Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary is a Bird Sanctuary in the Mandya District of Karnataka. Ranganthittu also called Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka is a very small sanctuary, being only 0.67 sq km. in area. Ranganthittu comprises of six islets on the banks of the River Kaveri. Ranganthittu is located about 5 km away from historic town of Srirangapatna.
The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri river was built in the 1700s. The ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali observed that the isles formed an important nesting ground for birds, and persuaded the Wodeyar kings of Mysore to declare the area a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.
Most of the park falls under the Riparian biome, corresponding to the Indomalaya ecozone.
Flora & Fauna
Riverine reed beds cover the banks of the islands, while the islands themselves are covered in broadleaf forests, with dominant species being Terminalia arjun (Arjun tree), bamboo groves, and Pandanus trees. Eucalyptus and Acacia trees have also been planted, which might lead to long-term eradication of native species. The endemic and threatened lily Iphigenia mysorensis of the family Colchicaceae grows in the sanctuary.
The islands are host to numerous small mammals, including Bonnet Macaque, colonies of Flying Fox and common small mammals like Common Palm Civet and Indian Gray Mongoose and the monitor lizard.
The Mugger Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds. Breeding water birds include Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, White Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons. The Great Stone Plover, and River Tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of Streak-throated Swallows.
How to Reach Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary is located on the Bangalore-Mysore highway and can be reached easily from both cities. The nearest railway station is Mysore. Accommodation at the resort is rather limited and most visitors prefer to stay at Mysore.
The best time for a visit to Ranganathittu would be between June and November, when there are plenty of nesting birds here. If you want to catch the migratory birds, then you would have to time your visit in the winter months.
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