Tal Chhapar Sanctuary and Wild
Indian Subcontinent | India | Tal Chhapar Sanctuary and Wild
Though smaller in size to the other national parks situated in Rajasthan, Tal Chhapar holds its own in terms of its wildlife and terrain. Located in the Churu district of Rajasthan right next to the Thar Desert, this ‘tal’ (meaning flat) land region though surrounded by sand dunes opens up into an alluring flat grassland turf. Known mostly as the abode of the blackbucks, it also shelters a variety of bird species besides other wildlife. The savanna like terrain also supports the growth of the ‘mothiya’ grass, one of the main fodders for the blackbucks.
WHAT TO SEE
The sanctuary was used as hunting grounds by the Maharaja of Bikaner before independence.
How to reach
Tal Chhapar is very easily accessible from most major cities in Rajasthan.
Rail – Chhapar is the nearest railway station to the sanctuary. In 2006 Tal Chhapar has been added into the itinerary of the of ‘Heritage on Wheels’ train.
Air – Jaipur airport is about 215km from the sanctuary.
Road – Located on the Sujangarh – Nokha highway the sanctuary can be reached from Jaipur, Bikaner and Shekhawati.
What to see
It is best to visit the sanctuary between November to February.
With over 2000 blackbucks in the sanctuary these unique antelopes are seen usually in hordes as well in small groups. The other animals that one spots here are the, chinkara, desert cat and jungle cat.
Interestingly, the sanctuary is also home to a number of bird species, including migratory birds. The harriers, tawny eagle, eastern imperial eagle, sparrow, short toed eagle, black ibis, crested larks, demoiselle cranes, brown and ring doves are seen here. The area also acts as a breeding ground for the green and blue checked bee eaters.
The Acacia and Prosopis trees dot the horizontal grassland surface making sighting of the animals and birds relatively easier.
Things to do
Safaris into the sanctuaries are extremely fruitful. One can view the blackbucks up close and personal and capture the different birds on camera and in memory.
Tal Chhapar is a quiet small sanctuary and besides visiting the local villages around there is not much else one can do as a tourist. However, Jorbeed at the outskirts of Bikaner is also a renowned bird watcher’s paradise and boasts of flocks of predator birds of vultures and eagles.
The Park is close to the Pushkar Lake (150km), Bikaner (125km), Alwar (244km), Jaipur and Ajmer (155km). You can choose to hop to these destinations after a wildlife spree at Tal Chhapar.
Day 1 – Arrive at Tal Chhapar by noon and post lunch we venture into the sanctuary for a date with the blackbucks, birds and chinkaras. Meet up with the guide and group to share your experiences and photographs before retiring for the night.
Day 2 – An early morning start into the area is ideal for catching sight of the wildlife as they begin their day. Post lunch we head into the sanctuary for one last time before visiting a few adjoining settlements to get a sense of the local flavor. Treat yourself to a sumptuous Rajasthani dinner before calling it a day off.
Day 3 – You can choose to set out for Jorbeed or any other city of your choice for some tourist action, from where onwards you may proceed to your onward destination.