathittu also has many reptiles and mammals. There are over 60 varieties of butterflies, about 30 species of fish, and over 500 species of plants.
To our surprise, the sanctuary was extremely well maintained with a clean surrounding and signboards all around. Do not worry even if you are entering the sanctuary at noon, the dense trees perfectly act as a top cover that shields you from sunlight.
Minty Tip: At the entrance, there is an information center. We recommend you to go inside to read the history of Ranganathittu. Also, there is a quiz board (that works) about Karnataka tourism, its a fun way to learn something new.
You will be able to spot birds only if you take a boat safari.
Many people do not wear life jackets, but we recommend you to wear it. During our boat safari, we spotted at least 5 species of birds, and we could see four crocodiles. One of the crocodiles was floating in water by creating a perfect camouflage to catch prey.
Minty Alert: If you are taking a corner seat in the boat safari, be extremely careful and vigilant at all times. There might be crocodiles floating on the water in camouflage. Do not extend your hand outside the boat, its very dangerous. Hold your kids, because a sharp movement can capsize the boat.
Apart from the regular boat trip, there is a special boat service too. The normal boat safari will take you to 3 island and then you will be returned to base (covering a small circle). In the special boat safari, they will take you to all six islands (covering a larger circle of path). The special boat safari is usually a private ride.
Below picture is the entrance to sanctuary.
You can spot many such sitting areas facing the river Cauvery.
View from one of the sitting area.
Below picture shows a walking path that’s adjacent to the river, but you will not be able to spot much of birds in this path.
Must Know Details For Boating
- Adults: Rs 60 per person
- Children: Rs 30 per person
- Children below 5 years: FREE
- Foreigner: Rs 300 per person
- Lunch time: 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm
- For school and college students, there is a discount (upto 50%) on boating.
- Special boat service: For Indias, it is charged at Rs 1,000 per boat (for a 30 minutes trip). For foreigners, it is charged at Rs 2,000 per boat.