Sunday, January 04, 2015

Birding Tips from Bharatpur

In 1938 a hunting party led by the British Viceroy, Linlithgow killed 4,237 birds in one day at Bharatpur. From the look of it, the bird sanctuary is yet to recover from the assault.

Keoladeo National Park does has its bright side, even on cold foggy mornings. Despite the poor infrastructure and facilities, the guides are quite sharp with their spotting scopes. If you find the guides too expensive at Rs.250/hour, the rickshaw drivers (Rs.100/hr) are quite good too.

Plastic bags and packaged eatables are banned in the park. At the far end of KNP, you find a tea stall that stocks biscuits and chips but if you decide to buy a flex-packet, the shopkeeper neatly empties its contents into an less-than-glamorous looking newspaper-envelope before handing it out. So he keeps the packet and you get the chips!

A few other travel tips:

  • Ashok hotel is the best location - it built right inside the park. However, you cannot drive your car in... getting there needs the help of rickshaws
  • The best way to go around is on bicycles. The best ones are usually rented out as soon as the park opens at 6:30 AM... almost none are available by 10AM
  • Take your own snacks (eco-packed), flask along...there is practically nothing available inside
  • The Memento shop has nice pullovers and jackets
  • The surrounding countryside has lots of birds too (like the Sarus Cranes atop)

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