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Dipesh Majumdar

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Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

April 14, 2012

Clear sky… sunny day… we finally hit the road today. We have been planning for Ranganathittu for quite some time now, but somehow something or the other would derail our plan.



From IIM Bangalore (near Banerghatta road), I had set the odometer reading to zero. At around 135 km on the mysore highway, we found an U-turn diversion which goes 3 km inwards to Ranganathittu. (I took the below photo of direction board while returning from the bird sanctuary and so it is dark, i.e, past 7 O' clock evening.)



We took the u turn and after a few minutes drive  saw the main entrance to the bird sanctuary.



Lush green paddy field on both sides of the road...



Soon we reached the ticket counter. Shown ahead is the person from the bird sanctuary helping cars book the tickets. Also the rearview mirror shows the queue of cars waiting for their turn. It was Rs. 230 (50 for each person and 30 for car parking; needless to say, Romir's ticket was waived off). It is better to collect the tickets for your boating here in the gate itself, otherwise you will again have to wait in the queue inside the sanctuary.



We were taken aback by the beauty of the ambience within the park. The continuous chirping of the birds followed by the scenic beauty of the lake was relishing.



Very neatly organized park… there were so many benches for the visitors to sit, relax and enjoy bountiful nature and her beauty. There were lawns of green grass on one side and the serene lake on the other. Much away from the buzz of city and noisy vehicles, this little piece of heaven was indeed a haven for people seeking out for peace and calmness.



After getting into the sanctuary, we started looking for tickets for boating. We waited near the counter and finally the tickets were in hand. The boats are manually rowed. Engines are prohibited to ensure the birds' tranquility. Birds, monkeys, fish and crocodiles don't harass or fear men and the visitors don't trouble them! It's a lovely example of 'Live and let live' philosophy. Both parties- nature and men benefit as a result.

Boat ride was indeed nice. We busied ourselves with our cameras. So much to shoot, so little captured! The gentle cool breeze over the water was very pleasant.



Green trees laden with countless white birds against the background of blue sky and calm water were indeed spectacular to watch! These migratory birds have come from such far places. So many kms they travel, but how they remember the route? Do they rest on their way? What happens when one falls sick? So many questions... so little known! Wait! We also see some dark spots on those trees... a close watch and it became clear that they were bats. The boatman clarified... those are the fruit eating bats, hanging upside down (that’s what seemed to me) on the trees, among the white birds.



Hold on! There is much more in store! Out there at the other end of be river we spotted a crocodile, lazily floating on the river...



A closer shot of the birds...



It was a 20 minute boat ride but don't go by quantity. It was an awesome ride and the beauty of the birds comfortably ensconced in the branches of the trees near the river bank was inexplicable.



The boat ride was followed by some casual and lazy stroll across the sanctuary. We got on top of some watch towers to get a better view of the lake and the birds. Didn't find anything out of the way though! So took this photo...



Finally the sun hung low, kissing horizon and spreading the golden aura across the whole lake.



We finally bid good bye to Ranganathittu park, feeling elated and rejuvenated and accelerated towards the busy Bangalore-Mysore highway. Just before hitting the highway (near the U-turn I mentioned above) we stumbled upon a hotel (Balaji Garden Resort, shown below).



Rooms are cheap here for overnight stay(12 hours)... Rs. 600 non-ac and 1050 ac. So one can reach this place in night and check out during morning to savour the Ranganathittu beauty. Planning the itinerary this way seemed a lot better than reaching this lovely place at the last moment and after a fatigued journey.

Now the sweet chirping of the birds had given way to honking and screeching. Channapatana, the land of toys came on the way and we dropped in a good toy shop to buy toys for Romir. The toys were indeed cheap and all made of wood. Very nice, indeed… it is much better than the cheap imported plastic items flooding our toy market.



Some of the toys inside the shop...



Constant driving was tiring and we found a decent hotel to unwind. Hotel Empire seemed good enough.



Back to normal life… back again to the normal cacophony, traffic and pollution. We will surely pay many more visits to this underrated and lovely place.

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