India boasts 72 bird sanctuaries spread across diverse states, vital for avian species’ conservation. Post-partition, recognizing their ecological and economic importance, India established sanctuaries. Colonial practices like sport hunting by the British, landlords, and royal families adversely affected bird populations, prompting conservation efforts.
Dr. Salim Ali played a pivotal role in founding Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in 1972, later designated a national park in 1989. Located an hour from Gurgaon, this sanctuary houses 250 resident and migratory bird species. During winters, nomadic birds from Siberia, Russia, Turkey, and Eastern Europe flock to its wetlands, although rising pollution poses a threat.
The sanctuary’s exotic wetlands attract a plethora of avian species like darters, egrets, flamingoes, and others. Additionally, diverse animals like blackbucks, sambhars, leopards, and striped hyenas inhabit its tropical and dry deciduous vegetation, offering a glimpse into their natural habitats.
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary provides a serene escape from urban chaos. Entering this sanctuary replaces city clamor with tranquility. One can revel in their silence, occasionally interrupted by melodious bird songs, the blue bull’s splashes in wetlands, kingfishers’ whistles, or antelopes’ gentle bleats in the woods.
This oasis serves as a weekend retreat, offering visitors a haven from bustling city life. Its significance extends beyond leisure, portraying the ecosystem’s health, urging collective efforts from farmers and citizens to mitigate ecological threats. In essence, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary stands as a testament to India’s commitment to avian conservation amidst natural beauty and biodiversity.
Location: Gurgaon, Farukh Road, Sultanpur, Haryana
Best time: October to March