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Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

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One of the two places that nature lovers and admirers of animal/ bird kingdoms must visit is Mysuru Zoo. The other place is Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary – where migratory birds from faraway places like Siberia, South America, the ASEAN and other regions come for breeding.  Being on the banks of the Kaveri River, with serene biodiversity of this bird sanctuary hosts a vibrant migratory avian population. 

History in brief

Ranganthittu bird sanctuary comprises six islets formed by the meandering Kaveri River, which acts as a lifeline for the thriving flora and fauna in the region. It was built between AD 1645 and 1648 by the then-king of Mysuru, Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar. The islets formed an important nesting ground for a large variety of birds and is an ecologically sensitive area. In order to preserve the place, in 1940, the then King of Mysuru – Jayachamarajedra urs declared the area around the islets as protected area. The sanctuary is currently maintained by the Forest Department of Karnataka.

Unveiling the Beauty of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary:

Spread across an area of approximately 0.67 square kilometers (165 acres), Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a small but ecologically significant reserve. It was primarily established to provide a haven for migratory birds. The diverse habitats within Ranganathittu, including riverine forests, freshwater marshes, and rocky outcrops, attract an impressive array of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts.

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River Tern | Ranganatitu Bird Sanctuary
River Tern | Pic Courtesy: Mithan B M

Bird birds and birds everywhere

Ranganatittu is home to over 170 species of birds, both resident and migratory. The sanctuary’s fame is primarily attributed to its resident population of painted storks, which nest in large numbers on the island trees during the breeding season. With their vibrant plumage and graceful movements, these elegant birds create a breathtaking spectacle for visitors. Additionally, one can spot a myriad of other avian species, including Asian openbill storks, black-headed ibis, egrets, herons, spoonbills, and many more.

An ideal stop-over for migratory birds

Ranganatittu also serves as an essential stopover for numerous migratory birds that travel vast distances during their annual journeys. From November to February, the bar-headed geese, pelicans, cormorants, and several species of ducks that seek refuge from colder climates, come to Ranganthittu. Watching these migratory marvels in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience, and it offers a glimpse into the wonders of avian migration.

Spot-Billed Pelican | Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Spot-Billed Pelican | Pic Courtesy: Shyam.akirala

Exploring Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary

Visitors to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary can embark on boat safaris that take them on a serene journey through the sanctuary’s waterways. These boat rides offer an up-close and personal encounter with the avian residents, allowing birdwatchers to observe their behavior, feeding patterns, and nesting habits. The boat safaris are conducted by trained guides who provide valuable insights into the sanctuary’s ecology, ensuring an informative and memorable experience for visitors.

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Best months to visit

The best seasons for visiting the park are June–November (during the nesting season of the water birds). The best time to watch migratory birds is usually December though it can vary year to year.

How to reach

It is around 18.2 kilometers from Mysuru and tourists can descend on Mysuru via flights, bus and train. One can even travel by own car/ bike to the place.

Ticket fares

Adult – Rs 70/- per Person

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Children (5 to 12 years) –Rs 10/- per Person

Foreigners – Rs 400/- per Person

50% Concession on Adult Rate – High School/College Students (Above 12 years age) Study Tour Only – Rs 35/- per Person

25% Concession on Adult Rate – Primary & Higher Primary School Students (Below 12 years age)- Rs 18 /- per Person

50% Concession – for School & College Teachers accompanying Students – Rs 35/- per Person

Parking Fee per Vehicle per Entry:

Vehicle parking charges

Cycle – Rs 5/-

Motor Cycle/Scooter – Rs 15/-

Auto Rickshaw/Tanga – Rs 20/-

Car/Jeep – Rs 50/-

LCV, Mini Bus, Tempo,etc.-Rs 100/-

Bus/Truck – Rs 150/-

Camera Charges:

DSLR/SLR below 200 mm lense – Rs 100/-

DSLR/SLR above 200 mm lense – Rs 500/-

Boating Charges per Person per Trip:

Adult – Rs 70/- per Person

Children – Rs 30/- per Person

Foreigners – Rs 400/- per Person

High School/College Students – 50% of Adult Rate – Rs 35/- per Person

Primary & Higher Students -25% of Adult Rate – Rs 18/- per Person

School & College Teacher accompanying by Students 50% on Adult Rate – Rs 35/- per Person

Special Boating Ride (Per Trip):

Indians – Rs 1500/-

Foreigners – Rs 3000/-

For Photography (Indians) – Rs 1500/-

For Photography (Foreigners) – Rs 3000/-

Note: Only When the Boats are Free, No Charges for Children below 5 years


Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary offers everything that a nature lover, adventure seeker, an avid bird watcher aspires for. With its remarkable avian diversity, picturesque landscapes, and conservation efforts, Ranganathittu has rightfully earned its place as one of India’s most beloved bird sanctuaries. 

Click here for Ramsar Sites Information Service

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