Friday, December 21, 2012

Tal Chappar - A Grassland Oasis (2nd to 5th Mar, 2013)

2nd Batch

Date: 2nd Mar 07.30 am to 5th Mar,2013 eve 4.00 pm (travel days excluded). The bookings for our New Destination Tal Chappar Wild Life Sanctuary & Sambar Lake - Bird- watching trip are on… your seats now (see the details at the end)..... This is an exciting New Destination with a unique Grassland habitat surrounded by Desert that has recently come to limelight because of its Rarities. .... An offbeat destination that surprises any birder with its amazing quality and quantity of birdlife..... read our last years experience...


TAAL CHAAPAR - A Grassland Oasis, Rajasthan

"Kesariya Baalam Aavo Ni, Padharo Mhare Des" this sign can be seen throughout the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, to signify that THIS is the gateway to India. Perhaps this sign is best applied for the Migratory birds that enter the mainland India through this corridor..............
There are several incredible Bird-watching destinations in India.... some are frequently visited for their abundance and variety, while some are visited for the endemic species that they offer. However, there are very few destinations which can be termed as "Hidden treasures" and which have been seldom visited due to either ignorance or poor logistics..... Amongst them Tal Chappar WLS is on Top of the list.... It is truely an Oasis for Birds surrounded by Desert.

It is only in recent times that Tal Chappar has come to limelight, due to some credible work by Rajasthan's forest Dept. especially by the current DFO. The place has been transformed from a dry featureless scrubland to a bird rich habitat where amazing varieties and Rare species of birds can now be encountered.

The Tal Chappar sanctuary is located on the fringe of the Great Indian Desert and is Located at a distance of 220 km from Jaipur. It is a small but rich wildlife sanctuary in Churu district of Rajasthan between Ratangarh & Sujjangarh. The word "Tal" means plane land which is actually a flat saline depression with open grassland scattered with acacia and prosopis trees which give it an appearance of a typical Savanna. Tal Chappar Sanctuary is known for its enchanting natural beauty and a unique fragile ecosystem spread across 719 Ha. And is more famous for the amazing population of Black Bucks, having highest density in India harboring more than 2000 of these elegant antelopes.

The location of the sanctuary makes it suitable as a passage stop for many migratory birds travelling to India. Thousands of birds of various species either stop-over here on their passage to mainland India or spend most of the winter months in this bio-diversity rich grassland habitat.

Rarities Galore: Tal Chappar WLS has especially shot up in prominence due to some of the rare birds recorded here that include Yellow-eyed Pigeons, Stolickza’s Bushchat, Spotted Creeper, Laggar Falcon, Spanish Sparrow, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Flocks of Demoiselle Cranes, European Turtle Dove, Lesser Kestrel, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Spotted Flycatcher, Singing Bushlark, Eurasian Skylark, Water Pipit, Sociable Lapwings, Black-crowned Sparrow Lark, Raven etc.

The bounty of bird, spiny-tailed Lizards and rodent population also ensures incredible variety of Raptors including Greater & Indian Spotted Eagles, Tawny, Imperial & Steepe Eagles, Short-toed, Booted and Bonelli’s Eagle, Harriers, Falcons, Sparrowhawks, White-eyed Buzzard , Indian Eagle-owl and several species of Vultures.

The park also harbours several other migratory and resident birds in good numbers including collard Doves, Greater Short-toed, Rufous-tailed, Crested, Indian Bush, Bimaculated and Oriental Sky Larks, Peafowls, Wheatears, Pipits, Francolins, Quails, Wyrnecks, woodpeckers, Bee-eaters, coursers, Cuckoos, Warblers, Wagtails, Shrikes, Rollers and owls.

The Saltpans near the North-western corner of the Park attracts a number of waders and other waterbirds including Sandpipers, Godwits, Avocets, Ibis, Storks, Stints, Egrets, Herons etc. which adds significantly to the list of this unique landscape.

Apart from the rich avifauna, Tal Chappar also hosts several other fauna that can be encountered easily including huge nos. of Blackbucks, Neelgai, Desert Jerbils, Desert Fox and Desert Cat, Indian Fox, Hedgehogs, Mongoose, Spiny-tailed Lizard.

It is just amazing to see the plethora of fauna in a land otherwise known as impoverished desert….. The best time to visit the Tal Chappar Wildlife Sanctuary in Churu is from September to March.

(Some of the images in this blog are courtesy: Mr.Nirav Bhatt)


The Sambhar Salt Lake is India's largest inland salt lake around 70 kms from Jaipur along National Highway 8 in Rajasthan. The lake is actually an extensive saline wetland, with water depths fluctuating from as few as 60 cms (24 in) during the dry season to about 3 meters (10 ft) after the monsoon season. It occupies an area of 190 to 230 sq kms, based on the season. It is an elliptically shaped lake 35.5 km long with a breadth varying between 3 km and 11 km.

Sambhar has been designated as a Ramsar site (recognized wetland of international importance) because the wetland is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of flamingos and other birds that migrate from northern Asia & Europe. The specialized algae and bacteria growing in the lake support the lake ecology that, in turn, sustains the migrating waterfowl, attracting thousands of local migrants like the Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Pelicans and Painted storks. The birds can be found in most of the saline ponds that are scattered across the bed of the lake and along the adjoining wetlands. One can easily spot migratory & resident birds like Common teals, Northern shovelers, Common pochards, Northern Pintails, Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls, Bar-headed & Greylag geese, Jacana’s, Sandpipers, Curlews, Godwits, Stints, Black-winged Stilts, Ruffs, Storks etc.

We will be visiting the Naliasar Wetlends near Sambar Lake for waterbirds....


Nature India has organized an exclusive Birdwatching trip to this paradise from 2nd March to 5th March 2013 (travel days excluded). We shall cover The Grasslands of Tal Chappar, The surrounding Scrubland and saltpans and the Wetlands of Naliasar near Sambar Lake.

Have a look at some of the Trip reports & photoblogs on Taal Chappar WLS, Rajasthan


Tour Itinerary & Other Details:

Date: 2nd Mar'13 morning 07.00 am to 5th Mar'13 eve 04.00 pm (travel days excluded)

Mode of Travel : AC Tavera Jeeps (From Jaipur to Tal Chappar and local travel) 

Overnight train travel can be booked from Mumbai..... however since it is a busy sector, the train bookings should be done soon to get the desired train and class .... there are several trains available for Jaipur from Mumbai....Nature India can ASSIST in bookings if required.

Rough Tour Itinerary:( Ex.Mumbai)
1st Mar'13 (Friday): Departure from Mumbai to Jaipur 12216 +DEE Garibrath Express. at 12:55 Hrs (from Bandra) or any other train / plane according to your convenience.

2nd Mar'13 (Saturday): Arrival in Jaipur (7.10am) - Proceed to Mega Highway - Breakfast on the Way - Visit Sambar Lake and Naliasar wetland - Lunch - Proceed to Tal Chappar WLS - Check-in and Night stay at Hotel in Sujjangad (5 kms from Park)

3rd Mar'13 (Sunday): Early morning bird watching @ Tal Chappar for Grassland species - Lunch @ Forest rest House - Proceed to the Scrubland and Saltpans towards North of Park - Return to Hotel in Sujjangad - Dinner and Night Stay.

4th Mar'13 (Monday): Early morning Birding @ Tal Chappar for grassland species and Blackbucks - Lunch @ forest rest house - Proceed to "Cow-shed" area towards the east of park to see Spiny-tailed Lizard, Desert Jerbils and birds like Vultures, Spotted Creeper and other scrub-land birds - Return to Hotel in Sujjangad - Dinner and Night Stay.

5th Mar'13 (Tuesday): Early morning Checkout from Hotel - Bird-watching on the way - and proceed to board 12215 +DEE BDTS G Rath Express @ 16:30 from Ajmer (lunch on the way)

6th Mar'13 (Wednesday): Arrive in Mumbai on 6th Mar'13 early morning by 07:30 Hrs.


Trip charges (Jaipur to Jaipur only)............. Rs.12600/-

Includes A/C stay in a hotel in Sujjangad on twin sharing basis withattached toilet, Local travel by Tavera Jeeps, Jaipur to Jaipur travel, Park entry charges, vegetarian food , Guide charges, Information articles & on board snacks and mineral water…….

This does not include travel charges from Mumbai to Jaipur and Back, Photography fees or any charges other than the above.

Group Size: Max.8 persons only

How to Registration: You can register by sending a confirmation mail to natureindiatours@gmail.comand by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.5000/- after our registration confirmation on e-mail…..The remaining amount will be collected on the day of travel.

Kindly register soon as the train bookings are not easily available in this sector.

Stay Arrangement:
At BDS International, Near Sujjangad, Churu District in AC
rooms on awin sharing basis. Note: This is a remote place in Rajasthan, where the facilities are very basic.... and this hotel is the only option for staying near the sanctuary.....however, the Hotel is clean and food is hygenic. the hotel is situated approx. 8 kms from Tal Chappar Sanctuary.

Resource Person: Mr.Adesh Shivkar, Mr.Mandar Khadilkar 

Mode of Payment: You can either
1) Transfer the advance money directly to the HDFC A/c (Please send a mail for details).. please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.5000/- as advance amount to the following address

Name: Mr. Adesh Shivkar

Address: D-8, Adi Janata Society, Behind HP Petrol Pump, Near Sion Signal, Sion (East) Mumbai-400022

Please Note:
1) Once registered, the amount of Rs. 5000/- is strictly non-refunadable
2) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours
3) Nest photography or any collection of specimens is prohibited
4) Kindly register on this trip only if you agree with  Nature India's rules and policies

Please revert on ID, in case you need any clarification …..

For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 or 9820455713 (Adesh) or 9930318665 or 967518665 (Mandar).

Thanks for your patience.

Looking forward for a very rewarding trip with you all !!

Warm Regards,
Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect and Conserve

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