For a metropolis of this magnitude and population, Delhi does have some amazing wildlife getaways. There are several reserve forests and gigantic gardens where you can go not only for a jog but can also expect to spot a variety of birds. But for a more comprehensive jungle experience, you can always visit the sanctuaries that are situated in the neighbouring states, close enough to be experienced in a day’s time. Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary near Jhajjar is one such place for nature lovers!
The wetlands of Bhindawas are generally fed by the water from the canals used to irrigate farmlands in the region. This is what attracts hordes of birds, especially the migratory ones during the winter. It is in fact the perfect example of a peaceful coexistence as the jungles overlap with the lush green farmlands more often than not.
During the winters, visitors are greeted by bright yellow mustard fields that we generally see only in films (read DDLJ). Additionally, the birds and animals venture out of the jungles more often and can, therefore, be easily spotted in the open fields and trees near the canals.
According to certain estimates, there are close to 300 species of birds to be found here. Usual suspects like egrets, storks, herons, ducks, geese, doves, babblers, bulbuls, barbets, ibises, hoopoes, kingfishers, cormorants, lapwings, drongos and various types of eagles and kites are easily sighted.
It’s also a good place to see the Black Francolin, the state bird of Haryana, along with other variants like the Grey Francolin. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to spot some exotic owl species such as the Eurasian Owl, too. There are many other rare species such as the Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, Egyptian Vulture and Steppe Eagles here.
There aren’t too many big mammals here though. The two species you are most likely to find are the Nilgiris (Indian Blue Bulls) and Blackbucks. It’s a rare sight indeed to see Blackbucks roaming around the agricultural fields without any element of threat. They would not have survived without the generosity of the people living nearby.
Bhindawas is around 100 kms from Delhi and 60 kms from Gurgaon. It’s very close to the town of Jhajjar, however, locating the sanctuary may be a bit problematic as clear road signs are lacking and it’s not yet very well known.
One can try Google Maps but the best way is to find a local guide and there are plenty at the Sultanpur Sanctuary (a better known place and nearer to Gurgaon). The guides out there should be familiar with Bhindawas too. More than the sanctuary, the villages and open fields offer better bird-watching opportunities. In this case also, it’s better to take a seasoned guide along. A really experienced guide should know which bird or animal can be spotted near which village or atop which tree.
There is a small forest rest house too, but it’s rarely required as mostly a day trip from Delhi is enough and it can be coupled with a trip to Sultanpur as well. A vehicle is a must though, as without that it won’t be possible to scout for birds in the whole area.
Come on by, binoculars in tow for some bird spotting!
Where | Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary - Near Jhajjar, Haryana