Tourism > India > Karnatka > Karnataka Districts >Mandya district
Mandya district is situated in the southeastern part of Karnataka spread over an area of 4,850 sq. km. Pandavapura is an ancient village of this district, which is also an important religious center. Major attractions of this district are Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karighatta (a small hillock), Kuntibetta hill, Bluff Waterfalls, Tirumalasagara Lake, and Cauvery Waterfalls.
In the southern part of the Deccan Plateau is the Mysore district with its headquarters at Mysore. Mysore is famous for its silk, sandalwood and handicrafts. Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Mysore Zoo, Vrindavan Gardens, Rail Museum, Bandipur National Park, Jaganmohan Palace and Keshava Temple at Somnathpur are suitable tourist attractions.
Quite a handful of wildlife sanctuaries are being built in the heartland of South India. Ranganathittu Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most significant sanctuaries. The story of its formation is quite interesting. Ranganathittu is located a few kms upstream the historic place Srirangapatnam.
The renowned ornithologist, Salim Ah conducted a survey of the Mysore region and made some interesting remarks. He found that the newly formed islands of the region had attracted large bird populations, Marsh Crocodile, better known as Mugger, and other wildlife was also present. A sanctuary was declared in the year 1940 comprising many of the islands. Infact Ranganathittu Wildlife Sanctuary was named after Ranganathittu; covering an area of the 0.67 sq km. Ranganathittu is noted for its large concentration of nesting birds.
Pied KingfisherRanganathittu Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich wealth of wild flora and fauna. It is a wonderful sanctuary, full with lush green vegetation. In woods and open grass lands, numerous birds, namely, Black-rumped Flameback, Rufous Tree pie, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Asian Paradise-flycatcher etc are found.
Large trees are the safe haven for the water birds. Famous water birds are Great Cormorant, Darter, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Purple Heron, Asian Openbill, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black-headed Ibis, Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Spotbill Duck, Lesser Whistling-duck, River Tern, Black-bellied Tern, Black-winged Stilt, Great Thick-knee, Wire-tailed Swallow, Pied Kingfisher and White-browed Wagtail. Other water birds, namely, Egrets, herons, ibises, cormorants, pelicans, open bills and spoonbills breed between May and early September.
The breeding season arrives here in this riverine island early in the year enriched by the high organic content of the surrounding agricultural tracts and the seasonal flow-levels of the river. River Terns and Great Thick-knees breed on the rocks in the summer days. Between the months of late July and October, the Ranganathittu Wildlife Sanctuary is thronged with young birds rested on low branches or on the projecting rockbeds. Apart from a few raptors, the nesting birds find protection from hunters and predators. These include Osprey, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Black-shouldered Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pallid Harrier, and Shikra.
Ranganathittu Wildlife SanctuaryHuge crocodiles and other reptiles are found basking on these rocks. These include Smooth Indian Otter, Bonnet Macaque. Also huge congregations of bats, specially the Indian Flying Fox, are founding resting on trees.
To the tourists, Ranganathittu Wildlife Sanctuary draws special attention. They found it exciting to catch a glimpse of winter migrants like ducks, waders, wagtails, swallows and birds of prey. Tourists throng the southern riverbanks, which offer splendid opportunities for sighting these birds and other wild life forms. The forest department coordinates boat and small boat rides, which facilitate encounters with the wildlife from, close proximity. However it is also necessary for them to exert a reasonable distance during the breeding season.
The Mysore Palace, once the residence of the Maharajas of Mysore is one of the largest palaces of its kind in India and one of the most splendid. The Mysore Palace dominates the skyline of Mysore and it has beautifully designed square towers at cardinal points, covered with domes. It is a three-storied structure, built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades; the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. The tastefully decorated and intricately carved doors open into luxuriously decorated rooms. Henry Irwin, the British consultant architect of Madras state, designed it. The palace was originally built of wood, which got burnt down in 1897 AD and was rebuilt in 1912 AD, by the twenty-fourth Wodeyar Raja.
Mysore PalaceIntricately carved doors, the golden howdah (elephant seat), paintings as well as the fabulous, jewel encrusted golden throne (displayed during Dussehra) are amongst the palace`s other treasures. The walled palace complex houses the Residential Museum (incorporating some of the Palace`s living quarters), temples and shrines including the Shwetha Varahaswamy temple. The palace is illuminated on Sundays, Public Holidays as well as during the Dussehra Celebrations when 97,000 electric bulbs are used to illuminate it.
The entry to the palace is through a beautiful gallery featuring Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects. Halfway along is the Elephant Gate, which is the main entrance to the center of the palace. The gate is decorated with floriated designs, and bears the Mysore royal symbol of a double-headed eagle. To the north of the gate the Royal Elephant Throne is displayed which is embellished with 84 kilogram of 24-carat gold.
The walls of the palace leading to the Kalyan Mandap are lined with intricate oil paintings, illustrating the royal procession of the Mysore Dussehra Festival. Here, the royal throne of the Wodeyars is displayed during the Dussehra festival. A unique thing about these paintings is that seen from any direction, the procession seems to be coming in one`s own direction. The hall itself is magnificent and is decorated with huge chandeliers, and multicolored stain glass arranged in peacock designs. The historic Mysore Palace - Darbar hallDurbar Hall of the palace has an ornate ceiling and sculpted pillars which are said to have been painted with gold. It has ornate ceiling and sculpted pillars and the Kalyanamantapa (Marriage Pavilion) with its glazed tiled flooring and stained glass, domed ceiling are worth noting. It is also a treasure house of rare paintings by some celebrated artists. This hall, which is up the stairs, offers wonderful view of the Chamundi Hills that towers over the city and houses a temple dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the royal family`s patron deity.
However, the palace has now been converted into a museum, which treasures the souvenirs, paintings, jewellery, royal costumes and other items, which were once possessed by the Wodeyars. It is said that the palace displays the largest collection of gold items, quantity wise.