As the winter is almost at its peak, bird watching sites in Rajasthan would be a treat. Rajasthan is at its best during the winter, so we thought of curating a little treat for all the travelers, wildlife photographers, or simply nature lovers out there! On Bird day, we list some of the wandersome bird watching sites of Rajasthan.
Even though Rajasthan might be popular for its forts, palaces, culture, music, and jewelry, but it’s also one of the three states in India that has a huge range of bird-watching specific circuits! So, for all those who’re planning to begin their 2021 in the lap of nature, exploring different kinds of birds, this is just the right thing for you!
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1. Keoladeo National Park
Beginning with one of the best bird-watching sites in Rajasthan, in fact, in the world – Keoladeo National Park. You will not only observe huge populations of migratory waterfowls but also migratory waders. Other than that, shanks, sandpipers, and stints are also found here.
Besides, now is just the best time to visit Keoladeo National Park as three species of cranes – including the endangered Siberian Crane – visit India during the winter months, along with various types of stork, herons, egrets and plovers.
Best time to visit – Winter and Monsoon
Location – Bharatpur
Timings – 6 AM to 4:30 PM
2. Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary
Band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary is an old sanctuary and yet another one of the beautiful bird-watching sites in Rajasthan. Maharaja Jaswant Singh had started the construction of a dam on the Kakund River. The construction of the dam was later finished by Maharaja Ram Singh in 1897. Approximately 200 square km of the dam’s area was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1985.
This decades old sanctuary is popularly known as bird-watcher’s heaven as more than 200 species of birds visit here – including Black Bittern. While at band Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary, you can also visit Fatehpur Sikri and Timan Garh Fort which are not very far away.
Best time to visit – February to November
Location – Bharatpur
Timings – 6 AM onwards
3. Khichan Bird Sanctuary
At Khichan Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Demoiselle Crane village, you will get a chance to witness three types of birds called Kurjan, Karkara, and Kunch that migrate from South-West Europe, Black Sea region, Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, North and South Africa, and Mongolia. Winter and early spring is the best time to visit this natural sanctuary as that’s when you will witness these birds in large numbers.
These migratory birds migrate to India during this time in order to save themselves from the harsh, cold winters of Europe making it another one of the stunning bird-watching sites in Rajasthan.
Best time to visit – October to March
Location – Phalodi tehsil of Jodhpur district
Timings – 12 PM – 12 AM
4. Ranthambore National Park
Located 12 km from Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and most popular bird-watching sites in Rajasthan. It is most famous for its Tiger population. Aside from that, the lakes around Ranthambhore serve as the best places for bird-watching. One such lake is Surval Lake.
Best time to visit – Winter
Location – Sawai Madhopur
Timings – 6 AM – 5:30 PM
5. Jawai Bandh
Jawai Bandh, about 150 km from Udaipur, is not only a favourite travel destination but also one of the stunning bird-watching sites in Rajasthan. It serves as a house to many migratory birds. Hence, it’s known to be a prime bird-watching site. Various migratory birds including Flamingoes visit Jawai Bandh during the winter season.
It is built across the Jawai River and is located in the wildest part of the Aravalli hills in the Pali, Rajsamand, and Udaipur districts of Rajasthan. While at Jawai bandh, you can also go for a weekend getaway to Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Ahmedabad for an added vacation in the lap of nature.
Best time to visit – Throughout the year
Location – Across Jawai River, Aravalli Hills
6. Tal Chhapar Sanctuary
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, located 85 km from Churu, is one of the most breath-taking bird-watching sites in Rajasthan. It mostly serves as the house for blackbucks and several other kinds of birds in Rajasthan. For all the wildlife photographers and nature lovers out there, this is one of the most important sanctuaries out there, so try not to miss out on this one!
A lot of migratory birds such pass through Tal Chhapar Sanctuary. Out of all, the most commonly witnessed migratory birds in the sanctuary are harriers, eastern imperial eagle, tawny eagle, short-toed eagle, sparrow, and little green bee-eaters, black ibis and demoiselle cranes. Other than that, skylarks, crested larks, ring doves, and brown doves can be seen throughout the year.
Best time to visit – November to February
Location – Churu, Shekhawati District
Timings – 5:30 AM – 6 PM
7. Sariska Tiger Reserve
A very dense population of tigers used to be found here till 2005. Even though tigers have been reintroduced here, the reserve has also become a popular getaway and one of the jaw-dropping bird-watching sites in Rajasthan.
Many new getaway resorts are recently coming up around Sariska and Alwar area. Sariska safari not only offers a huge range of leopards, and other wildlife, it also serves as a paradise for the bird-watchers with a huge range of migratory birds.
Best time to visit – October to June
Location – Alwar
Timings – 6 AM – 9:45 PM
8. National Chambal Sanctuary
National Chambal Sanctuary, listed as the important bird area (IBA), is a heaven for wildlife photographers and a beautiful bird-watching site in Rajasthan. It is located on the Chambal River near the tripoint of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
It also serves as home to 320 species of birds, both resident and migratory including the migratory birds from Siberia. Other than that, you will also find the Indian skimmer, sarus crane, Pallas’s fish eagle and Indian courser. If you visit the sanctuary during winters, you might also chance upon black-bellied tern, red-crested pochard, ferruginous pochard and bar-headed goose along with great thick-knee, greater flamingo, darter, and brown hawk owl.
Besides, while you’re at it, you can also visit Chambal Safari Lodge, Sarus Crane Reserve, River safari on river Chambal.
Best time to visit – October to November and February to March
Location – Palighat Teh-Khandar, Sawai Madhopur
Timings – 6 AM – 6 PM
9. Desert National Park
Located near Jaisalmer and Barmer, another stunning bird-watching site in Rajasthan is Desert National Park. It serves as home to a huge population of migratory and resident birds, despite a fragile ecosystem. You can spot many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrel, and vultures here. Aside from that, short-toed eagles, tawny eagles, spotted eagles, laggar falcons, and kestrels are also found here.
However, it is mostly famous for the endangered great Indian bustard, a stunning bird, found in numbers here. It migrates locally in different seasons. So, not only photographers but even conservationists from all around the world visit Desert National Park.
Best time to visit – November to January
Location – near Jaisalmer and Barmer
Timings – 7 AM – 5 PM
10. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1980, Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is yet another remarkable bird-watching site in Rajasthan. It is located in one of the oldest mountain ranges in India. Aside from the famous Asiatic Lion, sloth bear, and many other such wild animals, the Wildlife Sanctuary serves as a home to more than 250 species of birds. This includes grey jungle fowl and the rare green avadat as well, which is found here in numbers.
Best time to visit – October to March
Location – Sirohi
Timings – 9 AM to 6 PM
11. Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Located near the popular Kumbhalgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is another incredible bird-watching site in Rajasthan. It is a resident of many migratory and resident birds. Some of them include grey junglefowl, peacocks, doves, and red spurfowl. If you’re lucky you can also find parakeet, golden oriole, grey pigeon, bulbul, dove, and white-breasted kingfisher near the water holes.
Best time to visit – December to March
Location – near Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajsamand District
Timings – 7 AM to 6 PM
Aside from the wildlife sanctuaries and reserves mentioned above, you can also find a huge population of stunning migratory as well as resident birds near Man Sagar Lake, Sambhar lake, and adjoining water bodies in Jaipur, Fateh Sagar, and Lake Pichhola in Udaipur, Sardar Samand Lake near Jodhpur/Pali and Ana Sagar in Ajmer.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on these breath-taking views and a brilliant opportunity to capture these stunning birds. Don’t you forget, winter is the best season to plan your trips to these stunning places!
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