Monday, June 24, 2013

Ranganathittu - A long awaited destination

The place:

Ranganathittu is a bird sanctuary located at about 130 kms. from Bangalore. Located on the Cauvery river, the sanctuary is a home to a large number of migratory birds mainly consisting of Pelicans, Painted Storks and Open billed Storks.

Best time to visit?

I visited this place during the month of May, which is considered to be the best time to see the migratory birds that nest here.


Route       : Bangalore- Bidadi- Ramanagara- Channapatna- Maddur-  Mandya-  Srirangapatna-   
Distance   : 130 kms.

Beautiful morning:

I woke up this morning at 5:30 am. The weather felt really pleasant as it had rained the previous night. I felt that it would be an ideal weather for a bike ride. But where to go? The immediate response from my mind was Ranganathittu which was a destination I had planning to go from a long time. It was too early to wake up my friends, so I decided to head alone to the destination. I put the camera and lens into my bag and left my place at sharp 6:00 am. I wanted to be there as early as possible because morning is the best time if you want to spot larger number of birds.

I rode through the ring road to join Mysore Road near Nayandanahalli signal. The cool and cloudy weather with sun playing hide and seek set up the tone for a perfect bike ride. As a rider, I couldn't have asked for anything better. I rode through the various cities on Mysore Road. I decided to halt at Hotel Vaishali in Channapatna which has always been my favorite spot for breakfast. But then I realized that I would be late to reach the destination. So I continued to ride...

Finally there:

I reached Srirangapatna where I took a right turn to enter the road which led to the bird sanctuary. The sanctuary is about 2 kms. from the main road. I found an arch with the name of the sanctuary and the route through it led me to the sanctuary. It was 9:00 am when i reached the place. At the checkpost I had to pay INR 50/- as entry fees. On going inside, there was a parking lot with ample parking space where I parked my bike and headed towards the boating area.

On reaching the boating area, I inquired with a boatman about the charges. He told that the tickets for the boat ride would cost me INR 50/- per head and if I were to hire a boat exclusively for myself, that would cost me INR 1000/-. With a personalized boat, the boatman would show some additional places than the normal ride, but there was a duration limit of half an hour. I felt INR 1000/- was too much for a boat especially since I was alone. So I decided to go ahead with the normal boat ride.

I bought the ticket and went to the bank where boatmen were waiting for passengers. He told that I would have to wait for some time so that more passengers come. I had to wait for about 10 minutes till there were enough number of passengers. Once we left, the boatman took us close to the islets where the birds were nested. He covered about 4 to 5 of them. I was very curious to see some crocodiles which are a common site at this place, but I could find very few of them. On asking the boatman, he told that since it was a cloudy day, I would not be able to see too many of them. 

I could see large quantities of birds, most of which were Open bill storkes, Painted Storkes and Pelicans. On asking the boatman, he told me that the number and variety of birds this year were less compared to other years. I asked him whether that was the right time to visit the place, to which he replied saying that it was the perfect time but unfortunately there were not a great variety of them this time. I was disappointed to know that. I continued to click photos of the birds as the boat went close to the islets. Below are some of the snaps  that I managed to take.

On the way back..

After returning to the banks, I decided to explore the place around the banks to see if I could find any more birds around. I managed to find a few Mynas but they were out my camera's range. So I decided to leave the place. As I left the sanctuary, I saw a Cattle Egret and a few goats on the side of the road. Immediately I halted my bike to take few snaps of the same. 

I didn't know that there was more in store for me as I found a few Snowy Egrets in a small pond nearby. I continued to click pics of them.

I also found this weird looking bird about which I have no clue as to what it is.

And finally.. A Myna..

After all this, I felt it was time to resume my journey back to Bangalore. As I rode a little further, it started raining. I decided not to halt and continue riding. It was a very pleasant experience riding the bike when its raining. I halted at Maddur KFC for lunch for about half an hour and then continued my journey towards Bangalore.  I reached Bangalore by 2:00 pm.

Tour Summary:

Destination: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary 
Total Distance traveled: 260 kms.
Trip expenses: Around INR 900/- 
Best time to visit: December to May

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