Saturday, 27 July 2019

Travel Story “Trip To Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: Paradise For Bird Lovers.

Family kids were enjoying winter vacation as per their interest, playing cricket, football, reading fairy tales.” To make their winter vacation from funny to spicy and knowledgeable, I decided a trip to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

Where thousands of migratory birds come to the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur each year from Siberia, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Egypt to be in the relative warmth of northern India“.

Bharatpur is at 110 Km distance away from Aligarh, a three hours’ journey.

Kids were ready with their fully charged mobiles for clicks and binoculars. I too picked up my camera bag. Journy started 6.00A.M. It was a freezing cold January. Never imagined such thick fog. Low visibility caused the vehicle to run slow.

We reached Mathura at about 8.30. Here we stopped at a hotel cum dhaba for breakfast. The hotel boy was frying hot jalebi. We refreshed us with Kachaudi, Bedai, hot and sweet jalebis, and garam adrak wali tea.

It was about 9.00A.M. Sky was not clear, still some fog. Thanks to Almighty Allah. We reached safely on gate of santury at about 1o.A.M. Purchased Entrance ticked @75/-per adult, student’s entry was free. From main gate no vehicle is allowed.

The options are to go by walking or hire a pedal rickshaw, bicycle or horse-cart available at the main gate. Rickshaw (Two Seater) charge Rs.100/=per hour, and bicycles charge Rs. 40/=. 

The length of the straight road upto which rickshaws/horse-carts are allowed is around 3.5 kms one side. If not in a hurry, it takes around four odd hours to and fro.

We hired a rickshaw guide and started on the journey into the wildlife, a journey which I am never going to forget. Thankfully the rickshaw guide was very well versed with a vast variety of birds and mammals present in the sanctuary.
“You may not see a tiger at Ranthambore, but you will always see Painted Storks in Bharatpur.”  The proud rikshaw puller cum guide told us.

History of Bharatpur bird santury

It is better to tell about this Bird santury, before entering in a mesmerizing world of flaura and fanna. The 29 km, reserve is locally known as Ghana, and is a mosaic of dry grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps, and wetlands.

These diverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and and a variety of other invertebrates. 

Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is a famous sanctuary that plays host to thousands of birds especially during the summer season. 

Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.

The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. Initially, it was a natural depression.

The park was a hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India.

The journy insiside sanctury, in the silence and mystic beauty.

I preferred to walk with my camera, Bilal on bicyle and others on rickshaw. Rickshaw puller was a well trained guide having knowledge of the various species of birds both inland and migratory. 

He guided me to points of clicking the birds, by their names and habits. It was a treat for my photography.
I still remember the hues and the colors which the sanctuary was bestowed with; a drop of sunshine and the whole place was lit with morning soft sun light mixed with thin frost glory.
Into the tranquility and serenity of the sanctuary which still engulf my mind and soul and takes me in a completely different world with melodies of birds chirping, whistling, flipping and all other sounds that I feel lost in a world of dreams.

This place is a perfect set-up for nature lovers, poets, philosophers and authors, a setup for thoughts, emotions and words.
We moved in a magical world of dream, the world which is ruled by birds, about 2 hours. I confess 2 hours are none for this place. It requires at least one and half full days to witness and inhale the magic of birds.

All were tired and in a mood to return back. My camera was fully loaded with memories of this unforgotten journey.

So vivid was this travelling that even after a long time since our visit, it is still part of the poetry of my imagination.

“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”

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