|*Map showing the location of Bird Sanctuaries and Marine Parks in India.||Disclaimer|
India is home to many beautiful species of domestic as well as migratory birds. The bird sanctuaries in India are a favourite spot for bird watchers and lovers. The sounds of the chirping and tweeting of birds is a pleasure to hear. Over 1,200 species of birds are found in the country and many of these can be seen in the bird sanctuaries of India. These bird sanctuaries have thick forests and a variety of flora. Generally, there are natural or man-made water bodies like lakes and rivers in these bird sanctuaries. Some of the popular bird sanctuaries which attract people from across the globe are:
It is a popular avifauna sanctuary and is home to thousands of birds. It is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Some of the popular species found in this sanctuary are ruddy shelducks, Siberian cranes, Northern pintails, tufted ducks, gulls and many more. These species are mostly found during winters. The sanctuary is made up of dry grasslands, woodland swamps, woodlands and wetlands. The sanctuary is one of the important tourist destinations in Rajasthan and serves as a paradise for bird lovers. It is also recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. More..
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is a popular national park in Gurgaon, Haryana. It is an ideal place for bird watchers and is mostly frequented by tourists during winters when a large number of migratory birds visit this sanctuary. There are a number of facilities for bird watchers such as a library, an education and interpretation centre, slides, films and many types of equipment. Some of the resident and migratory birds that take shelter in this sanctuary are Indian roller, weaver bird, common mynah, rosy pelican, black-tailed godwit cuckoos and many more.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Located in Mandya district of Karnataka, Ranganathittu is the largest bird sanctuary in the state. It has six islets on the banks of Kaveri River. Over the years, about 170 birds have been recorded here and some of these include Asian openbill storks, white ibis, Indian shags, river terns and oriental darter. The migratory birds are mostly found during winters as summer is the nesting season for the water birds. It is a popular bird sanctuary of the country and a large number of tourists visit this place every year.
Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary
The Chilka Lake bird sanctuary is located in Puri, Odisha, and is one of the popular salt lakes in the state. It is famous for the different varieties of birds that have made this sanctuary their home. Some of the various resident and migratory birds that are found here include flamingo, brahminy kite, wigeon pintail, bar-headed goose, avocet and many more. Apart from birds, the aquatic wildlife is also found here. Dolphin, limbless lizard, crab, golden jackals, hyenas and many animals can be spotted here. The Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary is surely a paradise for ornithologists. It is dotted with several islands which attract many tourists, who also come to catch a glimpse of its majestic sunrise and sunset.
Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
Located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary consists of a lake and ambient marshes. It is not only the largest wetland bird sanctuary in the state, but in the country as well. It harbours a large number of wetland birds, especially during the winter and spring seasons. Here one can come across birds such as flamingos, spoonbills, pintails, pelicans, shovellers, small grebes and many more. More...
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Also known as Vembanad bird sanctuary, it is located in Kumarakom in Kottayam district in Kerala. The birds, which are the main attraction in the sanctuary, are cuckoo, heron, brahminy kite and morrhen to name a few; and many migratory birds such as parrot, lark and teal. Apart from these, many other birds also take shelter here. There are houseboats in this sanctuary which can be used for bird watching.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Located in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, it is merely 75 km away from Chennai. It is the oldest water bird sanctuary in India and is home to many migratory birds such as garganey, blue-winged teal, pintail, common sandpiper and others. The months from November to March are considered as the best months to visit this sanctuary as during this season the birds can be seen building their nests.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is located on the Chorao Island along the Mandovi River in Goa and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state. It is named after a renowned ornithologist, Salim Ali. The sanctuary is covered with mangrove forests. Some birds which can be spotted here are peafowls, parrots, sparrows and Indian giant squirrels to name a few.
Apart from bird sanctuaries, there are some amazing marine parks in the country. Some of the marine parks in India are:
Marine National Park
The Marine National Park in Gulf of Kutch is located in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat. It is the first marine park of the country and comprises 42 islands. Some of the faunas found in the park are dugong, smaller cetaceans like common dolphins, finless porpoise, larger whales such as sei whales, blue whales, sperm whales, and many more.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
It is a protected area of India and consists of 21 islands. It is adjacent to the coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean. There are beaches, forests, estuaries in the park and also marine components such as coral reefs, salt marshes, sea grasses and mangroves. Public access to the island is prohibited but tourists traveling to the park can use the glass bottom boats to take a look at the amazing sea creatures.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
It is composed of 15 islands and is located in Wandoor in Andaman Islands. The islands of Jolly Buoy and Red Skin offer some activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving and glass bottom boats during some seasons. The type of vegetation here differs from island to island. For instance, Tarmugil Island has thick mangrove vegetation, uprooted trees, and sand covered beaches. Twins Island, which is located in the park, is a major breeding ground for turtles.
Besides the above mentioned bird sanctuaries and marine parks, there are some other bird sanctuaries in India such as Kaundinya and Mayani Bird Sanctuary.
Last Updated on : May 7, 2015