For bird watchers, there is a perfect destination with proximity to Delhi. 48 km away from Delhi is Sultanpur National Park in Haryana, an ideal abode for birds, both inhabitant and migratory. Spread over an area of 1.43 sq km, this park is inhabited by over 250 species of birds.
During winters, it becomes home to more than 100 varieties of migratory birds traveling from places like Afghanistan, Siberia, Turkey, Russia and East European nations.
Sultanpur and Keoladeo National Park aka Bharatpur National Park situated in Rajasthan, are the most famous bird sanctuaries in North India. Till 2003, these two sanctuaries were the only abode for migratory Siberian cranes in India.
Although, people flock to this place to capture a glimpse of migratory birds, the sights of more than 150 resident birds also captivate bird watchers and nature lovers. The inhabitant species of birds include Cattle Egret, Black Necked Stork, White Throated Kingfisher, Indian Roller, Rock Pigeon, Great Egret, Red Collared Dove, Little Egret, Red Wattled Lapwing, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Laughing Dove, Common Mynah, and more.
Photographers never miss a chance to capture the picture-perfect poses of migrant bird species, which include Striped Snipe, Great Flamingo, Spotted Redshank, Spot Billed Pelican, Black Tailed Godwit, Eurasian Wigeon, Wood Sandpiper, and much more. This park becomes an abode for about 11 species of migratory birds including Comb Duck, Black Crowned Night Heron, Blue-Cheeked Bee Eater and more during summers.
Different species of Ibis, Stork and Spoonbill can also be spotted here usually. This park has been established around Sultanpur Lake which often allows visitors catch a glimpse of birds and animals. In the premises of park are situated four watchtowers from where one can see the rich avian population of the sanctuary.
One can also catch a panoramic sight of the park. Dr. Salim Ali laid the foundation of this bird sanctuary, however, it’s a little famous fact that Peter Jackson, a former Honorary Secretary of the Delhi Bird Sanctuary had noticed the possibilities of a large variety of birds gathering around the Sultanpur Lake. He convinced Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister to announce the region as a bird sanctuary.
With a plot sprawling over an area of 359 acres, it became Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in 1972. Since the very foundation, the lake which was reliant on monsoon for water was connected to Yamuna River to enable it to remain full with water all around the year. It attained the title of a National Park in July 1989.
Although the park is mostly known for its feathered inhabitants, it is also home to other animals including Blue Bull, Striped Hyenas, Indian Porcupine, Four Horned Antelope, Wild Dog, Wild Cat, Hedgehog and more. The park was not inhabited by animals, it’s the efforts of forest authorities that had maintained the ecological balance of this region.
There is an educational museum named Interpretation Center from where you can get information regarding different resident and migratory birds of the park. Also, there are some of the finest research works of Dr. Salim Ali.
Staying Options- Within this park, you won’t get too many accommodation options, however, Haryana Tourism Department operates a guest house within the premises of the park. Since it’s a one-day destination, most visitors choose Gurgaon or Delhi as staying options within their budget.
Eating Options- There are very few eating options out there in the park. A canteen adjacent to the guest house serves refreshments and snacks. However, those staying at the guest house are served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can carry eateries and water inside the park.
How to Reach- If you are in Delhi or nearby, you can reach Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary via road. You can board the state-owned buses available from Delhi to Gurugram. You can also hire or rent a taxi to reach the destination.