Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Desert National Park, Rajasthan - The Bustard's Last Stand (21st to 24th Dec, 2016)

Nature India announces its very very special bird-watching trip to Desert National Park & Khichan (from 21st Dec’16 to 24th Dec’16).....

Date: 21st Dec'16 to 24th Dec'16 (travel days excluded). The bookings for Desert National Park / Kheechan bird-watching trip are on…..book 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 -  Last Abode of the
Great Indian Bustard

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).

To relieve the magical experience of our Feb.2015 trip, wonderfully narrated by Mr. Jitendra Bhatia, please visit below link 

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 (DNP) is now
the Last Abode of the Majestic Great Indian Bustard and this region probably is the last reliable site where there is a good chance to see them, though sadly not with any guarantee.  

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, Merlin, Greater Hoopoe Lark, Plain Leaf Warbler, Desert Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Bay-backed & Southern Grey Shrike, Long-billed Pipit, Crested Lark, Grey Francolin, Montagu's & Pallid Harriers 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: 21st Dec 2016 09:00 hrs to 24th Dec 2016  18.00 hrs (travel days excluded)

Mode of Travel: Tempo traveller from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer to Jodhpur & 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.

Train Booking:
Mumbai to Jodhpur
20th Dec.2016 - Train no. 12480 BDTS-JU Suryanagari Express starting from Bandra Terminus at 13.30 hours 

Jodhpur to Mumbai
24th Dec.2016 - Train no. 22966 BGKT (Bhagat ki Kothi) BDTS Superfast Express starting from  Bhagat Ki Kothi (in Jodhpur only) at 19.30 hours reaching Bandra Terminus on 25th Dec.2016 at 12.45 hours


24th Dec.2016 - Train no. 12479 Suryanagari Express starting from Jodhpur at 18.45 hours reaching Bandra Terminus on 25th Dec.2016 at 11.35 hours
Tour Itinerary:

1) Tuesday 20th Dec, 2016: Departure from Mumbai to Jodhpur by 12480 BDTS-JU Suryanagari Exp @ 13:30 Hrs.

2) Wednesday 21st Dec, 2016: 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

3) Thursday 22nd Dec, 2016: 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) Friday 23rd Dec, 2016: 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

5) Saturday 24th Dec, 2016: Early morning bird-watching in Desert National Park - Check out and start for Jodhpur - Lunch on the way - reach Jodhpur by 18.00 hours to catch 12479 Suryanagari Express
6) Sunday 25th Dec, 2016: Reach Mumbai by 11:35 Hrs.

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

Trip charges: Rs.23,400/- (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, Travel in Tempo traveller from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer & back, 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 & Jodhpur to Mumbai 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 natureindiatours@gmail.com and by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.9000/-

(The seats will only be confirmed after receiving the advance amount & our registration confirmation by email) …..the remaining amount can be forwarded 1 month before the trip.......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. 9000/- directly to Adesh's HDFC A/c : (please call Adesh @ 9820455713 for A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….OR
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.9000/- as advance amount to the following address

Name: Mr. Adesh Shivkar
Address: D-8, The Adi Janata Society, Behind HP Petrolpump, Near Sion Signal, Sion (East), Mumbai-400022.
Please Note:
1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 9000/- 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 natureindiatours@gmail.com

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip !!

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar

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