Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary is an man-made wetland constructed to store the excess waters of the Jawaharlal Nehru canal. The 412 hectares low lying storage area has twelve kilometers of motorable embankments running round the perimeter which is planted with acacias and eucalyptus species.
The large area and the protection provided by the Forest Department makes Bhindawas a safe home for many migratory species in winter. Bhindawas is reminiscent of Bharatpur in some ways. It is much smaller and far more compact, but the species diversity, habitat type and bird-watching strategy is very similar.
On our visit in February we saw good variety and numbers. Seeing different species in large flocks all sharing one large area is an unique experience - and the embankment makes bird watching very easy. The Bhindawas checklist records 266 bird species but I am sure that more will be added in time with increasing number of experienced birders visiting the area.
Reaching or finding Bhindawas is the real hurdle. This water-bird paradise, located in district Jhajjar in Haryana, is around 15 km from Jhajjar town and is only a 2 hour drive from New Delhi. But unless you know your way, finding Bhindawas is difficult and could be frustrating. There are no prominent road signs and in places the road is at best a track - it is best to go with someone who knows the place. Bhindawas has a Forest Rest House with two rooms and
can be booked through DFO, Rohtak or Chief Wildlife Warden of Haryana, Panchkula. Amenities are basic and it is recommended that provisions be carried.
We were accompanied on our visit by Suresh Sharma,
the man behind what Bhindawas is today. The lake is his baby and our
trip was doubly pleasurable and worthwhile due to his presence. Mr.
Sharma is extremely knowledgeable about the birds of Bhindawas and
their preferred habitat usage.
December-January though the season stretches from October to March. Sanctuary hours in winter are: 6:30 am - 5 pm and in summer: 6 am - 6 pm.
Location: 76o 41' East 28o
Haryana-online for details of Bhindawas. Carries an image gallery.
2. A Birdwatcher's Guide to India by Krys Kazmierczak
Suresh C Sharma,
Gokul Nagar, Rohtak Road, Sonipat 131001
Mobile: 0 9896253754