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An Evening in Ranganathittu
Apr 13, 2009 08:56 PM 9199 Views


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I was in Mysore on Sunday (yesterday) with my family. On the return journey, we decided to spend some time at the Ranganathittu bird sanctuary. The decision was prompted to some extent after reading the wonderful review by Mazhar.

I had last visited this place some ten years back. At that time, this was a dirty place and very poorly maintained. But there has been a sea change since last time. This time, I found the place wonderful. The entire place is well maintained and a pleasure to visit. In fact, it can easily claim to be one of the best places to see around Bangalore for a quick visit.

Coming to the location, it is just 3km off the Bangalore-Mysore highway. Going towards Mysore, it is on the right-side just a little before Srirangapatnam. The sign boards will direct you towards the place. The roads are narrow, but good. The entry fee is Rs.25/- per person and parking fee Rs.30/-. This is collected as you enter the park. There is plenty of place for parking.

As you enter the park, you can see neatly maintained landscape, tiled pavements to walk on, well-maintained parks and sit-outs. Lots of benches (where you can spot amorous couples!) to sit and relax, take in the cool breeze and do some bird watching (the winged ones, of course). This is a nice place to sit down with familr/friends for a picnic. You can take in a picnic basket and sit down and have an enjoyable time. There is plenty of place to just have a walk or for kids to play.

The main attraction is of course the boating. The boats are manually rowed by boatsmen (motors would disturb the nesting birds). The charges are reasonable - Rs.25/- per person, Rs.10/- for children, below 5 years entry is free. The boatsman from the forest department is helpful and points out various birds and tells you about them. The boating trip is a nice experience. Enjoy the slow ride along the river as you go to the islands, where you can see plenty of nesting birds and enjoy the cool breeze. There are lots of crocodiles, watching patiently and hoping that some snack comes its way. We saw one crocodile basking in the evening sun very close to the river bank. The guide assures that everything is safe and as long as you don't mess with them, they will not mess with you. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera and had to rely on the cell phone for photos.

The main season is in June, but even in April you can see lots of nesting birds, that have come all the way from places like Siberia and Australia. These birds come here to nest and then fly back to their homes to come again next year. We could spot lots of painted storks, cranes, pelicans and bats. The 20-25 mins boat ride is enjoyable and you will never feel bored.

This is a great place to go especially in the evening. The place is well-maintained (kudos to the forest department) and the staff are polite and courteous.

If you are going any where near Mysore, make sure you drop in for a pleasant time in a well-maintained bird sanctuary.

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Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary