10 Most Popular Bird Sanctuaries in India For Bird Watching

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India is home to numerous rare species of birds found in the amazing and magnificent bird sanctuaries. These sanctuaries are not only famous for their amazing beauty, but also for their rich and exotic biodiversity, especially bird species. If you are a bird lover, the bird sanctuaries in India are Hotspot for you.  There are rare Indian species like the Great Indian Hornbill which is the largest in all the hornbill birds.

Best Bird Sanctuaries in India

There are around 1200 species of birds found in India and you can watch them easily while visiting the bird sanctuaries. Here is a list of few popular bird sanctuaries with a piece of brief information.

1. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan

The famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary located in Rajasthan is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park. This Bird Sanctuary is one of the finest Sanctuary in India. The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is listed in UNESCO World Heritage India. This Sanctuary is a home to more than 360 bird species. There are many other animals to watch in Bharatpur Sanctuary like Sambar, Boar, Nilgai, and Chital.

Birds species: There are many rare species including eagles, cranes, stints, buntings, warblers, pelicans, geese, ducks, hawks, shanks, wagtails, wheatears, flycatchers, larks, and pipits.
Timings: The Sanctuary is open from 8 am morning to 5 pm evening.
Entry fee: For Indians INR 50 per person, For foreigners INR 400 per person, INR 100 for rickshaw rides

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2. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
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The Sultanpur bird sanctuary is located in the Gurgaon district of Haryana. The sanctuary is Spread over a sprawling 1.43 sq km and the home of many rare species of birds. The Sultanpur bird sanctuary is one of the most popular bird sanctuaries in India. This sanctuary is home to more than 250 species of birds. There are many species of migratory birds from Turkey, Siberia, Russia, and Eastern Europe move here in the winter season.

Bird Species: Black-necked stork, laughing dove Indian roller, rose-ringed parakeet, cattle egret, red collared dove, white-throated kingfisher, great egret, red wattled lapwing, rock pigeon, common mynah, and little egret
Timings: The sanctuary open for visitors from 6 am morning to 4:30 pm evening.
Entry fee: For Indians INR 5 per person, for foreigners INR 40 per person

3. Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa

Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
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Chilka lake bird sanctuary is located near Puri in Orissa and is one of the famous sanctuaries in India. Chilka lake bird sanctuary is home to many rare and migratory birds. The Chilka lake is the most beautiful brackish water lake in Asia and a big attraction to the tourist coming to Orissa.

Bird watching while boating mesmerized bird lovers. The pear-shaped Chilka lake is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds in India. Along with the birds, visitors enjoy watching animals like limbless lizards, Irrawaddy dolphins, crustaceans, prawns and crabs.

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Bird Species: The sanctuary is known for the bird’s Geese, Eagles, and Flamingos.
Timings: Visitors can visit the sanctuary from 6 am morning to 7 pm evening.
Entry fee: There is no Entry fee to Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary.

4. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
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The Salim Ali bird sanctuary had been established in the name of famous ornithologist Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali. The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is located at the Chorao Island along the river Mandovi in Goa and is home to a number of varieties of local and migratory birds.

Along with the different species of birds visitors can watch different species of fauna that include jackals, foxes, mudskipper fish, and marsh crocodiles. This sanctuary is one of the major tourist destinations along with the Goa beaches.

Bird Species: Drongos, cormorants, woodpeckers, kingfishers, Malabar trogons, purple herons, sandpipers, white egrets, curlews, mynahs, and kites
Timings: People can visit the sanctuary from 6 am morning to 6 pm evening.
Entry fee: For Indians INR 10 per person, For foreigners INR 100 per person

5. Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Kaundinya bird sanctuary is located near Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the popular bird sanctuaries. Spread over 358 sq km among the lush green hilltops, the Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary is a delight for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts.

This sanctuary is known for its wide variety of local and migratory birds. Apart from local and migratory birds visitors enjoy watching different animals like sloth bears, pumas, monitor lizards, elephants, spotted bears, porcupines, tigers, and jungle cats.

Birds found: Grey pelicans, rosy pelicans, painted storks, cockatiels, and budgerigars
Timings: You can visit the sanctuary from morning to evening until sunlight is there.
Entry fee: There is no Entry fee to Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary. It is free.

6. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
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Kumarakom bird sanctuary is located near the popular Vembanad lake in Kerala. The Kumarakom bird sanctuary is also known as the Vembanad bird sanctuary and is spread over an area of 14 acres filled with lush green trees. This sanctuary is one of the popular bird sanctuaries in India.

The Kumarakom bird sanctuary is home to numerous species of resident and seasonal birds. There is a number of migratory birds like Siberian Stork, Flycatcher, Crane, Teal, Parrots, and Wood Beetle migrate here in the winter season. If you are going to visit Kumarakom, Bird watching is one of the most interesting things to do.

Bird Species: There are many species of birds found in Kumarakom sanctuary including Paradise flycatchers, parrots, larks, herons, egrets, pheasant tailed jacanas, golden-backed woodpeckers, teals, owls, and kingfishers.
Timings: You can visit the sanctuary from 6 am morning to 6 pm evening.
Entry fee: For Indians INR 50 per person, For foreigners INR 100 per person

7. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is the oldest bird sanctuary in India that has a 30-hectare (74-acre) protected area. It is located in the Chengalpattu District and Madurantakam taluk of the state of Tamil Nadu, India.

The sanctuary is about 75 kilometers from Chennai on National Highway 45. Easily reachable from Madurantakam and Chengalpattu. This bird sanctuary has more than 40,000 birds (including 26 rare species), from various parts of the world.

The best time to visit the sanctuary during the migratory season every year from November to March.

Birds Species: Pintails, garganeys, grey wagtails, blue-winged teals, common sandpipers, spoonbills, and herons
Location: Vedathangal, Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu 
Best Time To Visit: 
November and February
Ticket Price: 
INR 5 per child | INR 25 per person for adults
Timings: 
6 am – 6 pm

8. Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Mayani Bird Sanctuary is a Conservation Reserve Forest proposal that is accepted by the Government of Maharashtra. It is a bird sanctuary located in Mayani, in Maharashtra, India. This place is a perfect getaway for bird enthusiasts around the world. 

Birds Species: Flamingoes, coot, spoonbills, painted storks, black ibis, kingfishers, and brahminy ducks
Location: SH76, Kankatre, Maharashtra
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: None. Entry to Mayani Bird Sanctuary is free.
Timings: Sunrise to sunset

9. Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat

The Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary is also known as Lala Parjan Sanctuary and Kutch Bustard Sanctuary. It is one of the two main locations for the conservation of the Indian Bustard. This bird sanctuary is located near Jakhau village in Taluka Abdasa, Gujarat, India which was set up in 1992.

The Kutch Busturd Sanctuary is the smallest sanctuary in the India that legally covers a protected area of about 2 square kilometres of area (202.86 hectares) of fenced land only.

Birds Species: Great Indian Bustards, Houbara Bustards, Florican Bustard, Macqueen’s Bustards (winter bird), and eagles
Location: Kutch District, Gujarat
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: None. Entry is free but guided tours are chargeable.
Timings: Dawn to dusk

10. Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary has been renamed in 2015 Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary. It is located in Unnao district on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the many wetlands of Northern India that consists of a lake and the surrounding environment.

The sanctuary gives protection for 250 species of migratory birds mostly from CIS (or formerly USSR) countries. The sanctuary also houses a deer park, watchtowers, and boats.

Birds Species: Greylag goose, pintail, and cotton teal, red-crested pochard, open bill stork, white ibis, black-winged stilts, dabchick, and purple moorhen
Location: NH 25, Ravanhar, Uttar Pradesh
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: INR 30 for Indians and INR 350 for foreigners
Timings: 6 am-6 pm

Read More, Places To See Migratory Birds In India

Now, you are free to choose the best suitable bird sanctuary. If you have a good camera, birds will make your journey unforgettable. A bird sanctuary is a natural place for birds but it is not restricted to birds only, along with birds you can enjoy watching the lush green forests and different animals.

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