Birdie Delights – Bharatpur

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – A complete solace for bird watchers! Have a little Salim Ali in you? Well then for sure this is the place you will find heaven at. Bharatpur is a paradise for bird lovers. Located in Rajasthan, this is the former name of the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Extremely famous for the avifauna it sports, the sanctuary is home to numerous species of birds. It is the last resort for many endangered species of lovely birdies. It is also visited by the Siberian Crane during the chilly winter season.

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A shady track between the ponds | by east med wanderer

Bharatpur is a major tourist attraction as well as a delight to ornithologists who flock to the place during the hibernal season.

Spending at least a day at the sanctuary is actually worth the time. Observing the daily routine of the birds, from sunrise to sunset is completely blissful. To capture the birds in your cameras, stay close to the lake early in the morning or around evening. Although you can hire motor vehicles or cycles, etc. to take a trip around, it is advisable to be on foot. The best advantage of this will be the liberty to wander in the forest areas deviating from the conventional motor road.

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Sunset at Bharatpur Sanctuary | By Saad Akhtar

Later in the evening though, you will have to head towards the nearby town, to scout for food. But even for the journey, there is something to excite you. Feel like the king or a queen while you ride a tonga to the city! Sure lal maans with onions and chapati will make you lick your fingers after a tiring day. The lined up dhabas are the perfect place to spice up your tongues with the local taste. Here, you can also grab some paranthas, bhurji, pakoras, etc. according to your likes.

Best time to pay a visit to the birds at Bharatpur is January and February. To spot some domestic birds nesting, visit Bharatpur during the mating months of August to September.

Reaching there – Bharatpur lies 185km from Delhi and can be easily reached by rail or road, as per convenience. It is a 3 to 4 hour journey by train from Delhi to Bharatpur. It also has appreciable road connectivity.

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Image by Paul Lathbury
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Great White Heron and the Red-naped Ibis | by Sumit Gupta

Tipsy topsy tips for the nomads who wish to visit Bharatpur –

  • Grab a hotel room near (nearest possible) to the reserve area. Hotel Spoonbill can prove to be a decent, budget friendly place. They charge INR 300 per day for a room.
  • Follow your guide (sure he knows the place better!)
  • Advised to carry mosquito repellants (your wish in case love itchy bites more!)
  • Must carry a pair of binoculars (else you will be left out roaming aimlessly and helplessly)
  • Wear/carry comfortable shoes (for the excessive walking!)

If you love birds and appreciate being in the lap of nature, you must visit Bharatpur in the winters. You will be left stunned with the mesmerizing avifauna and messy wetlands (they have a splendor of their own!).  Also remember that the place is home to the birds and YOU ARE THE GUEST. It will be really kind of you to respect them, stay composed and well in return they allow you to enjoy their lovely abode!

P.S. – Dare not miss the lal maans. Rajasthanis sure never make the slightest mistake while cooking it!

Happy time tourism birdies!

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