Nothing compares to the sound of chirping melodies, the scent of fresh air, and the sight of pleasant landscapes. When you feel the weight of the world getting heavy on your shoulders, what makes a better therapy session than a short trip to a bird sanctuary? Pack your bags and head out to watch the ever-energetic birds. Embrace the sight of them flying around with freedom in their wings and life in their flight.
There is a remarkably great abundance of bird sanctuaries in India. Pick one and take your senses on a tranquil journey!
On exploring the map of bird sanctuaries in India, you will be amazed at the abundance of these beautiful places in the country.
List of top 20 bird sanctuaries in India
- Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan
- Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
- Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
- Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
- Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
- Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
- Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra
- Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
- Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
- Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat
- Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat
- Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka
- Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
- Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
- Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
- Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, Delhi
- Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal
- Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
- Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Each of these sanctuaries is home to a wide variety of birds.
1. Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan
One of the largest bird sanctuaries and a true bird watcher’s paradise is the Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan. It is spread over an area of about 28.7 square kilometres. Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo is a very famous avifauna sanctuary. As one of the richest bird areas in the world, it is home to over 360 species of birds. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Keoladeo National Park also houses other species of fauna such as Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, and many more. This sanctuary is an absolute delight for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
- Address: National Highway 11, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 302001
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 50; Non-Indians: INR 400
- Bird species: Indian Shag, Great Cormorant, Knob-billed Duck, Cotton Teal, Oriental Ibis, Darter, Asian Open-billed Stork, Tufted Duck, Green Sandpiper, and others
- The ideal time to visit:
For resident breeding birds – Between August and November (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
For migrant birds – Between October and February (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
2. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana
Listed among the most popular bird sanctuaries in India, the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is spread over 1.21 square kilometres. An ideal place for bird lovers, this sanctuary is a breeding ground for over a hundred migratory bird species. This place is very picturesque during winters as the panorama is fully alive with the presence of thousands of birds. Vibrant birds from Siberia, Europe, and Afghanistan come to Sultanpur every year, increasing the beauty of this wonderful sanctuary.
- Address: Gurgaon Farukh Nagar Road, Sultanpur, Gurugram, Haryana 122006
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 5; Non-Indians: INR 40
- Bird species: Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Rock Pigeon, Common Mynah, Red-collared Dove, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Great Egret, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between October and February (6:00 AM – 4:30 PM)
3. Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
A sanctuary with one of the most beautiful landscapes is the Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the biggest bird sanctuaries in India, spanning over 357.6 square kilometres. The mesmerizing Kalyan Revu Water Falls and Kigal Water Falls give an additional touch of magnificence to this sanctuary. Apart from being a bird sanctuary, it is also an elephant reserve with about 78 Indian Elephants. Jackals, Sambars, Wild Boars, and other animals are found here as well.
- Address: Palamaner, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh 517401
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Painted Storks, Rosy Pelicans, Grey Pelicans, Budgerigars, Cockatiels, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between October and April
4. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa
A splendid estuarine mangrove sanctuary along the river Mandovi in Goa is the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary has a paved walk that runs between mangroves, making it a pleasant sight for the eyes. It is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in India and is also a habitat for Marsh Crocodiles and Mudskipper Fish. Its bird watching tower offers a perfect view of the amazing landscape of this place. Regular ferry services make it easy for you to have a memorable time at the sanctuary.
- Address: Chorao Island, Ilhas, Ribandar, Goa 403006
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 10; Non-Indians: INR 100
- Bird species: Malabar Trogon, Woodpecker, White Egret, Cormorant, Curlew, Purple Heron, Drongo, Striated Heron, Western Reef Heron, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between December and February (6:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
5. Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
An excellent habitat for a wide variety of bird species, the Chilika Lake of Orissa is the largest brackish water lake in Asia. Common, rare, residential, migratory – all species of birds are found here. The Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular tourist spots for nature and bird lovers from all over the world. You can bask in its serenity as you enjoy the breathtaking landscape and chirping of birds while boating over the Chilika Lake. Diagonally extending a good 1,100 square kilometres, this sanctuary is a haven for tourists seeking a pleasant break.
- Address: Districts Puri, Khurda, and Ganjam, Orissa 752030
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: White-bellied Sea Eagle, Purple Moorhen, Flamingo, Graylag Goose, Jacana
- The ideal time to visit: Between October and February (6:00 AM – 7:00 PM)
6. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
Spread across 14 acres of land, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala is every ornithologist’s paradise. Its location on the banks of the Vembanad Lake makes this sanctuary a very captivating place to visit. Set amid a lush wooded land, it attracts huge flocks of migratory bird species from the Himalayas and Siberia. Their exuberant colours and swift flights are sure to take your senses on a jolly ride. For the perfect date with nature, head to Kumarakom!
- Address: Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala 686563
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 50; Non-Indians: INR 100
- Bird species: Siberian Stork, Egret, Night Heron, Darter, Teal, Lone Golden-backed Woodpecker, Paradise Flycatcher, Native Kingfisher, and others
- The ideal time to visit:
For residential birds – Between June and August (6:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
For migratory birds – Between November and February (6:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
7. Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
The largest natural flood plain wetland in the district Sant Kabir Nagar is the Bakhira Bird Sanctuary. It occupies a vast stretch of land, about 29 square kilometres. This sanctuary provides a great breeding ground for its resident birds and is an important staging ground for many migratory waterfowls.
It attracts birds from Europe, Siberia, Tibet, and China during the winters. Named after the village Bakhira, the Bakhira Bird Sanctuary is an important resource to the villagers. They depend on the sanctuary’s wetland for their livelihood – agriculture, fishing, and fuelwood collection.
Address: District Sant Kabir Nagar, Tarbarachh, Uttar Pradesh 272199
Entry fees: Nil
Bird species: Purple Moorhen, Kaima, Swamphen
The ideal time to visit: Between November and January (6:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
8. Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra
A wetland ecosystem extremely rich in biodiversity is the Mayani Bird Sanctuary in Maharashtra. This sanctuary houses over 400 migratory birds during the winter months. Its scenic views and modern infrastructure make it a frequented place of visit. Scores of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts throng this place to watch the Siberian Cranes and Flamingos in particular. A rich variety of flora and fauna flourish in this region, making it one of the most sought-after sanctuaries in India.
- Address: State Highway 76, Kankatre, Mayani, Maharashtra 415102
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Spoonbill, Black Ibis, Siberian Crane, Painted Stork, coot, Flamingo, Brahminy Duck, Kingfisher, Northern Shoveler, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between November and January (7:00 AM – 9:00 PM)
9. Vedhanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
The first bird sanctuary in India is the Vedhanthangal Bird Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the smallest bird sanctuaries in the country, covering only 74 acres of land. Its name translating to “the hamlet of the hunter”, this sanctuary used to be a favourite hunting ground for landlords in the early 1700s who hunted only for sport. This area’s wetlands with water bodies rich in their splendid ecosystem attract a great diversity of birds. As many as 40,00 migratory birds flock to this sanctuary every year to nest and breed.
Address: District Kancheepuram, Vedhanthangal, Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu 603314
Entry fees: Adults: INR 25; Children: INR 5
Bird species: Garganey, Blue-winged Teal, Spoonbill, Heron, Pintail, Grey Wagtail, Common Sandpiper, and others
The ideal time to visit: between October and January (6:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
10. Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
The Samaspur Bird Sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh is a fabulous bird preservation area covering 780 hectares of land. It is a great breeding place for many varied species of birds. Over 250 different types of birds can be spotted here. Migratory birds fly here after covering very long distances of over 5000 kilometres. Samaspur Lake makes this sanctuary one of the most peaceful sanctuaries in the entire country.
- Address: District Raebareli, Mamuni, Uttar Pradesh 229127
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Whistling Teal, Showler, Vulture, Kingfisher, Comb Duck, Spoonbill, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between November and March
11. Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat
Providing a comfortable domicile to the endangered species of the Great Indian Bustard is the Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in Gujarat. This is a truly exquisite bird that comes in a captivating blend of two colours, lush brown and serene white. It is locally called “ghorad”.
Though the sanctuary covers an area of only 2 square kilometres, it is one of the only two abodes in Gujarat dedicated to the preservation of the beautiful creature. It is also home to the Desert Cat, Striped Hyena, Spiny-tailed Lizard, Chinkara, Bluebull, and other fauna.
- Address: Jakhau Village, Nalia Taluka, District Kutch, Gujarat 370640
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Great Indian Bustard, Florican Bustard, Houbara Bustard, Macqueen’s Bustard, Eagle, Harrier, Lark, Shrike, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between October and March
12. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat
As one of the most eminent bird sanctuaries in India, the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary of Gujarat is globally reckoned for its enriched wildlife. It houses a grand range of flora and fauna, beckoning nature lovers for a definite visit. More than 250 species of birds, both, local and migratory find their habitat here. The wetlands of Nal Sarovar have rare species of plants growing in them while the Nal Sarovar Lake is home to several species of fish and crab as well. This bird sanctuary is rightly famed for its attractiveness and splendour.
- Address: Bagodara Nalsarovar Link Road, Nalsarovar, Gujarat 382170
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 40 (Monday-Friday), INR 50 (Saturday-Sunday); Non-Indians: USD 10 (Monday-Friday), USD 12.50 (Saturday-Sunday)
- Bird species: Avocet, Swallow, Brahminy Duck, Pelican, Flamingo, Spoonbill, Duck, Fishing Eagle, Saras Crane, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between December and March (6:00 AM – 5:30 PM)
13. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka
The best bird sanctuary in the state of Karnataka and a popular one in the country is the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. It covers an area of only 0.67 square kilometres but has a very high density of bird population. Having six islets, this sanctuary not only hosts birds but a great range of other flora and fauna as well.
Its crocodile-infested waters attract many avian flocks, making it a very frequented spot for ornithologists. To watch the birds, crocodiles, otters, and bats, guided tour bouts are available throughout the day. The Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and its undisturbed landscape make it an ideal picnic spot for locals and tourists.
- Address: Ranganathittu Road, District Mandya, Srirangapatna, Karnataka 571438
- Entry fees: Indians (Adults: INR 50, Children: INR 25); Non-Indians: INR 300
- Bird species: The Little Cormorant, Asian Open-Bill Stork, Painted Stork, and White Ibis and many more
- The ideal time to visit: Between June and November (9 AM – 6 PM)
Also See: 15 famous bird sanctuaries in Karnataka
14. Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh
One of the many wetlands in North India, the Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat is situated around a freshwater lake. It is home to over 250 species of migratory birds. Formerly known as the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, this place also holds a deer park, watchtowers, and boats. Many rare species of Siberian migratory birds can be found here. This sanctuary is a fantastic location for bird watchers and wildlife photographers.
- Address: National Highway 25, Unnao, Ravanhar, Uttar Pradesh 209859
- Entry fees: Indians: INR 30; Non-Indians: INR 350
- Bird species: Pintail, Cotton Teal, White Ibis, Black-winged Stilt, Shoveller, Dabchick, Purple Moorhen, Red-crested Pochard, Greylag Goose, Open-billed Stork, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between October and March (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
15. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala
Spread over an area of 25.16 square kilometres, the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary of Kerala has a dense birdlife. Dr Salim Ali, a reputed ornithologist, described this sanctuary as “the richest bird habitat in peninsular India”. Located on the northern bank of the river Periyar, several species of forest birds and water birds abound in this region.
The Indian Pitta visits during winter and spends almost six months here. This sanctuary is a comfortable habitat for many different varieties of cuckoos. A portion of the sanctuary is even called “The Cuckoo Paradise”.
- Address: Kothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nyayapally PO, Thattekad, Kerala 686681
- Entry fees: INR 10
- Bird species: Orange-headed Thrush, Large-gilled Leaf Warbler, Indian Cuckoo, Drongo Cuckoo, Indian Hawk Cuckoo, Cormorant, Indian Pitta, Oriental Darter, Jerdon’s Nightjar, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between November and February (7:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
16. Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
The Pulicat Lake in Andhra Pradesh is the second largest brackish water ecosystem in India after the Chilika Lake in Orissa. Its waters call many avian flocks for breeding. During the colder months, up to 15,000 flamingos can be found here. This region is extremely sensitive and is under the threat of disappearance due to excessive siltation. However, over the years, the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary has consistently been loved by many for its serene atmosphere and wonderful birds.
- Address: District Nellore, Attakanitippa, Andhra Pradesh 524121
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: White Ibis, Grey Pelican, Flamingo, Spot-billed Duck, Reef Heron, Spoonbill, Painted Stork, Black-tailed Godwit, Gadwall, Marsh Sandpiper, and others
- The ideal time to visit: between October and March (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
17. Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, Delhi
One of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, the Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, is located by the Najafgarh Drain. It is a wetland ecosystem covering several kilometres of the Najafgarh Lake. The winter months are beautiful as many wintering water birds flock this area.
The Drain is surrounded by a dense forest and is known for its abundance of wandering birds, many of which are now endangered. Other species of fauna such as Cobras, Monitor Lizards, Jackals, Porcupines, and Reptiles are also found here. You can bask under the sun and enjoy the wildlife at Najafgarh.
- Address: Dharampura, Najafgarh, Delhi 110043
- Entry fees: Nil
- Bird species: Red-wattled Lapwing, Golden Eagle, Tailor Bird, Mynah, Black Kite, Warbler, Whistling Duck, Indian Pond Heron, Vulture, Spoonbill, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between December and February
18. Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal
Reputed for its extensive range of birds, ferns, orchids, butterflies, and epiphytes, the Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary is spread over 17 acres of land. The area surrounding the sanctuary has a mix of bamboo brakes, wasteland, orchards, and wasteland.
Huge mango trees beautify the landscape of the sanctuary along with jackfruit, coconut palm, tamarind, ficus, guava, and other trees. A new bamboo plantation has also come up to attract dependent species. This sanctuary is the perfect place for birds to nest, feed and breed in. It is truly a very magnificent place to visit.
- Address: Hogulkuria Rajpur Road, Ramchandrapur, Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal 700103
- Entry fees: INR 50
- Bird species: Fish Eagle, Blue-throated Flycatcher, Common Hawk, Asian Koel, Collared Scops Owl, Black-headed Bulbul, Little Spider Hunter, and others
- The ideal time to visit: Between December and March (6:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
19. Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh
One of the lesser-known bird sanctuaries in the country is the Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary. Several birds from Siberia and Australia use the Uppalapadu village’s water tanks for nesting. Previously, the bird population in these tanks was about 12,000, but over the years, it has drastically reduced to only 7,000 birds.
In spite of this, the pleasant atmosphere of this sanctuary has not disappeared. For the local tourists and offbeat travellers, the Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary continues to be a much-loved getaway.
- Address: Guntur Road, Uppalapadu, Andhra Pradesh 522509
- Entry fees: INR 10
- Bird species: Painted Stork, Gadwall, Wigeon, Avocet, Pelican, and others
- The ideal time to visit: between October and April (6:00 AM – 6:00 PM)
20. Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Maharashtra is one of the only six states in India with a population of the Great Indian Bustard. The land is drought-prone and semi-arid, but the Bustards are well-habituated here. They prefer open short grass plains and open scrubland with a minimum number of trees.
This is essential for their nesting, display, foraging, and roosting. The Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary provides the perfect home for them. Along with the Indian Bustard and other birds, fauna such as the Common Mongoose, Indian Fox, and Wolf are commonly seen here.
Address: Nannaj, Solapur, Maharashtra 413222
Entry fees: Nil
Bird species: Great Indian Bustard, Grey Francolin, Snake Eagle, Spot-billed Duck, Laughing Love, Shikra, and others
The ideal time to visit: Between August and January
Put on your relaxation mode for a picnic at a serene bird sanctuary with your loved ones! Get your binoculars out and spot those chirping beauties full of exuberance!