22 Aug 2013

A Day at Sultanpur National Park

Sultanpur National Park, located in Sultanpur, Haryana is a recently developing tourist attraction. Earlier known as Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, it contained some of the rarest species of birds in their natural habitat. In fact, a large number of migratory birds are seen here in winter, during which massive crowds come for bird watching. It is located 15 kilometers from Gurgaon and 40 kilometers from Delhi, making it a convenient weekend getaway. 
Sultan National Park (Photo Courtesy: hoparoundindia)
Covering an area of 359 acres, the park has a good mixture of pond area and terrestrial landscape for birds and animals. It takes around an hour and a half or two to cover the entire national park by foot. Apart from providing home to birds and animals, it also has education centres like The Education and Interpretation Center where extensive research and studies take place. It is a wonderful place to spend a few hours watching exquisite species of birds and animals interact with nature. 
Sarus Crane At Sultanpur National Park (Photo Courtesy: touristlink)
Spotted Owl at Sultanpur National Park (Photo Courtesy: flickr.com)
Approximately 250 species of birds are found here, 100 of them being resident while others are migratory, flying from international destinations like Siberia and Afghanistan. Popularity of the birds are determined by the weather. The common resident birds are  Little Egret, Paddy field Pipit, Eurasian Thick-knee Painted Stork, Purple Sunbird, Little Cormorant, Indian Roller, White Ibis and Common Hoopoe. It is a mesmerizing sight to see such exotic birds in their diverse groups, flying beautifully across the horizon. Neelgai or Blue Bull and Black Buck are even more common varieties, seen perched on the branches of trees within the park.
Birding at the Sultanpur national park (Photo Courtesy: Tanveer Singh)
Every winter, almost a hundred varieties of birds migrate from different parts of the country and the world to spend the cold months in Sultanpur National Park. Some of them are Spotted Sand Piper, Siberian Cranes, Rosy pelican, Greater Flamingo, Northern Pintail, Common Teal, Black winged Stilt, Yellow Wagtail, Blue throat, Common Greenshank, Eurasian Wigeon and Black tailed Godwit. The national park comes alive with a spectrum of colourful birds in the coldest months of the year, drawing tourists from far and wide.
Nilgai at Sultanpur National park,Gurgaon (Photo Courtesy: gurvinder Bhullar)
Summer months are warmer with many a Koel and a Cuckoo bird singing on a tree, chirping in happiness. The animals, though much smaller in number, are seen running around and scampering among the bushes. Indian Porcupine, Wild Dog, Striped Hyena Four Horned Antelope, Wild Cat and Hedgehogs are some common animals found in the national park.

Clearly, winters are the best time for bird watchers to visit the national park. December and January are the busiest months. The easiest way to get to Sultanpur National Park is through Delhi. Delhi flights are plenty in number and are affordable from cities within the country like Pune, Hyderabad, Noida, Kolkata and Indore.