After having heard so much about the beautiful Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, I was longing to visit there. I recently got the opportunity to visit this place when my friends suddenly made a program to visit there during a weekend.
The place is located at a distance of almost 200 Km, to be precise 184 Km, from Delhi. Though Google search indicated the time to reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary to be somewhat 3 hours but it took us more than 4 hours to be at our destination. The extended time could be because of our frequent halts for photo sessions, which is a major part of any trip these days.
Admiring the beauty of Sun
The places we covered during this journey include Faridabad, Jattari, Surir, Vrindavan and at last Bharatpur. We did see few popular food joints in between like Haldirams, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut but we stuck to our homemade Parathas and Aloo poori that we got packed from home.
After reaching Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a 29 square kilometer park, we got to know that it is also referred as Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance of the park a small exhibit is created which has photos, stuffed birds and aquatic flora found in the park. We were suggested to hire cycle rickshaws at the entrance to visit Kadam Kunj and Python Point which we readily agreed as otherwise it’s not possible to cover it within a few must carry mosquito repellent and a good pair of binoculars, which we thankfully did and we could see some tourists around experiencing a tough time without these two essentials.
The diverse flora of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is responsible for providing natural habitat to migratory birds as well. If one is keen to sight migrant birds then the best time to plan the trip is October- February as during this time it attracts nearly 300 species of migratory birds from Siberia and Central Asia. As we planned our trip in December we were able to view many migratory birds apart from the resident ones.
Some of the beautiful migrant birds we witnessed were Sarus Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Grey Heron, Ducks, Eagles and Indian Little Ringed Plover. We did saw too many birds but it’s a tough task remembering names of all of them. Some of them were too beautiful to describe.
Feeling like king of the jungle
Neelgai in a relaxing mood
After travelling on the rickshaw for about 2.5 hours, our rickshaw wala stopped at one point and from thereon we went on foot for about 25 minutes and wow…all that effort paid off. We could see 2 beautiful pythons resting in the sun. Our happiness lasted for just one minute when some local school children passed through on their bicycles talking loudly and the pythons quickly slipped into the bushes. A drive little further down the road and we witnessed the engraved list of names all the dignitaries, VIPs, members of royal families who have been visiting this Bird sanctuary since 1902.
Little further we walked and witnessed the huge solar panels. The electricity for the park is generated through these solar panels. During summers, electric motors are used to fill in water in the dried out lakes.
A large area covered by Solar panels
Strikingly beautiful Orange breasted bird
A tortoise couple sunbathing
It was all so fascinating that we lost track of time and by the time we reached back at the gate of the park it was already 5.30pm. As we did not want to drive back at night, we decided to drive to Agra and return Delhi the next day. There’s a hotel right inside the sanctuary run by TTDC named Hotel Bharatpur Ashok, but you need to get this place booked in advance as being the only hotel in the sanctuary, it is generally booked much in advance. I am already planning to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary next year too but I certainly need to buy some more lenses for my DSLR to get better shots.
Monster Lizard peeking out of her tree hole
Some tips I would like to share about Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary:
- Try to start your tour as early as possible in the morning.
- If you have only a few hours to spare, hire a Rickshaw. They generally charge100 per hour.
- Most of the people return after travelling just about an hour within the Sanctuary. You must travel for around 2.5 to 3 hours inside so you may get a chance to see some rare birds.
- Do not rush. Spend as much time as you possibly can.
- If your Rickshaw wala is experienced and you are lucky enough, you can certainly see some pythons.
- Do carry water bottles along.
- Carry sunglasses & a cap.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes. No heels or flip-flops.
- Carry soap strips & sanitizer along. Though you may find toilets at a few places, but sadly you may not find soap.
- Must carry binoculars as you cannot admire the birds generally sitting at a distance with naked eye.
- There are a few places where you can eat. The best we enjoyed was Samosa with Chai costing Rs.5 each. May be we were quite hungry or the Samosa was genuinely tasty, we ended up having 2 samosas each. Amazing taste.
- You may not need to hire a Guide. Most of the rickshaw walas know a lot about this place and would keep telling you about the birds and plants around.
- There’s enough parking place to park your car and the entry point is just about 2 minutes’ walk from the parking area.
- The park is open from 6am to 6pm.
- The park remains closed in May and June. Though the best time to visit is during October to February.
Not to be missed – the beautiful Red Algae