Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Mandya, Karnataka

It is sad news from Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, near Mysore. Incessant rains, overflowing of Cauvery River has played havoc in this region.

Every year around 70,000 birds, including those from Europe migrate to this sanctuary for three to four months to nest. Usually this is from June to November. Karnataka tourism has developed this place well, spruced it up with little gardens, a couple of eateries and ‘boating’ facilities. The boats take you reasonably close to their nests and one can get good pictures of the birds. This place is a favorite weekend picnic destination for many Bangalore families. These pictures were taken a couple of years back.

The sanctuary has six islets, it is such a treat to eyes seeing the birds: Pelicans, Painted Storks, Asian Openbill Stork, more (170 varieties recorded) at such close distance totally unmindful of the tourists around. Different birds choose different islands and experienced boatman can steer you to your desired bird’s nesting grounds. Ask for Spoonbill Island, you will be taken to the island where Spoonbill birds have been nesting for decades… as long as his memory… the boatman says.

Unfortunately today none of these islets are visible; water level has risen 10ft. above the average mark. Cauvery River washed away their nests, along with them the eggs and tiny hatch-lings. The worst affected are the breeds which build nests on lower branches (Snake Bird). Many birds have left for safer grounds. They are now seen nesting in the trees of Kokkare Bellur, near Maddur, on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. The sanctuary is now shut for boating to public for the next six weeks.

Ranganthittu is located three kilometers away from the historic town of Srirangapatna and 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Mysore. It is 130kms south west Of Bangalore.

This post got a mention in Tangy Tuesday Picks by Blogadda.

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