On March 20th, Saturday, instead of the scheduled 7 AM, we (6 of us) met at 9 AM, and even after breakfast, were unsure of destination for the planned (!) day’s outing!
(Yeah, I have backlog of posts too!)
Finally we headed towards Ranganathittu with low expectations!
'Sometimes best decisions of life are taken impromptu' :-)
Driving in Swift, we stopped for lunch at Kamath Lokaruchi (awesome as usual) and reached Ranganathittu (around 125 km from Bengaluru & Mysore’s just 15 km away) in less than 3 hrs.
Parking space is ample & the place’s relatively well maintained. There’s a restaurant and a garden too.
The sanctuary, situated on the banks of Kaveri River, is spread over a group of six islets.
The boat charges are reasonable, and oarsman doubles up as excellent guide too.
Birds come here in summer which’s the breeding season. They begin arriving in December, lay eggs, breed, and finally move out of the sanctuary with their little ones :-)
(During rainy season the islets submerge due to flow of water from Krishna Raja Sagara dam & the islets are restored every year.)
Starting from kingfishers, owls, pigeons & peacocks, there are spoonbills, open bill storks, heron, river tern, and many other exotic bird species.
Some of these birds are from as far as Siberia, Australia and North America. (Some one quipped; thank god human breeding isn’t so arduous!)
To think of how they make it without GPS/Google Map, is amazing!
Prettiest of them all :-)
Capturing birds is a lesson in appreciating/photography. I promised myself a SLR camera & trip again to Ranganatittu. (For now excuse the quality & quantity of photographs!)
On one of the islets we came across this statue of a Crocodile.
And to our horror, it moved upon sprinkling of water! A moment none of us will forget in lifetime!
And to give a piece of history, Ranganathittu attained the status of a bird sanctuary in 1940, thanks to, Dr. Salim Ali - Ornithologist, who, during his survey of the birds of Mysore, advocated for the establishment of a sanctuary.
The isolated islets and the abundant aquatic insects making it a paradise for birds, now there are thousands of birds of many different species.
The best time to visit would be between December & May, early morning or in the evening. (Most birds are out to work 8-5.)
Of course there are enough places around to visit.
By night we were back, in Bengaluru...from a colorful world of avians...
Verdict: - Ranganthittu bird sanctuary is a delightful getaway for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, bird watchers and for one and all :-)