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Birdwatching & Nature

Bird Watching

Why is India good for bird-watching?

Considered to be one of the 12 “megaversity” countries in the world for bird watching, India boasts over 1225 species of bird, accounting for 13% of the birds known to man.  It is home to two of the most renowned bird watching regions, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalayas. India’s warm weather, and suitably lush tropical habitats accounts for the wondrous and plentiful supply of birdlife.  Furthermore, Indian wildlife conservationists have made a great effort to protect and enhance the bird’s natural environment, helping them flourish in these lands.  Subsequently, India offers a ‘checklist’ of birds that is twice the length of Europe’s of North America’s. 

Black Bittern
Black Bittern
Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike
Black Headed Cuckoo
Common Kingfisher
Common Kingfisher
Indian Pond Heron
Indian Pond Heron

The best time to visit

The months between October and April will offer the greatest bird watching experiences.  However, the timing of your trip will vary according to which hot spot you wish to visit, and what birds you want to see. Migratory birds visit in the winter months, so make sure you time your trip well.


Bird watching tips

Birds amass near stretches of water; if you wish to view rare species, travel to waterways such as the Backwaters in Kerala.

Despite the onset of the monsoon weather, bird watching in the summer is still very rewarding, and the ideal way to view them is from a boat.  The birds love to accumulate along the waterways, and hiring a boat will give the ideal opportunity to view the creatures in their natural habitat.

It is preferable to visit in the winter months as the weather is warmer and tropical, and the migratory birds will have arrived.

Don’t be afraid to feed the birds! They will flock to you! 


Brahminy Kite
Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Hawk Eagle
Hawk Eagle

Where to visit?


India has 2 of the most renowned places to watch birds in the world, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himilayas.

The Western Ghats run along the south western coastline of India.  The diverse and biotic provinces offer the ideal environment for birds to settle, and this area claims 500 species of bird, including 16 endemic species. Some of the most important and impressive species are the Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Wynaad Laughing Thrush, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, and the Nilgiri Pipit.  Visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary from Casa Del Fauno, Kumarakom Lake Resort, or Periyar Wildlife Reserve from Paradise Plantation Retreat or Shalimar Spice Garden Resort.

The Eastern Himalayas offer another great prospect for bird watching.  Considered as one of the greatest places to view birds in the world, and they are a truly magnificent sight.  However, they are less readily accessible than the Western Ghats near Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The national parks of Rajasthan also offer great opportunities to enjoy spectacular bird watching: Keoladeo Ghana National Park and Ranthambore national park offer accessible and wonderful prospects, along with lesser-known the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, a day trip from the Hill Fort.

Stalk
Stalk
Orange Breasted Green Pigeon
Orange Breasted
Green Pigeon
Little Green Bee Eater
Little Green
Bee Eater
Peacock
Peacock

 

Nature

India offers impressive views and beautiful scenery at almost every turn, the sheer diversity of its geography and landscape presenting desert sand dunes to lush rolling hills, flowering meadows and tropical jungles to spectacular mountain vistas in the Himalayas.

It’s easy to hire guides for planned walks: local guides, official authority guides, or in many cases staff from the property will volunteer themselves to guide you off the beaten track and share their knowledge of the local flora and fauna. 


Some of our favourite areas for appreciating nature:

The Cardamom Hills and the Western Ghats in Kerala, largely evergreen forests and plantations on the hills and in the valleys – coffee, tea, rubber, spices – offering waterfalls, views and walking opportunities. 

Windermere House in Munnar, Paradisa Plantation Retreat and Shalimar Spice Garden near the Cardamom Hills, are our choices of accommodation. Beware of leeches after the monsoon rains!


Rajasthan does not have to been all consuming with forts & palaces; the Aravelli hills surrounding Udaipur, or the woodland countryside between Ranakpur and Kumbalgarh, offer beautiful scenery for light trekking, intermittent with interesting temples & ruins.  Head to Udaipur and the beautiful boutique of Devigarh, the luxurious Udaivilas, or the delightful guesthouse, Jaget Niwas, as an initial starting point from which to explore the area.  Its national parks offer habitat most welcoming for many a species of animals and birds. 
More about wildlife...


The Wayanad in Kerala is most rewarding due to it’s relative inaccessibility, resulting in few tourists. 
Choose one the marked walking trails around the working plantation at the aptly named Tranquil and enjoy learning about its produce - coffee, vanilla, cardamom and pepper – from your hosts.

The Himalayas is renowned trekking country, however it doesn’t only offer week-long treks requiring specialist equipment and vigorous training. From Himachal Pradesh in the west to Sikkim over in the east, with many opportunities for shorter treks and durations of a few days or even a day, there’s something for every ability.

One of the most impressive panoramic vistas in the Himalayas is viewed from Tiger Hill, accessible from Dajeeling. Venture up there (along with many other tourists) for sunrise to see the sun light up each of the summits - including Everest - in turn.

Sikkim is perfect for botanists to enjoy walking through woodland hillsides and flowering meadows. More about trekking...