Chambal: The perfect destination for nature lovers
Baratpur bird sanctuary which is also known as Kheoladeo Ghana bird sanctuary should be the heaven for bird lovers. Especially in winter season, this place is a great shelter for thousands of birds. There are more than 230 species of birds living here. This place is also a famous tourist place. Many bird lovers come here when its winter. In 1971 they declared this place as a National Park.
One day on a winter morning, I reached Delhi. Then I went straight to HazratNizamuddin railway station in a taxi. From there I’ll get a train to Bharatpur. It is almost a three hour journey in train to reach Bharatpur. Bharatpur has an old attractive crowded railway station, just like any other railway stations in India.
There are many accommodations in Bharatpur which can fit in any budget. With a 20 minute ride in an auto rickshaw, I reached the hotel where I could stay in Saras Chouraha. It was small but neat. Most of the hotels and resorts are located in Saras Chouraha. I have to reach very early to see the birds next day. Kala Singh who is my guide and rickshaw rider reached the hotel on time to pick me. It’s around one kilometer to reach the bird sanctuary. After completing the entering procedures, we went into the bird sanctuary.
This is a different world from the people and the vehicles and the noises from outside Kheoladeo National Park. This is a 29 square kilometer park filled with grass plains, forests, dirt regions in between the woods and marshy grounds. Every year in winter, thousands of birds migrates here. Birds are not the only attractions here in Bharatpur. There are many other different mammals and snakes living here. I also heard a leopard is residing here. I really appreciate the hard work of the Deputy Conservator of Forest Department Mr. BijoJoji and his team for maintaining and protecting the National Park in such a beautiful way. The service of the guides and rickshaw riders are very nice.
I spent 2 days and observed 90 species of birds and I enjoyed it. Some people live here permanently. Reptiles… Mammals… What else we need to bring happiness? Bharatpur journey will not be completed without visiting National Chambal Sanctuary. It is also known as National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary. When I hear Chambal, the names of the famous ravagers, Phoolan Devi and Paan Singh Tomar are the first ones which comes in my mind. But presently Chambal has a different look. I started the journey to Chambal with Bhoopendra Singh. It’s almost 90 kilometer distance from Bharatpur to Chambal. It was a relaxing journey passing through the beautiful villages and golden green mustard fields. Blue bulls often appears between the fields. We stopped several times on the roadsides to take pictures of the birds. The first click was of an Egyptian Vultures picture. We reached Chambal at ten o clock in the morning. It felt like I got on a magical dimension when I saw the flowing Chambal River. It is the cleanest river in India. I hope it would be the same forever.
There are no any other buildings in that region other than a boat jetty and a tent build on a high foundation. Two hours of boat journey is arranged there. When the mind gets comforted by the clear blue water and beautiful picturesque, you even forget how to breathe. There were two species of crocodiles called Gharial and Mugger lying on the shore. The high rocks over the sand banks are the place where Egyptian vultures take rest. On the other side of the river there are green fields. The government and forest department has stopped the sand mantle completely which had happened here before. You can also see different types of tortoises in between the rocks.
When the heat of the sun got extreme I decided to stop the journey. I thought of taking wonderful pictures of the oriental magpie robin which were eating small insects from the shore of the river.While returning to Bharatpurit was nice and relaxing. I was filled with the beautiful sights and life of Bharatpur and Chambal.
Translated by Cameo Christy