Purbasthali
  Oxbow lake  

 
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Wetland area symbol © Sumit Sen
Purbasthali Lake, Burdwan
 



Lesser Whistling Ducks

Images   Bhagirathi Images   Bird List


Introduction

On the Tropic of Cancer lies the quaint town of Purbasthali, in Burdwan, West Bengal. It is 120 kms north from Kolkata. Also known as Chupi Char, Purbasthali lies on the banks of a large oxbow lake created by the river Ganges and is only a few kms  from the old and holy town of Nabadwip. The 2-3 km long lake attracts migrants and water birds. 

Birds of India has visited Purbasthali from 2002 to 2006 to survey and count the water birds as a part of a 5 year project. The results of the single day count are available here.

© Bhaskar
Peregrine Falcon

Purbasthali is not a popular destination for tourists or bird-watchers and that was one of the reasons to choose this little visited place. The lake itself is a narrow strip with clear blue water. In most parts it is not deep and is remarkable for the heavy growth of aquatic sweet water plants.

What strikes you about the place is the variety of waterfowl and the spectacle of hundreds of them taking wing as your boat approaches. The birds, however, settle down quickly a short distance away and given the paucity of boats and tourists, boating is not a major problem. 

© Sumit Sen
Eurasian Wigeon

How to reach: Purbasthali is to the north of Kolkata city and is close to the towns of Krishnangar, Mayapur and Nabadwip. You leave the city by taking B T Road and from Krishnangar, cross the Hoogli river over the Chaitanya Bridge to reach Nabadwip. A short distance down the same road takes you to Purbasthali Bazar. Take a right near Purbasthali railway station and cross the tracks behind the station. A short drive down a track will take you to the lake side where row boats are available. You need to take a boat to reach the birds.

© Sumit Sen

Distance from Kolkata : 120  kms. Takes about 4-5 hours to reach depending on traffic and road conditions. There is a rail station at Purbasthali and it is possible to take a train from Kolkata.

Places of interest:
Krishanagar, Mayapur and Nabadwip are places of tourist interest and are all close to Purbastahli. Mayapur is the headquarters of ISKON and there is a beautiful temple of Lord Krishna at Mayapur. Nabadwip is famous for being the birth place of the Hindu Saint, Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu and was the seat of learning in Bengal. All three are worth visiting.

Best time
: The winter months (October to February). Early mornings (7.30 am) and late afternoon (4.00 pm onwards) are the best time(s) of the day.

Sumit K Sen
Kolkata, India

 

   
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