Another place that one should visit while on a trip to Srirangapatnam is the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Ranganathittu is about 18km form Mysore and is home to some of the most exotic birds. It is a group of small islands in the Cauvery River.
Ranganthittu was formed as a result of a small dam across the river
Cauvery in the 1600s. The Bird Sanctuary at Ranganathittu owes its
existence to the world famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali who convinced
the Maharaja of Mysore in 1940 to declare Ranganthittu as a protected
area. The sanctuary is not very large it covers an area of 0.67sq.km.
But is home to a great variety of birds and a few reptiles. It is said
that the sanctuary is a sight to behold during the nesting season of the
birds from June to November. The sanctuary is home to a wide species of
birds including cormorants, darters, white ibis, spoon billed storks,
open billed storks, painted storks, white necked storks, egrets, herons,
terns, swallows, kingfishers, sandpiper etc. There are a few mammals in
the sanctuary like fruit bats, bonnet macaques, palm civets, common
mongoose and common otters. Marsh crocodiles make up the reptile
population of the sanctuary.
The sight of fruit bats, crocodiles and birds flying around is a
beautiful sight to watch. You can take a boat ride around the sanctuary
and get a closer look at the birds and the crocodiles. The entrance of
the park has huge bamboo surrounding the winding path. On both sides of
the path are boards with pictures and information about the different
birds that are found in the sanctuary. There is a small canteen situated
near the lake made in a clearing between the bamboos. The best season to
visit the sanctuary is May-September and October. If you are a nature
enthusiast it is best to visit the sanctuary in the early hours of the
morning before the sanctuary gets crowded with visitors.