All are welcome at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Location: Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary near Srirangapatna
Date: Feb 6th 2011
To get there: [Click here for Google Map].
From Bangalore take the Mysore Road. After you cross Srirangapatna fort (main junction with Fort Entrance on right), watch out for the Sanctuary board on the right after about a km. It comes right after you cross 2 bridges. Take the right and drive along a country road for another km or so and you are there. From Mysore side, it is even closer. Just reverse the directions above.
Distance: About 125 kms from Bangalore and 15 kms from Mysore.
Trail type: There are no trekking trails that I am aware of here. I have noticed a dirt track going to the left of the boating point. We have only gone about 200 mtrs (due to lack of time) on it so not sure how much further one can walk. However, it has ample space, including a maze with hedge walls, for kids to enjoy.
Facilities: Fairly decent KSTDC run eating place and toilet facilities. Srirangapatna and Mysore are close by.
Misc Links:

In case you wondered, the "All are welcome" in the title was meant for the birds since we 2 legged, non-flying, large brained but prefer to travel in machines species, have to pay dearly to enter this place! Well, I think it is not
too high considering the natural wealth this place possesses, but then I may be in the minority with this view. We paid Rs. 50/person to enter. Boating is again Rs. 50/person in the general boat or (a very steep) Rs. 1000 for your own boat which can seat 8 persons.

We ended up there Sunday morning in keeping with a promise along with another family to go "someplace nice" post New year. 1 month too late, but we made it. Left Bangalore around 6.30am, lunch near Maddur about 9am and we were at the Sanctuary before 11am. A bit late but early enough to enjoy the place.

The place itself is a bunch of islets in the river Cauvery providing
natural protection to nesting migratory birds. There are only rowboats
to keep the disturbance to the birds minimal. Guides are quite knowledgeable about the birds which inhabit the sanctuary including their migration patterns and characteristics. Do not hesitate to ask them questions.

There is really no season as such because you will find some activity all-round the year even if it is just resident birds. During the migratory season which varies according to each species and is from Oct to about June, you will find each species in different stages like arrival, nest building, chick rearing and finally lessons on flying before heading
back to their home. During our visit, we got to see Painted Storks, Asian Open-billed storks (nesting), Eurasian Spoonbill (nest building), Spot-billed Pelicans prominently in the trees. Others were Great Thick-knee (or Great stone plover), Marsh Harrier (migrant), River Tern, Night Heron, etc. You will also surely spot few crocodiles which is a thrill for all the youngsters.

The facility has some space around it to picnic or just hang around. There is also a maze made of hedges which our youngsters enjoyed. After a quick stop-over to see Daria Daulat Bagh, Tipu's summer palace, we headed out to make it for a late lunch at McDonalds(kids choice), which is few kms after Maddur on the way back. Reached Bangalore by 7pm.

Overall, a must visit if you are a nature enthusiast and live around Mysore or Bangalore. Perfect for a day trip or even a 1/2 day trip. I would recommend reaching there before 10am, ideally 9am to be able to experience and photograph better in the morning light.

Click here for more images from the trip.