20 Fascinating Bird Sanctuaries In India One Should Visit In 2021

India is the land of the most amazing and splendid bird sanctuaries that are famous not only for their panoramic scenic beauty but also for their rich and exotic biodiversity, especially bird species.

All bird sanctuaries in India are open throughout the year from morning to evening. Though the breeding season for most varies between June and September, the best time to visit and explore these places is the winter season. It is in this season that one can spot colorful, vibrant, and rare migratory birds in some of the most popular and best bird sanctuaries in India.

20 Popular Bird Sanctuaries In India

If you love spotting exquisite birds then there are numerous places for you to plan a getaway.  From passerines to migratory birds, you will find many! These are some of the best bird sanctuaries of India which one must visit to witness the beauty of the varied species of birds who migrate from corners of the world.

  • Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan
  • Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
  • Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
  • Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
  • Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
  • Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
  • Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra
  • Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat
  • Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat
  • Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
  • Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh
  • Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
  • Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka
  •  Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
  •  Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
  • Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, Delhi
  • Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary Solapur, Maharashtra

1. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan

A waterfowl family at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Presently known as Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur is one of the famous bird sanctuaries in India. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a protected sanctuary, this avifauna sanctuary in Rajasthan houses more than 360 bird species. Bharatpur Sanctuary is also known for the animal species that include, among others, Sambar, Nilgai, Boar, and Chital. The place is a delight for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

Location: Keoloadev National Park, Keoloadev National Park, Road, Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Best Time To Visit: August, October, November and February
Ticket Price: INR 50 per person for Indians | INR 400 per person for foreigners | INR 100 for rickshaw rides
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

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2. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary,

Image Courtesy: Vishalbhatia93 for Wikimedia Commons

Spread over sprawling 1.43 sq km, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is a popular bird reserve, located in Haryana. This habitat is listed among the most popular bird sanctuaries of India and is home to more than 250 species of resident and migratory birds. Numerous nomadic birds move here from Siberia, Russia, Turkey, and Eastern Europe during winters.

Location: Gurgaon Farukh Nagar Rd, Sultanpur, Gurugram, Haryana
Best Time To Visit: October to February
Ticket Price: INR 5 per person for Indians | INR 40 per person for foreigners
Timings: 6 am – 4:30 pm
Birds Found: Black-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.

3. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Image Credit: Shyamal for Wikimedia Commons

The bird sanctuary has been named after the eminent ornithologist Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali. The narrow stretch of mangrove forest lies along the estuarine part of Mandovi River and the western tip of the Chorao Island in Goa. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in India and is accessible by regular ferry services. The bird watching tower offers ample scope to watch not only the various species of birds, but also other species of fauna that include foxes, jackals, marsh crocodiles, and mudskipper fish.

Location: Chorao Island, Ilhas, Ribandar, Goa
Best Time To Visit: December and January
Ticket Price: INR 10 per person for Indians | INR 100 per person for foreigners
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Drongos, cormorants, Malabar trogons, kingfishers, sandpipers, woodpeckers, white egrets, purple herons, curlews, mynahs, and kites

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4. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

A beautiful shot of a pheasant-tailed jacana at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – nestled on the banks of the mesmerising Vembanad Lake – is spread over a sprawling area of 14 acres that offers the enchanting beauty of the surrounding lush greenery. Ranked among the most famous bird sanctuaries in India, it is home to numerous species of resident and seasonal birds. In fact, bird watching is one of the most interesting things to do in Kumarakom. Furthermore, the pristine Pathiramanal island in the lake is a perfect site for migratory birds coming from Siberia and Russia.

Location: Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala
Best Time To Visit: November to February
Ticket Price: INR 50 per person for Indians | INR 100 per person for foreigners
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Paradise flycatchers, pheasant tailed jacanas, golden-backed woodpeckers, parrots, teals, larks, owls, herons, egrets, and kingfishers

5. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Flock of Spoonbills at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Literally meaning the ‘hamlet of the hunters’, Vedanthangal is located in Kanchipuram. This is Tamil Nadu’s best entry in the list of famous bird sanctuaries in India. Spread over 30 acres of land, this oldest and smallest bird sanctuary is the site of almost 40,000 migratory birds visiting every year. The ideal time to visit this sanctuary is October to January.

Location: Vedathangal, Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu 
Best Time To Visit:
November and February
Ticket Price:
INR 5 per child | INR 25 per person for adults
Timings:
6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found:
Pintails, garganeys, grey wagtails, blue-winged teals, common sandpipers, spoonbills, and herons

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6. Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

A family of migratory birds relaxes at their nest on tree top in the Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary

Located about 86 km from Horsley Hills and stretching over 358 sq km, Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary is a delight for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. This is one of the popular bird sanctuaries of India and is known for its vibrant and rich biodiversity. In addition to the wide variety of endemic and migratory birds, there are elephants, porcupines, sloth bears, spotted bears, tigers, pumas, jungle cats, and monitor lizards.

Location: Andhra Pradesh, India
Best Time To Visit: October to April
Ticket Price: None. Entry to Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary is free.
Timings: Dawn to dusk
Birds Found: Grey pelicans, rosy pelicans, painted storks, cockatiels, and budgerigars

7. Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa

A long fleet of flamingos stand tall in the Chilika lake at the Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary

Chilika – the largest brackish water lake in Asia – is home to numerous species of birds. From common to rare, and residential to migratory, the sanctuary houses a huge variety. In addition to being one of the popular bird sanctuaries in India, Chilika Lake is a popular tourist attraction where people get mesmerized with the natural backdrop and spot beautiful birds while boating. Irrawaddy dolphins, prawns, crabs, limbless lizards, and crustaceans are some of the animals you can spot here.

Location: Orissa
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: None. Entry to Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary is free.
Timings: 6 am – 7 pm
Birds Found: Eagles, geese, and flamingos

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8. Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Three Eurasian spoonbills relaxing on the banks of the water body at the Mayani bird sanctuary

Mayani Bird Sanctuary, located in the Vaduj town of Maharashtra, is a wetland ecosystem that is rich in biodiversity. This is a drought-prone region with local water bodies. This enables the growth of scattered forests and cactus. The place houses approximately 400 migratory birds that are best spotted during the winter months of November to January.

Location: SH76, Kankatre, Maharashtra
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: None. Entry to Mayani Bird Sanctuary is free.
Timings: Sunrise to sunset
Birds Found: Flamingoes, coot, spoonbills, painted storks, black ibis, kingfishers, and brahminy ducks

9. Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat

Bustards caught walking through the Kutch Great Indian Bird Sanctuary

Comprising the Kutch xerophytic grassland, the Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary is one of the popular bird sanctuaries in India. As the nomenclature goes, the majority bird population here is of the Great Indian Bustard – a neutral-colored ground-dwelling bird species with a long neck and ostrich-like long legs. Along with these, the sanctuary is home to nilgais, chinkaras, desert cats, and jungle cats. This is one of the best places to visit in Kutch.

Location: Kutch District, Gujarat
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: None. Entry is free but guided tours are chargeable.
Timings: Dawn to dusk
Birds Found: Great Indian Bustards, Houbara Bustards, Florican Bustard, Macqueen’s Bustards (winter bird), and eagles

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10. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

A flamingo ready to dive at the prey at the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary

Nal Sarovar, located 60 km from Ahmedabad, is biggest bird sanctuary in India. Known for its wetland vegetation, this 120 sq km avifauna sanctuary offers an opportunity to spot numerous seasonal & resident birds and other fauna. Visitors, especially bird lovers and nature freaks, can hire a boat to roam around the lake and spot different birds. The place serves to be one of the popular weekend getaways near Ahmedabad.

Location: Bagodara Nalsarovar Link Rd, Nalsarovar, Gujarat
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: INR 150 per hour per person
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Geese, ducks, spoonbills, eagles, pelicans, and flamingos

11. Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary

Image Credit: Yoc2007 for Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the Unnao region of Uttar Pradesh, Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary is situated around a freshwater lake that offers habitat to more than 250 species of nomadic and domestic birds. This beautiful sanctuary was renamed in 2015 and before that, it was known as Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary.

Location: NH 25, Ravanhar, Uttar Pradesh
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: INR 30 for Indians and INR 350 for foreigners
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Greylag goose, pintail, and cotton teal, red-crested pochard, open bill stork, white ibis, black-winged stilts, dabchick, and purple moorhen

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12. Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh

 Samaspur Bird Sanctuary,

Image Credit: Gihan Jayaweera for Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

Located 120 km from Lucknow, Samaspur is a reserved bird preservation area that covers 780 hectares of land. It is an abode to birds – resident, migratory, common as well as endangered species.

Location: Mamuni, Uttar Pradesh
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: NA
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Vultures, kingfishers, spoonbills, whistling teals, and comb ducks

13. Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Snaps of the various birds that you find at the Bakhira Bird Sanctuary

Bakhira is a large natural floodplain and wetland, established in 1980. This is among the not so famous bird sanctuaries in India that is home to some unique bird species. Surrounding a natural lake and village by the same name, the place is also a habitat for golden jackals, mongooses, and jungle cats.

Location: Tarbarachh, Uttar Pradesh
Best Time To Visit: November – January
Ticket Price: INR 30 for Indians and INR 350 for foreigners
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Purple moorhen, swamphen, and kaima

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14. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Image Credit: Lip Kee Yap for Wikimedia Commons

The first-ever bird sanctuary of Kerala, Thattekad comprises of evergreen lowland forest by the banks of the Periyar river. With the immensely rich variety of birds, the place has been aptly described as the “richest bird habitat in peninsular India” by the eminent ornithologist Salim Ali.

Location: Kothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nyayapally PO, Thattekad, Kerala
Best Time To Visit: November – February
Ticket Price: INR 10 per person
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Indian pitta, orange headed thrush, large-billed leaf warbler, Indian cuckoo, Jordan’s nightjar, cormorant, and oriental darter

15. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka

 Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Image Credit: Dineshkannambadi for Wikimedia Commons

Ranganathittu is the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka. Located near Mysore, the sanctuary comprises of six small islands by the banks of the river Cauvery. In addition to the large variety of birds, the region is known for some significant animal species like monitor lizard, mugger crocodile, flying fox, and Indian grey mongoose.

Location: Ranganathittu Road, District Mandya, Srirangapatna, Karnataka
Best Time To Visit: June–November
Ticket Price: INR 50 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Oriental darters, streak throated swallows, stork billed kingfishers, Indian shags, and whistling ducks

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16. Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary,

Image Credit: McKay Savage for Wikimedia Commons

Located in Nellore, Pulicat Bird Sanctuary is one of the most famous wildlife and bird sanctuaries in India. The Pulicat Lake is the second largest freshwater lake after Chilika. A wide variety of birds, fishes, worms, molluscs, and prawns are frequently seen here.

Location: Attakanitippa, Andhra Pradesh
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Ticket Price: NA
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Marsh sandpiper, gadwall, shoveler, black-tailed godwit, and garganey

17. Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Scores of pelicans sitting on the grassy lands of Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary

The Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary at Kolleru Lake is a natural habitat for a number of bird species. Also, a large number of drifting birds flock to this area during the winter months.

Location: Near, Guntur Rd, Uppalapadu, Andhra Pradesh
Best Time To Visit: October – January
Ticket Price: INR 10 per person
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Avocets, painted storks, gadwalls, pelicans, and wigeons

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18. Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, Delhi

Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary,

Image Credit: Shantanu Kuveskar for Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

Located by the Najafgarh Drain, this is a wetland ecosystem and one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India near Delhi. It is known for plenty of wandering birds, many of which are now endangered. Also, cobras, monitor lizards, reptiles, jackals, porcupines, and many more species of fauna are also found here.

Location: Delhi
Best Time To Visit: October – January
Ticket Price: Free
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Whistling ducks, Indian pond herons, great egrets, spoonbills, pelicans, ducks, vultures, and gadwalls

19. Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal

 Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary

Image Credit: Susmita Chatterjee for Wikimedia Commons

Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary is located in the rural areas of Kolkata outskirts. It is owned and managed by the government and is open for the public visit between 7 am – 4 pm every day.

Location: Hogulkuria Rajpur Road, Ramchandrapur, Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal
Best Time To Visit: October – January
Ticket Price: Free
Timings: 7 am – 4 pm
Birds Found: Common hawk, blue-throated flycatcher, fish eagle, Asian koel, black-headed bulbul, collared scops owl, and little spider hunter

20. Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary Solapur, Maharashtra

Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary Solapur

Image Credit: Prajwalkm for Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary is located near Solapur and boasts of its vast population of Indian bustard. Months from August to January are the best months to visit this natural reserve, popularly known as Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary. In addition to the Indian bustard, species of animals like common mongoose, wolf, and Indian fox are commonly seen. The exotic birds that stop over here for recess makes the place a famous bird sanctuary in India.

Location: Nannaj, Maharashtra
Best Time To Visit: October – January
Ticket Price: NA
Timings: 6 am – 6 pm
Birds Found: Indian bustard, spot-billed duck, shikra, grey francolin, laughing love, and snake eagle

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Enticed by the list of bird sanctuaries in India? Start by booking a holiday to India and include one of these Indian bird sanctuaries in your itinerary. Do let us know about your visit to these bird sanctuaries in the comment section below. Have a great journey!

20 Fascinating Bird Sanctuaries In India One Should Visit In 2021

Frequently Asked Questions Bird Sanctuaries In India

How many bird sanctuaries are there in India?

There are around 20 famous bird sanctuaries in India which are known for being home to varied species of birds.

Which bird sanctuary in India is famous for Indian bustards?

The Bharatpur bird sanctuary or the Keoladeo Ghana National Park located in Rajasthan is one of the famous places to spot an Indian Bustard.

Which is the first bird sanctuary of India?

The Ghana Bird Sanctuary is the oldest and first bird sanctuary in India.

Which is the largest bird sanctuary in India?

The Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is the largest and one of the famous bird sanctuary in India which is located in Gujarat.

Which is the heaviest bird in India?

The great Indian bustard or Indian bustard is the heaviest bird in India.

Which is the smallest bird in India?

Tickell flowerpecker is the smallest bird in India.

Which is the fastest bird in India?

Peregrine falcon is the fastest bird in India and is quite famous all around the world.


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