Monday, December 2, 2013

Desert National Park, Rajasthan - Living on the Edge (5th to 8th Feb, 2014)

Date: 5th Feb'14 to 8th Feb'14 (travel days excluded). The bookings for Desert National Park / Khichan bird-watching trip are on… your seats now (see the details at the end).....Birdwatch in one and only one Desert of the South-east Asia with Nature India...where Living is truly on the Edge...... Please See complete details (Itinerary, Charges etc) at the end of this Blog.


DESERT NATIONAL PARK -  Living on the Edge

The Thar Desert, often called an 'ocean of sand', covers a large area of western Rajasthan. The fragile ecosystem of the Thar supports a unique and varied wildlife. In this vast ocean of sands lies the famous Desert National Park. More than 60 per cent of it is simply semi-arid desert. The seemingly barren lands gradually dissolve at the horizon touching Pakistan. But the warm sands of the Desert National Park beyond Jaisalmer form a fertile micro broth hiding an astounding variety of animals and birds. DNP, a World Heritage Site, falls in the extreme hot and arid region of very low rainfall zone (<100mm).

Though one of the smallest deserts in the world, it harbors a wide array of flora and fauna species. It is only place where Rajasthan State Bird (Great Indian Bustard), State animal (Chinkara) and State tree (Khejri) and State flower (Rohida) are found naturally. Thar desert has representatives of Palaearctic, Oriental and Saharan elements and is an outstanding example of geological history representing the different stages of evolution. It also has fossil evidences dating back to the Jurassic Period (180 mya) indicating hot and humid climate characterized by dense forests. 

  We always think that wildlife is in good nos. only when, there are lot of trees… Come to Desert National Park (DNP) & you will be amazed to see the eco system here and bio-diversity. A National Park with huge area of 3162 sq. km is second largest National Park of India after Hemis National Park (4400 sq. km) in Ladakh. The major landform consists of craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, inters medial areas and fixed dunes. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park.

Despite a fragile ecosystem there exists birdlife in good nos. The region is a haven for migratory and resident birds of the desert. The greatest attraction of the park is Great Indian Bustard, an endangered species. Desert National Park is one of the few sites in which these species can be found in good numbers. Undoubtedly, the best site to see Great Indian Bustard. 

Apart from GIB, the park host a large variety of migratory & resident birds, including Macqueen’s (houbara) Bustard, Black-crowned Sparrow Lark, Short-eared Owl, Chestnut-bellied; Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Desert; Variable & Isabelline Wheatears, Stoliczka's Bushchat, Imperial; Steppe; Tawny; Short-toed Snake Eagles, Laggar; Red-necked & Peregrine Falcons, Cream-colored & Indian Coursers, Red-headed, Cinereous & Egyptian Vultures, Bimaculated; Greater Short-toed & Desert Larks, Desert Warbler and many moré…  

 The area is also well represented by various species of mammals, rodents & reptiles like Indian Gazelle (Chinkara), Blue bull (Neelgay), Desert & Indian Fox, Wolf, Desert & Jungle Cat,
Spiny-tailed lizard, Hedgehog, Spectacled Cobra  etc…

KHICHAN - Rendezvous with Demoiselle Cranes

Khichan is a small, simple village in the Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, with extraordinary people. The entire village is known for establishing a tradition of feeding wild birds. Up to 5000kg of bird seed (Jwar) is consumed by birds every day! The small village is known to bird-watchers all over the world, mainly because of large nos. of Demoiselle Cranes, which come here every winter.

Some years ago, a section of local people of Khichan (Mainly: Late Prithvirajji Malu, Late Kishan Lalji Malu, Late Ganeshmalji Malu and Late Ratan Lalji Malu) started offering grains to birds every morning. This attracted a large number of Demoiselle Cranes, locally called as ‘kurjas'. What started initially as a few dozen visiting birds has now become a major migration with over 15000 cranes visiting the village every winter. Khichan today is a World Heritage Site, attracting tourists from around the world who come to see the Demoiselle cranes feeding right in the middle of a human settlement. Every morning Cranes gather in speacially created rectangular enclosure, called as "chugga ghars", where the grains are poured by Jain community. There is a simple ecological significance of this act. Because the cranes get the food they need, in the Chugga Ghar, they don’t ravage the farmlands of Khichan and surrounding villages, thereby averting a potential conflict with humans.



Date: 5th Feb 2014 09:00 hrs to 8th Feb 2014  18.00 hrs (travel days excluded)

Mode of Travel: Train uptil Jodhpur and local non A/C jeeps.

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 just a couple of trains available for Jodhpur from Mumbai....Nature India can ASSIST in bookings if required.

Tour Itinerary:

1) Tuesday 4th Feb, 2014, 2014: Departure from Mumbai to Jodhpur by 12480 BDTS-JU Suryanagari Exp @ 13:30 Hrs.

1) Wednesday 5th Feb, 2014: Arrive @ Jodhpur Station @ 6:30 Hrs - Proceed to Khichan / Phalodi (136 kms) to witness the magnificent congregation of Demoiselle Cranes - Breakfast with Cranes - Continue birding around Khichan - Lunch @ Pokharan - Reach Barna, Jaisalmer (total 300 kms from Jodhpur) - Check-in Pal Rajah Resort - Dinner and Stay

2) Thursday 6th Feb, 2014: Early morning leave for Sudasari Forest Checkpost with packed breakfast and there-on to explore the vast Desert National Park - Lunch @ Khuri Village - Continue Bird-watching in DNP - Return to Jaisalmer - Dinner - Night stay in Pal Rajah Resort.

3) Friday 7th Feb, 2014: Early morning leave for Sudasari Forest Checkpost with packed breakfast and there-on to explore the vast Desert National Park - Lunch @ Khuri Village - Continue Bird-watching in DNP - Return to Jaisalmer - Dinner - Night stay in Pal Rajah Resort

4) Saturday 8th Feb, 2014: Check-out and Start early morning with packed Breakfast to Jaisalmer - Birding on the way - Lunch - Proceed to Jodhpur to board 12479 Surya Nagari Express @ 18: 40 Hrs or by +BGKT BDTS Exp. @ 19:20 Hrs. 

5) Sunday 9th Feb, 2014: Reach Mumbai by 11:35 Hrs or 12: 45 Hrs.

More details on the iterinary will be given to those who register.....

Trip charges: Rs.19800/- (Jodhpur to Jodhpur only)....

Total seats: 8 Pax only

Includes Stay in Pal Rajah Resort, Barna on a twin sharing basis in non-A/C mud house, Local transport by non-AC Jeeps, Park entry charges, Local guide charges, Delicious Vegetarian food, Articles on Desert National Park / Khichan, Bird checklist, on board mineral water and snacks……

This does not include train travel from Mumbai to Jodhpur & Back or any other charges and also any individual camera charges ....Individuals will have to pay additional charges if any to the forest dept. as per the rules.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmatory mail to and by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.7000/-

(The seats will only be confirmed after receiving the advance amount & our registration confirmation by email) …..the remaining amount will be collected in train on the day of travel.......Please Register soon to get the confirmed train bookings and the desired class of travel. We can assist you for train bookings.

Resource Persons: Mr.Adesh Shivkar & Mr.Mandar Khadilkar

Mode of Payment: You can either

1) Transfer non-refundable advance amount of Rs. 7000/- directly to Mandar's HDFC A/c : (please call Mandar @ 9930318665 for A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….OR
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.7000/- as advance amount to the following address

Name: Mr.Mandar Khadilkar
Address: Flat No.2, Blossom Apartments, LM Road, Below Shantighan Hospital, Kandarpada, Dahisar-West, Mumbai-400068

Please Note:
1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 7000/- is strictly non-refundable
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 contact us, in case you need any clarification …..

For any other queries we are available on 9869071091 / 9820455713 (Adesh) or 9930318665 / 9967518665 (Mandar) or

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip !!

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect & Conserve

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