Top 10 Famous Bird Sanctuaries Of India

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India’s bird sanctuaries offer a symphony of colors and melodies, captivating the hearts of all who venture within their bounds. With over 1200 species of birds nestled within these sanctuaries, they beckon both seasoned ornithologists and curious amateurs alike. From the resplendent plumage of peacocks to the graceful flight of cranes, these sanctuaries showcase nature’s artistry in its feathered form. While they remain open year-round, the winter months unveil a spectacle like no other, as migratory birds grace these sanctuaries with their presence. It is during this season that visitors are treated to a kaleidoscope of hues, as rare and vibrant avian visitors take center stage, making every moment a celebration of nature’s boundless wonders. Famous bird sanctuaries in India

1.Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Goa

Nestled within the tranquil embrace of nature, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary stands as a testament to India’s commitment to avian conservation. Named after the esteemed ornithologist, Dr. Salim Moizzudin Abdul Ali, this sanctuary in Goa serves as a haven for a myriad of bird species. From the graceful mynahs to the regal eagles, and from the vibrant kingfishers to the majestic woodpeckers, the sanctuary boasts a diverse array of winged wonders. Situated along the Mandovi River’s estuarine region and the western edge of Chorao Island, its narrow mangrove forests provide sanctuary not just for birds, but also for a variety of other fauna, including foxes, jackals, and marsh crocodiles. Accessible via regular ferry services, visitors can immerse themselves in the sanctuary’s serene ambiance while perched atop the bird-watching tower, offering unparalleled vistas of nature’s splendor. For those seeking to witness this enchanting spectacle, the months from October to March beckon with the promise of unforgettable avian encounters. Embark on a journey of discovery amidst the verdant beauty of the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, where every fluttering wing and echoing call serves as a testament to the enduring harmony between man and nature.

LocationChorao Island, Ilhas, Ribandar, Goa

Timings6 am – 6 pm

Birds FoundDrongos, cormorants, Malabar trogons, kingfishers, sandpipers, woodpeckers, white egrets, purple herons, curlews, mynahs, and kites

How to Reach:

  • By Air – You can reach Goa airport from other states and transfer to Charao Island via ferry.
  • By Rail – Madgaon station and Thivim station are the top stations to reach Goa. You can find direct trains from Delhi, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, and other cities. Once reached, find buses or cabs to reach the ferry wharf.
  • By Road – Goa is connected with major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, and more. Reach Goa and transfer to the ferry to reach the sanctuary.
  • Take a ferry ride across the Mandovi river to reach Chorao Island. Buses and cabs from various parts of Goa are available, particularly in Panaji to reach Ribandar ferry wharf.

2.Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary in Odisha

Nestled amidst the serene expanse of Chilika Lake, the Chilka Bird Sanctuary stands as a captivating haven for bird enthusiasts, drawing them with its irresistible allure of avian life. From the graceful Graylag geese to the vibrant hues of flamingo jacanas, from the regal presence of herons to the majestic flight of White-bellied sea eagles, and from the elusive Purple moorhens to the charming breeding grounds of flamingos, this sanctuary showcases a splendid array of bird species. As the months transition from November to February, the sanctuary brims with activity, offering a spectacle that truly mesmerizes visitors. Chilika, acclaimed as the largest brackish water lake in Asia, not only hosts a diverse avian population but also serves as a sanctuary for myriad other creatures, including the playful Irrawaddy dolphins, the elusive prawns, the scuttling crabs, and a variety of limbless lizards and crustaceans. Beyond being a renowned sanctuary, Chilika Lake emerges as a cherished tourist destination, where the natural splendor provides a backdrop for unforgettable boating experiences and birdwatching adventures, leaving visitors enchanted by the beauty of the landscape and the richness of its wildlife.

Location: Odisha

Timings: 6 am – 7 pm
Birds Found: Eagles, geese, and flamingos

How to Reach:

  • By Air – The nearest airport is located 120 km at Bhubaneswar away. Taxis are available towards the sanctuary.
  • By Rail – Balugaon is the nearest rail station situated on the Howrah-Chennai track.
  • By Road – Many buses run from Bhubaneswar (Baramunda Bus Station) and Cuttack (Badambadi Bus Station) to Balugaon the whole day. State-run buses have frequent and the fastest services.

3.Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan

Bharatpur, now known as Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park, stands as a captivating sanctuary for both local and international travelers alike. Renowned for its symphony of avian melodies and stunning plumages, this sanctuary beckons visitors with its enchanting aura. Nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, it boasts UNESCO World Heritage status, safeguarding its diverse ecosystem and over 360 species of birds. From majestic cranes to elegant pelicans, the sanctuary offers a spectacle of winged wonders throughout the year. However, the months from August to November unveil the sanctuary’s true splendor, making it an ideal time for a visit. Beyond its avian inhabitants, Bharatpur Sanctuary also shelters a myriad of terrestrial species, including Sambar, Nilgai, Boar, and Chital, adding an extra layer of allure for nature enthusiasts and wildlife aficionados. With its rich biodiversity and serene ambiance, Bharatpur promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of India’s natural treasures.

LocationKeoloadev National Park, Keoloadev National Park, Road, Bharatpur, Rajasthan

Timings: 8 am – 5 pm
Birds Found: Various species of cranes, pelicans, geese, ducks, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, wagtails, warblers, wheatears, flycatchers, buntings, larks, and pipits

How to Reach:

  • By Air – The nearest airport is located in Agra (56 km approx.) from Bharatpur. Delhi airport is 184 km from Bharatpur.
  • By Rail – Bharatpur is well connected with other major cities by rail like Delhi, Mumbai, and Agra. Bharatpur Railway Station is just 5 km away from the bird sanctuary.
  • By Road – Great network of roads connects Bharatpur with all the major cities of Rajasthan as well as other cities. Reach the bird sanctuary from DelhiAgra, Haryana, and Jaipur.

4.Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala

Nestled along the tranquil shores of Kerala’s Kottayam district, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary stands as a haven for avian enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Spanning across 14 acres of verdant landscape, this sanctuary offers a serene retreat amidst the backwaters of Kerala. Here, amidst the symphony of fluttering wings and melodious calls, one can witness a rich tapestry of birdlife. From the graceful egret to the majestic Brahminy kite, the sanctuary hosts a diverse array of resident and migratory birds. Visitors can delight in spotting the elusive Siberian crane or the vibrant hues of the parrot during their respective migratory seasons. Moreover, the sanctuary’s proximity to the mesmerizing Vembanad Lake adds to its allure, providing a picturesque backdrop for birdwatching enthusiasts. As one explores this natural sanctuary, the tranquil ambiance and breathtaking scenery create an unforgettable experience, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts in Kerala.

LocationKavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala

Timings6 am – 6 pm
Birds FoundParadise flycatchers, pheasant tailed jacanas, golden-backed woodpeckers, parrots, teals, larks, owls, herons, egrets, and kingfishers

How to Reach:

  • By Air – The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport , which is connected to all major Indian cities. Hire a taxi to reach the sanctuary.
  • By Rail – Kottayam railway station is connected to major cities in India. It is located approximately 12 km from the bird sanctuary.
  • By Road – You can easily plan a road trip to the sanctuary from Kottayam13 km away. Local cabs and taxis are easily available. You can also hire private transport to reach the location.

5.Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat

Nal Sarovar, situated merely 60 kilometers away from the bustling city of Ahmedabad, stands as a testament to the natural wonders of India. This serene lake, adorned with wetland vegetation, proudly hosts the largest water bird sanctuary in the country, spanning an impressive 120 square kilometers. Here, amidst the tranquil waters and lush surroundings, visitors are treated to a magnificent display of avian diversity. From majestic Cranes to elegant Coots, from graceful Grey-lag geese to iridescent Glossy ibis, the sanctuary is a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Among the myriad bird species that call this sanctuary home, two species of Pelicans, the Dalmatian and Rosy, stand out in their grandeur, offering a spectacle that captivates the soul. The best time to witness this natural extravaganza is during the months of November and February, when the lake teems with both seasonal migrants and resident birds. Boating along the tranquil waters of Lake Nal Sarovar, visitors are afforded a unique opportunity to observe these winged wonders in their natural habitat, making it a cherished destination for weekend getaways and moments of awe-inspired contemplation.

Location: Bagodara Nalsarovar Link Rd, Nalsarovar, Gujarat

Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Geese, ducks, spoonbills, eagles, pelicans, and flamingos

How to Reach:

  • By Air – Located 75 km away, Ahmedabad airport is the closest airport to this bird sanctuary.
  • By Rail – Viramgam is the nearest station located at a distance of 40 km.
  • By Road – Nalsarovar is well-connected with major cities in India. You can either hire a bus or travel in your own car to this bird sanctuary.

6.Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary in Haryana

Nestled just a stone’s throw away from bustling cities like Delhi and Gurugram (Gurgaon), Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary emerges as a delightful weekend retreat for nature enthusiasts. Spanning across a vast expanse of 1.43 square kilometers, this sanctuary stands as a haven for avian diversity, boasting over 250 species of both resident and migratory birds. As the winter chill sets in, Sultanpur becomes a bustling hub, welcoming around 100 different varieties of migratory birds from distant lands such as Siberia, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Russia. From January to March, tourists flock to this sanctuary, drawn by the mesmerizing spectacle of birds in their natural habitat. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary indeed holds its place as one of the premier bird-watching destinations near Delhi, offering a serene escape into the enchanting world of feathered wonders.

LocationGurgaon Farukh Nagar Rd, Sultanpur, Gurugram, Haryana

Timings6 am – 4:30 pm
Birds FoundBlack-necked stork, cattle egret, laughing dove Indian roller, white-throated kingfisher, great egret, red collared dove, red wattled lapwing, rock pigeon, rose-ringed parakeet, common mynah, and little egret.

How to Reach:

  • By Air – The nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport (48 km approx.). Taxis are available from here to each sanctuary.
  • By Rail – The nearest railhead is located in Delhi (46 km). It is very well-connected to all the main cities in India.
  • By Road – State-owned buses operate between Delhi to Gurgaon. The road connectivity is really good with other cities.

7. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Vedanthangal Sanctuary, nestled in the serene expanse of the Kancheepuram District in Tamil Nadu, stands as a testament to both nature’s resilience and human endeavor. With its roots tracing back to the 18th century when it served as a favored hunting ground for local landlords, this sanctuary has undergone a remarkable transformation. Covering a modest 74 acres, it may be one of the smallest sanctuaries in the country, but its significance transcends its size. Each year, over 40,000 migratory birds grace its wetlands, including species like Spoon Bills, Grey Wagtails, Blue-winged Teals, and Pintails, creating a vibrant tapestry of avian life. Beyond its role as a sanctuary, Vedanthangal Lake plays a vital ecological role, enriching the water with nitrogen through the birds’ droppings, thus enhancing the fertility of the surrounding land for agriculture. It’s a symbiotic relationship nurtured over generations by the local community, who recognize the sanctuary’s value and have dedicated themselves to its preservation. As the seasons shift, from October to January, visitors flock to witness the spectacle of nature in full flourish, making Vedanthangal Sanctuary a jewel in Tamil Nadu’s conservation crown and a haven for both birds and admirers of the natural world alike.

LocationVedathangal, Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu 

Timings6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found
Pintails, garganeys, grey wagtails, blue-winged teals, common sandpipers, spoonbills, and herons

How to Reach:

  • By Air – The closest airport is located at approximately 61 km in Chennai. You can ride the bus or hire a taxi to reach the sanctuary.
  • By Rail – Chengalpattu Railway Station is the closest railway station located at a distance of 26 km. The significant junction is located at Chennai, which connects Tamil Nadu to all major cities in India.

     By Road – Vedanthangal is around 30 km from Chennai. Hire a taxi or ride a bus from Chengalpattu and Chennai.

8.Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Nestled amidst the rustic charm of Vaduj in Maharashtra, the Mayani Sanctuary stands as a beacon for nature lovers and birdwatching enthusiasts alike. Boasting a diverse ecosystem, this sanctuary beckons visitors with the promise of encountering a plethora of avian wonders, both native and migratory. From the elegant grace of the Black Ibis to the vibrant spectacle of Flamingos, the sanctuary is a veritable paradise for bird enthusiasts. As the winter months set in, the sanctuary transforms into a bustling hub of activity, with the arrival of rare migratory species adding to its allure. Armed with binoculars, visitors can embark on a journey of discovery, catching glimpses of these winged travelers against the backdrop of the sanctuary’s lush wetlands. Yet, the sanctuary’s appeal extends beyond its avian inhabitants, with its thriving ecosystem supporting a myriad of insects, plants, and animals. Amidst the verdant foliage, medicinal and herbal plants thrive, offering a glimpse into nature’s healing embrace. Against the backdrop of Vaduj’s arid landscape, the Mayani Sanctuary emerges as an oasis of biodiversity, inviting all who wander its paths to immerse themselves in its natural splendor.

Location: SH76, Kankatre, Maharashtra

Timings: Sunrise to sunset
Birds Found: Flamingoes, coot, spoonbills, painted storks, black ibis, kingfishers, and brahminy ducks

How to Reach:

  • By Air – Mumbai is the nearest international airport. Pune is the closest domestic airport. Once reached, you can hire a bus or taxi to the sanctuary.
  • By Rail – Satara is well-connected to other major rail stations in the country.
  • By Road – Plan a trip from major cities to Satara. Many buses run from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, etc. to Satara.

9.Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka

Nestled along the serene banks of the River Kaveri near Mysore, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary emerges as a tranquil haven for both avid birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Spanning across 40 acres, this sanctuary, named after the revered Sri Ranganatha Swamy, exudes an aura of divine serenity. Declared a sanctuary in 1940, it stands as the largest in Karnataka, boasting six picturesque islands dotting the river’s edge. Here, amidst the lush greenery, visitors can embark on guided boat rides, immersing themselves in the breathtaking landscape while marveling at the myriad of bird species that call this sanctuary home. From the graceful movements of North American migratory birds to the vibrant hues of Siberian and Australian avian residents, Ranganathittu offers a captivating spectacle for all who venture here. Beyond its feathered inhabitants, the sanctuary is also home to an array of fascinating creatures, including the stealthy Indian grey mongoose, the majestic monitor lizard, the elusive flying fox, and the formidable mugger crocodile. With its rich biodiversity and tranquil ambiance, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary remains a cherished gem of Karnataka, beckoning visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature’s splendor.

Location: Ranganathittu Road, District Mandya, Srirangapatna, Karnataka

Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds FoundOriental darters, streak throated swallows, stork billed kingfishers, Indian shags, and whistling ducks

10.Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Nestled in the serene expanse of Nellore, the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary stands as a testament to nature’s splendor, drawing in bird watchers and ornithologists alike with its rich avian diversity. Covering an impressive 481 square kilometers, it boasts the distinction of harboring India’s second-largest brackish water ecosystem, second only to the renowned Chilika Lake in Odisha. However, this ecological gem faces the looming threat of extinction due to the relentless onslaught of excessive siltation, underscoring the urgent need for conservation efforts. Amidst this delicate ecosystem, a symphony of birdlife thrives, including elegant White Ibises, majestic Grey Pelicans, and vibrant Painted Storks, among a plethora of others. The sanctuary’s tranquil waters teem with a cornucopia of avian wonders, from graceful Grey Herons to sleek Cormorants, offering a haven for both resident and migratory species alike. Despite the challenges it faces, Pulicat Lake remains a sanctuary of unparalleled beauty, a sanctuary where the melody of nature’s chorus continues to enchant all who venture within its hallowed bounds.

Location: Attakanitippa, Andhra Pradesh Timings: 6 am – 6 pm

Birds FoundMarsh sandpiper, gadwall, shoveler, black-tailed godwit, and garganey

How to Reach:

  • By Air – The nearest airport is Meenambakkam Airport in Chennai (90 km away).
  • By Rail – The closest railway station is Sullurpet Railway Station located 10  km  away from the sanctuary.
  • By Road – To reach here take the National Highway 5 from Chennai towards Nellore. Further take Thatchur Koot Road to Ponneri village, which is roughly 19 km away  from Pulicat village.

11.Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh

Nestled within the expansive landscape of Uttar Pradesh lies the Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, a haven for avian enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Boasting a rich biodiversity, this sanctuary is a sanctuary for over 200 species of birds, including the majestic kingfisher, the elegant spot bill, and the melodious common teal and whistling teal, among numerous others. Set against the backdrop of a serene lake teeming with diverse fish species, Samaspur offers a picturesque retreat into the heart of nature. Spanning 780 hectares of pristine land, this protected area is a vital habitat for both resident and migratory birds, playing a crucial role in their conservation efforts. Conveniently located just 120 km away from the bustling city of Lucknow, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary beckons travelers to immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world. From November to March, visitors are treated to unparalleled opportunities for birdwatching, as the sanctuary comes alive with the vibrant colors and enchanting melodies of its feathered inhabitants. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or simply seeking solace amidst the beauty of nature, a visit to Samaspur promises an unforgettable experience of serenity and discovery.

Location: Mamuni, Uttar Pradesh Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Vultures, kingfishers, spoonbills, whistling teals, and comb ducks

12.Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, Delhi

Nestled along the banks of the Najafgarh Drain, the Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary stands as a testament to nature’s splendor amidst urban sprawl. Serving as a sanctuary for both avian and terrestrial species, this wetland ecosystem is a haven for birding enthusiasts and conservationists alike. Its marshy expanses teem with over 5000 birds, including endangered species such as the Painted Stork, Black-tailed Godwit, and Sarus Crane, making it one of the oldest and most vital bird sanctuaries in India. Beyond its feathered inhabitants, the sanctuary harbors a diverse array of wildlife, from slithering cobras and elusive monitor lizards to jackals, porcupines, and majestic Nilgai. As urbanization encroaches upon their habitats, places like the Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary serve as vital refuges, reminding us of the importance of preserving these precious ecosystems for generations to come.

Location:Delhi  Timings:6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found:Whistling ducks, Indian pond herons, great egrets, spoonbills, pelicans, ducks, vultures, and gadwalls

How to Reach:

  • By Air – Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is the closest.
  • By Rail – Take a train till Delhi and then hire a taxi or bus to the sanctuary.
  • By Road – This bird sanctuary is very-well connected with other cities in India.


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