Top 20 Bird Sanctuaries in India

Our country is the home to a plethora of bird species both native and migratory. And the sanctuaries are the best place to soak up their sweet melodies. The country hosts more than 50 bird sanctuaries that are frequented by the winged creatures every year. As more and more Indians are getting addicted to bird watching, they are exploring the sanctuaries and enjoying the company of these beautiful birds.

Here is a rundown of Top 20 Bird Sanctuaries in India that is a paradise for birdwatchers.

1. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana

Nestled in the Gurgaon District of Haryana Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is the perfect weekend destination for bird enthusiasts. The park hosts a large number of domestic and migratory birds from Central Asia, Siberia and Europe. There are four watch towers that stand tall in different parts of the sanctuary. It sprawls over an area of 359 acres and the vegetation here is tropical and dry deciduous. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is declared a national park by the Haryana Government in the year 1991.

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary Haryana

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Timings: 11 AM to 6:30 PM, closed on Tuesday

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Suggested Tour : 5 Days- Bird Watching Tour India

2. Bharatpur Sanctuary, Rajasthan

Located in Rajasthan, the Bharatpur Sanctuary for birds is a slice of heaven for bird watchers. It is one of the most exquisite parks in the world that hosts indigenous aquatic and migratory birds from different parts of the globe. In the year 1985, Bharatpur Sanctuary was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also known as Keoladeo National Park, it derived the name from an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This sanctuary is possessed by approximately 30 mammal species, more than 350 bird species and diverse flora.

Bharatpur Sanctuary

Best Time to Visit: August to November, October to March

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM (summer), 6:30 AM to 5 PM (winter)

Read More : A Complete Guide on Bharatpur National Park

Suggested Tour : 6 Days Golden Triangle with Bharatpur Birding Tour

3.Salim Ali Sanctuary, Goa

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is an estuarine mangrove swamp that is a haven for bird lovers in Goa. It lies along River Mandovi, away from the hustle of the party capital. This place is the home to a plethora of coastal birds, jackals, crocodiles and flying foxes. A watchtower is erected within the park for better viewing opportunities. The sanctuary covers an area of 420 acres and is named after the renowned ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. There are paved hiking trails so that the visitors can explore the park on foot and marvel at the sight of exotic birds.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

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Read More : Wildlife Sanctuaries In Goa

Suggested Tour : 4 Days - Goa Beaches Tour

4. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Kumarakom Sanctuary is a favourite haunt for thousands of birds from the Himalayas to Siberia. The main attractions are Siberian Cranes, Waterfowl, Flycatchers, Larks and many more. It is situated along the Vembanad Lake and cruising across the lake offer bird watching opportunities.  There is also a well-maintained trail through the lush greenery that lets you admire the rich flora and fauna in Gods Own Country Kerala . Make sure to climb the watch tower which is the best way to spot the multicolored birds and butterflies.

Kumarakom Sanctuary Kerala

Best Time to Visit: June to August, November to May

Timings: 6:30 AM to 5 PM

Also Read : Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries of Kerala

Suggested Tour : 11 Days Kerala Village Tour

5. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Vedanthangal Sanctuary is the oldest in the country that covers 74 acres of land. This protected area lies in the Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu. In the 18th century, this region was the popular hunting ground for the landlords living nearby. The wetlands of the sanctuary attract more than 30,000 migratory birds every year. This mainly includes Spoon Bills, Grey Wagtails, Blue-winged Teals, Pintails and the like. The birds dropping in the Vedanthangal Lake increases the nitrogen content in the water and that helps in better irrigation of crops. Hence, the locals are taking special efforts in protecting the sanctuary for a long time.

Vedanthangal Sanctuary Tamilnadu

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

Also Read- Top 10 Tourists Places in Tamilnadu

Suggested Tour : 11 Days - Tamilnadu and Kerala Tour

6.Chilika Lake Sanctuary, Orissa

The largest saltwater lagoon in Asia, Chilika Lake flaunts a rich ecosystem with aquatic flora and fauna around its brackish water. The lake draws an impressive array of resident and migratory birds including the Moorhens, Herons, Greylag Geese, Flamingos and so on. Thus, this area is a real treat for bird watchers and ornithologists. The Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary is also the largest breeding ground for Flamingos from different parts of the globe. Apart from birds, it is also known for hosting rich aquatic wildlife mainly crabs, dolphins, prawns, limbless lizards and 225 species of fish.

Chilika Lake Sanctuary

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM

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Suggested Tour : Top 5 Tribal Tour of India

7. Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Situated near Vaduj in Maharashtra, Mayani Sanctuary is one of the most prominent sanctuaries in the country. The region is blessed with a diverse ecosystem and lures nature enthusiasts from every nook and corner. The sanctuary is filled with myriad species of native and migratory birds namely Coot, Black Ibis, Painted Storks, Flamingos and many more.  The rare species of migratory birds can be spotted in the winter season, so make sure to carry your binoculars. Plenty of insects, plants and animals can also be found. The wet ecosystem also favours the growth of medicinal and herbal plants.

Mayani Bird Sanctuary (Maharashtra)?

Best Time to Visit : November to January

Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM

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Suggested Tour : 4 Days - Mumbai Sightseeing Tour

8. Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat

Get ready to blow your mind at the Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary near Jakhau Village. Popularly known as the Lala-Parijan Sanctuary, here you get a chance to spot the great Indian Bustard, the heaviest bird in the country. In order to protect these birds, the region was declared a sanctuary in the year 1992. Look around for Merlin, Bushchat, Heron, White-naped Tit, Sandpiper and so on. There is a watchtower that allows you to spot the rare wildlife from above.

Kutch great indian bustard sanctuary

Best Time to Visit : October to March

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM

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Suggested Tour- 12 Days - Gujarat Wildlife Tour

9. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

At a distance of 60 kilometres from Kochi, lies the incredible Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. It is one of the richest bird habitats in the country that was declared a sanctuary in the year 1983. Filled with evergreen and deciduous trees, this forest is a haven for nature lovers and passionate birders. There are more than 100 species of birds that flock to this sanctuary and the list is growing every year. The pleasant winter climate draws migratory birds from the Himalayas and other regions. Thus, you get an opportunity to spot rare birds like Malabar Trogon, Ceylon Frogmouth as well as Indian Pitta.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (Kerala)

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Timings: 7 AM to 5 PM

Also Read : Top 12 Things to do in Kochi (cochin)

Suggested Tour : 14 Days Kerala wildlife Tour

10. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka

Located near Mysore, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is the largest in the state of Karnataka. This slice of heaven stands on the banks of River Kaveri and must be on the bucket list of every wildlife buff. The sanctuary was named after Sri Ranganatha Swamy, who is regarded as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.  It was declared a bird sanctuary in the year 1940 and spans across an area of 40 acres. It is an important breeding ground for numerous bird species from North America, Siberia and Australia. There are guided boat rides available that let visitors relish the picturesque landscape and admire the sight of pretty birds.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (Karnataka)?

Best Time to Visit: December

Timings: 8:30 AM to 5:45 PM

Also Read : 15 Unforgettable Places to visit in Mysore

Suggested Tour : 10 Days South India & wildlife Cultural Tour

11. Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Located in between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for ornithologists and bird watchers. Pulicat Lake is the second largest saltwater lagoon in the country after Chilika Lake. This lagoon is the habitat for more than 150 species of fish and around 100 aquatic and terrestrial bird species. Migratory birds mainly from Eastern Europe and Central Asia visit Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. You might spot Marbled Teal, Painted Stork, Grey Pelican, Grey Heron, Egret, Sea Gull and what not. This protected area also promotes eco-tourism on Pulicat Lake by sailing in a traditional boat.

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM

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12. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Located in the heart of Kerala, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is an ecologically sensitive region that attracts visitors from far and near. It is one of the most favoured destinations for colourful birds and butterflies. The thick mangrove forest is nothing less than a visual delight and often melts the heart of nature enthusiasts and photographers. This is a tidal wetland that stretches across 18 acres of land.  Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is overflowing with natural vegetation and is often called the ‘Green Lungs of Kochi’. The sanctuary is an important habitat for endangered animals like Flying Fox, Eurasian Otter and the Three-striped Squirrel.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary (Kerala)

Best Time to Visit: January to March

Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM

Also Read - Interesting Activities to do in kochi

Suggested Tour : 10 Days - Best of Kerala Tour

13. Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary is one of the best-kept secrets of Andhra Pradesh that enthral visitors with its rich diversity. In the heart of Guntur district, this park is a weekend getaway with a natural setting. The serene environment is the home to several indigenous and migratory birds that fills the pristine air with their melody. Pelicans are the major bird species found here. You might also witness Painted Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Pintail Duck and Common Teal to name a few.  The region is also blessed with a number of small water bodies that makes the sanctuary the breeding ground for different fish species. Wander around and spend some quality time amidst the verdant hues.

Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary

Best Time to Visit: October to April

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

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14. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is known for is enriched wildlife and diverse fauna. At a distance of 64 kilometres from Ahmedabad, this park boasts the largest wetland in Gujarat. It is a bird paradise that includes plenty of residents and migratory birds mostly endangered species.  Some rare plant species also grow in the wetland of Nal Sarovar. No wonder, this sanctuary is the hotspot for ornithologists, bird watchers and photography buffs.

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Timings: 5 AM to 7 PM

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Suggested Itinerary- 12 Days - Gujarat Wildlife Tour

15. Okhla Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Snuggled on the banks of the Yamuna River, Okhla Bird Sanctuary is a peaceful escape from the chaotic urban life of Delhi NCR. This place was declared a sanctuary by the Uttar Pradesh Government in the year 1990. It is one of the most important bird areas in India that spans across an area of 167 acres. If you develop the eye for birds, over 320 species can be found here. The curious birdwatchers can witness the Indian Vulture, Baikal Teal, Sarus Crane and Black-bellied Tern to name a few.

Okhla Sanctuary (Uttar Pradesh)

Best Time to Visit: September to March

Timings: 7 AM to 5:30 PM

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Suggested Tour : 4 Days - Delhi Agra Jaipur

16. Bonal Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka

Bonal Bird Sanctuary is the second largest in Karnataka after Ranganathittu. It is a wetland and a bird sanctuary that sits near the Bonal Village of Yadgir District. The Bonal Tank was converted into a bird sanctuary by the Government in 2010. Around 21 bird species are recorded in this massive wetland that is enclosed by a rocky hillock. Migratory birds include Black Ibis, White-Necked Stork, Bar-Headed Goose, Pond Heron, Indian Moorhen and many more.

Bonal Bird Sanctuary (Karnataka)

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Timings:  10 AM to 5 PM

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Suggested Tour : 11 Days - Karnataka and Kerala Tour

17. Porbandar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

Located in the heart of Porbandar, this bird sanctuary boasts the co-existence of nature and human. The park provides shelter to numerous bird species that flock to the region. The sanctuary is packed with Jacanas, Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, Flamingos, Coots, Geese and so on. The aquatic birds splashing water in the natural setting is a sight to behold. You can also spot the birds flying in the deep blue sky and making unique patterns. Visit the sanctuary in the winter months and get a glance at the birds nesting in the area.

Porbandar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

Best Time to Visit: October to March

Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM

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18. Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Nestled in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, Suchindram Theroor Bird Sanctuary is dotted with a number of wetlands. The Suchindram wetland hosts a variety of migratory aquatic birds like the endangered Spot Pilled Pelican, Painted Stork and so on. Resident birds include Marsh Harrier, Brahminy Kite and Pied Kingfisher. This region also boasts a wide range of aquatic vegetation such as lotus, floating hearts, water lily and pistia. The area is under legal protection since 2002.

Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary

Best Time to Visit: October to April

Timings: 12 PM to 5 PM

Also Read : Top Tourists Destinations in Tamil Nadu

Suggested Tour : 11 Days Tamil Nadu & Kerala Tour

19. Raiganj Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal

Raiganj Bird Sanctuary is situated near the city of Raiganj in West Bengal. Due to the presence of numerous water bodies, this sanctuary attracts thousands of winged visitors every year. Reputed as one of the largest sanctuaries in Asia, the park attracts around 70,000 migratory birds annually. There is hardly any such sanctuary in India that boasts such a wide range of birds. The indigenous species include Woodpeckers, Drongoes, Kites, Owls, Kingfishers and many more. The winged guests from other regions are Night Herons, Egrets, Cormorants and what not. Visitors come here to relax and explore the beauty of this area.

Raiganj Bird Sanctuary  (West Bengal)?

Best Time to Visit: October and November

Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM (Tuesday to Saturday), 9 AM to 5 PM (Sunday), closed on Monday

Also Read- Top Tourist spots to Visit in West Bengal

20. Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

If you are looking for a unique summer destinations coupled with the richness of nature, Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary is the answer.  Located near Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, this park is a hotspot for bird watching. It offers shelter to the Rosy Pelicans, Painted Storks, Love Birds and Pied Horn Bills to name a few. Apart from birds, Kaundinya also houses a variety of wild animals including the Jungle Cat, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Porcupine and so on. The rugged habitat boasts two tranquil streams namely Kaundinya and Kaigal that forms the heart of the sanctuary.

Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh)?

Best Time to Visit: November to February

Timings: 7 AM to 5 PM

Also Read - Top 20 Wildlife Sanctuaries of India

So, when are you planning a visit to the most amazing bird sanctuaries in the country?