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SANCTUARY SPOTLIGHT

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary


Six tiny islands in the river Cauvery are home to a bird sanctuary called Ranganathittu. It was established in 1940 at the insistence of Dr. Salim Ali, and is located three kilometres away from Srirangapatnam, 16 km north of Mysore. The abundance of aquatic insects and fish in the area make it an ideal place for birds.

Cormorants, darters, white ibis, storks (spoon billed, open billed, painted, white necked), egrets, herons, terns, swallows, streaked weavers, ducks, teals, sandpipers, kingfishers, whistling teals and plovers are some of the birds that visit the area. Some come from as far away as Siberia, Australia and even North America. In the year 1999-2000 the sanctuary had a record 1,400 painted storks visiting the area. Kingfishers and peacocks are also spotted here. Authorities have created more islets for the birds to breed, lay and hatch their eggs. The birds begin arriving here by December and leave only by August. The nesting season that falls between June and October is the best time to visit as the sanctuary is bursting with colours and sounds of the birds and their newly hatched chicks.

Reptiles and other wildlife: It is not unusual to spot marsh crocodiles on the banks of the river while fruit bats, bonnet macaques, palm civets, mongoose and common otters also set up their home here.

How to get there: The sanctuary is 125 km from Bangalore and 25 km away from Mysore

By air: The closest airport is Bangalore.

Accommodation: The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation's (KSTDC) Mayura River View has rooms available at Srirangapatnam. There are two A/C rooms at Rs. 750 each, four rooms at Rs. 600 each and two rooms at Rs. 550 each. There is a restaurant in the hotel premises.

For details contact: KDTDC 080-22352901/902/903

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