The biodiversity of India allows a variety of local and migratory birds to flourish here. As the climate, soil, and temperature vary across India, birdwatchers find birds of different habitats and specifications. India is a mini paradise for observing and studying birds of different species.
The country is inlaid with more than 1365 species of endemic and migratory birds according to the government data for 2021. Hence, there are so many bird sanctuaries for breeding and nesting. Among the 72 bird sanctuaries today we will illuminate some of the most famous, fascinating bird sanctuaries that also have amazing scenic beauty.
Why should one choose a bird sanctuary as a visiting place?
Are you finding a place to enjoy nature ? or if you are in search of a place to go out with your children, a bird sanctuary will be the best place to visit. The greenery and colorful wings of birds provide soothing sanity to your eyes and a calming effect on your body. Your children will be more than happy to watch different kinds of vibrant colors of birds. As children are most fascinated by birds, visiting a bird sanctuary and spending time there is the best way to develop a deep love in them for nature.
Best time to visit Bird sanctuary
Even If you want to pay a visit today or tomorrow, you can do so in India to your nearest bird sanctuary. As in India, you can go to a bird sanctuary any time of the year from morning to evening. But If you want to capture some delightful, migratory birds, plan your trip, especially in winter.
From September to October thousands of beautiful bird species like Siberian Cranes, Greater Flamingo, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, and European roller come from various regions.
In the summertime, I prefer going early in the morning so that you can see the birds. Due to the hot sun, you may not see many birds in the afternoon.
Top 10 famous bird sanctuaries of India
India has a wide range of residential birds and is a great place for migratory birds as well. In the winter season, thousands of birds migrate in the attraction of food, and a bright environment. So many attractive bird sanctuaries have grown and some are very famous in the world. Here we have listed the 10 most famous bird sanctuaries in India-
1. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan
For bird lovers, Bharatpur is no less than heaven. Bharatpur bird sanctuary currently named Keoladeo national park is the most famous and one of the finest sanctuaries for birds across Asia. The name came from a Hindu temple dedicated to God Shiva. In the year of1985 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Place.
If you ever go to Rajasthan, don’t forget to visit this place as it is connected by many luxury train routes in India. For exploring both residential and migrant birds, this place is picture-perfect. Here you can spot more than 360 bird species with some exotic birds. Apart from this here you may find many endangered flowering plants, 30 species of mammals, many reptiles and can take a visit to nearby beautiful places.
2. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is India’s smallest and oldest bird sanctuary, situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, 25 km from Chengalpattu. This water bird sanctuary is famous for its scenic beauty and well-known place for rarest and endangered bird species. It is the safest shelter for more than 40,000 migratory birds every year from October to January.
‘Vedanthangal’ literally means ‘hamlet of hunters’, thus this place from history was rich in forest and life and used as a hunting ground by lords. After 1938 it was turned into a bird sanctuary. Hence, the Vedanthangal lake region is home to garganey, grey wagtail, pintail, swans, Darter, Flamingos, moorhens, herons, kingfishers, and many more.
3. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is a famous wildlife national park in Punjab. Surrounding the Sultanpur Jheel birds make their nest and during the winter season birds from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Siberia, Canada, and Europe migrate here. In 1971 the place has been proclaimed a bird sanctuary and later Sultanpur National Park was established.
Bird watchers enjoy this place in the summer morning as well because in summer some birds migrate here. You can have close-up views of birds while they swim in the lake and you can also rent binoculars from the park itself for observing their movements. It is the place to breed probably 200 species of birds. Red-collared Dove, red wattled lapwing, Black-necked stork, cattle egret, laughing dove Indian roller, rose-ringed parakeet, common mynah, little egret, etc, are most abundantly observed birds here.
4. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
Goa is very famous among tourists and except for the beaches, falls, and farms you won’t believe there is a famous bird sanctuary that will blow your mind. This small bird sanctuary lies in the estuarine mangrove habitat between the Mandovi river and the edges of Chorao Island. This place is named in the honor of India’s greatest ornithologist Salim Ali.
If you ever make your plans for Goa, don’t forget to keep a day for this sanctuary. This place is connected by ferry. It has significant value in the ecosystem as it is a site for birds mating. Various Avifauna and animals such as foxes, marsh crocodiles, monkeys, and jackals can be seen from the watchtower.
5. Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
Chilika is India’s largest brackish water lake and a popular tourist destination due to its stunning scenery. Besides, it’s the most famous water sanctuary in India. While boating on the lake people are fascinated by watching flocks of different bird species on top of their heads. It’s the best place for waterbird lovers.
It’s the habitat for wonderful birds like white-bellied sea eagles, purple moorhen, jacana, greylag geese, etc. The biggest attraction of this place is pink flamingos, as it is the largest breeding place for them in the world. While boating keeps your eyes on the lake also, don’t miss the Irrawaddy dolphins, crabs, prawns, limbless lizards, etc. Take a ride like a bus or a train from Bhubaneswar to reach this spot.
6. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is the largest bird sanctuary in the state of Karnataka. The land is almost 40 acres spread over the area. This is a unique sanctuary comprising 6 islets developed at the banks of the Kaveri river.
With a rich diversity of land and water, this sanctuary is home to a wide range of domestic and exotic flora and fauna, which is protected by the Karnataka Forest Department. It is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries of southern India where once you sit on the boat with your binoculars you will not realize when your day just passes by watching the birds and crocodiles.
If you want to see a Painted stork, Asian openbill stork, heron, spot-billed pelican, stork-billed kingfisher, and black-headed ibis or mugger crocodile, you must visit this sanctuary at least once in your life. However, if you visit this place during flood time you might not get the chance to ride on a boat.
7. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
Kerala is known for its greenery and natural beauty. In that beauty, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the lap of the bank of Vembanad Lake is a splendid place for birdwatchers and nature lovers. During the winter season, many rare species of migratory birds make their nest here. From Russia and Siberia birds like Flycatcher, Pheasant-tailed jacanas, golden-backed woodpeckers, teals, etc.
As it covers the backwater area of Kerala, when you tour the area on a houseboat you are mesmerized by the beauty and it feels like you are riding on a slice of paradise. As an ornithologist, you have several options to stay here for close observation like the central resort of Kumarakom.
8. Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary, Gujrat
India’s biggest Bird Sanctuary Nal Sarovar is one of the known bird sanctuaries of the Top 10 most famous bird sanctuaries of India. It’s an excellent place near Ahmedabad for wandering in the evenings and mornings.
Within the sanctuary, there is a large lake where a variety of birds and animals can be found relaxing or drinking water.
We believe that renting a boat is the best way to explore the sanctuary. So, take a boat ride! There are 300 different species! During the migratory season, the number increases. During the migratory season, you can see the migratory bird.
9. Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary is not only home to various bird species, it’s also a diverse landscape comprising hills, valleys, and streams, lakes. The Stunning Beauty of this place and its vibrant feathers make bird lovers speechless. It’s the most famous bird Sanctuary of Andhra Pradesh situated near Chittoor.
The two beautiful streams Kaigal and Kaundinya, pass through the landscape, making the whole region home to a wide range of fauna and flora. I’m sure with the colorful birds you will also enjoy watching elephants, pumas, jungle cats, monitor lizards, and spotted bears. If you are lucky enough you might have a glimpse of tigers.
10. Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Mayani Bird sanctuary is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Mayani was predominantly developed at the site of an old dam. Because it is a wetland ecosystem, it has diversity in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. So this wetland is world-famous for its divergent species and habitats.
Approximately 400 migratory bird species have been spotted around this region. It is an attractive place for photographers to capture flamingoes of Siberia, and coot, black ibis, common spoonbill, and brahminy duck migrated from Europe. Every Time from this place you may hear birds chirping and singing as they are nourished in the lap of nature. Monsoon to mid-spring is the best time to enjoy and observe the birds of this place.
Exploring and experiencing wildlife by every means is a great and peaceful feeling. Well, even if you are an ordinary bird lover or a professional ornithologist or you are an enthusiast wildlife photographer, visiting any of the above-listed bird sanctuaries will not go in vain.
Apart from the Top 10 most famous bird sanctuaries of India, there are many more beautiful bird sanctuaries that as a birdwatcher you can explore. Like the Okhla bird sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh, Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Pulicat lake bird sanctuary, etc, whom we could not add to the limited list of most famous and well-known bird sanctuaries.
[ Also Checkout: Top 10 National Parks of India ]