If you ever want to see what the African Savannah looks like without being to Africa, then Tal Chhapar is the place. Though small in area at about 16sq km, it resembles an African Savannah in all its glory. The golden grasses host over 10,000 Blackbucks and it is the prime example of successful Blackbuck conservation. Apart from Blackbucks, this park is famous amongst the birders of India for its amazing variety of birds of Prey. Some of the regulars are –
- Laggar Falcon
- Red Necked Falcon
- Common Kestrel
- Lesser Kestrel
- Crested Serpent Eagle
- Bonellis Eagle
- Tawny Eagle
- Egyptian Vulture
- King Vulture
- Cinereous Vulture
Apart from this other star attractions are Demoiselle Cranes, Short Eared Owls, Spotted Creeper and Yellow Eyed Pigeons. The park consists of 3 regions. One is the actual park or grassland for which we need to pay a small permit fees. Inside the park boundaries, most blackbucks can be seen and a good amount of Predatory birds. Then 4 kms apart is a place called Gaushala, which is basically Cattle disposal ground for local villagers. It is here that many vultures and eagles are seen regular. Then another side is a village side which has a few lakes. It is here that the Demoiselle Cranes are often seen. Also behind the park are salt pits where the Desert Fox is often seen.
As local experts tell us, one of the key reasons for Predatory bird sightings in this park is the presence of Spiny tailed lizards, which often bask in the Sun in the months of September-October. That is the perfect opportunity for these birds to grab a prey. That apart there are several man-made and natural waterholes inside the park area, which provide respite to the birds in the hot months.
Apart from the plethora of birds, Tal Chhapar is also an interesting place to observe animal behaviour. In mornings, one can often see Male blackbucks fighting and locking horns against each other in quest for dominance.
What is also unique about Tal Chhapar is once you step out of the Wildlife and explore the locality, the place gives you a taste of Rural Rajasthan in all its shades. From local folk music to pyaj kachoris to crowded buses to helpful people it has ’em all. Also the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan is famous for its mural paintings.
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