Thursday, 16 April 2015

This is also Gurgaon: The Sultanpur National Park

Gurgaon, the ‘Millennium City’, is known for its ugly multi-storied glass buildings, multinational companies, lack of basic infrastructure, potholed roads (in some places only potholes and no road!), fancy sounding British and American names of housing societies etc, basically a concrete jungle.

The vibrant colours of a Peacock in flight 

But few know that tucked away in a corner of the Gurgaon district is a paradise for local and migratory birds called the Sultanpur National Park (earlier it was known as Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary). It is just 15 km away from the Gurgaon city on the Gurgaon-Farrukhnagar road.

Spot Billed Ducks

I was a little late in visiting the sanctuary (March end) but this year the weather has been pleasant even in March, so I was still able to see lot of birds. There were few visitors and I was able to enjoy the place in its serenity.

White Breasted Kingfisher

I had reached there at 9 AM as per the timings on the website, but on reaching there I was told that it now opens at 7 AM. The government website requires some updating.

Black Winged Stilt

Visitors should not confuse this Sultanpur with another Sultanpur located in South Delhi. Two American ladies visiting the place were taken by their taxi to Sultanpur in Delhi wasting half of their day.

Cormorant

The birds I could recognise with my limited knowledge of birding were Black Drongo, Cormorant, Egret, Green Bee Eater, Indian Magpie Robin, Indian Pond Heron, Peacock, Purple Heron, Red Wattled Lapwing, Purple Swamphen, Spot Billed Duck, and White Breasted Kingfisher among others.

Egret

In fact I could count more than 30 Kingfishers during my visit. The best was when I got this Peacock in flight captured in its vibrant colours.

Green Bee Eater

There are several watchtowers inside the sanctuary. All but one is closed. I was able to climb up this one and get a bird's eye-view of the whole Bird Sanctuary.

Indian Magpie Robin

Also half the sanctuary is not accessible to the public. When I asked an official he gave me a strange logic that boys and girls come and do ‘mischief’ here.

Look what I got for breakfast: Indian Pond Heron with fish

Now this is not a way to manage things. They should in fact think of ways to improve the facility so that more birds make this their winter destination.

Purple Heron & Red Wattled Lapwing

I was also able to see several turtles (probably nesting) and a group of Nilgai (Asian Antelope) at the site.

Purple Heron

The best time to visit the Sanctuary is in the winters as migratory birds from Siberia and Europe come here.

Purple Swamphen

Do keep up to three hours for the walk in the sanctuary. Of course for the birdies even full day also won’t suffice!

2 comments:

Debosmita Roy said...

Nice post with lovely pictures. Check out Gurgaon places to visit to spend a quality weekend.

Monika Singh said...

Damdama Lake Gurgaon Thanks for sharing good information.