An ex-colleague had spoken about a national park near Gurgaon. Since then I have wanted to visit it. I may not remember names of people or their faces but conversations about trips remain etched in my mind. Since we didn’t have major plans for year end, we decided to visit the national park. It is located in Sultanpur, Haryana. Yes, it isn’t in Sultanpur, Delhi but in Haryana. It is very, very close to Gurgaon. It took us 45 mins from our house to the park. The park opens at 7 am. Many websites mention that 6 am is the best time to visit because birds leave their nests after 7 am but you need permission one day in advance to enter that early. Normal people like you and me can comfortably go there late morning. The entry fee is less than 100 bucks per person (including the camera). You should carry a pair of binoculars. We didn’t because getting off our ass and leaving the house at 7 am is achievement enough on a holiday unless it is for cricket (in KC’s case) and running or breakfast (in my case).
We hired a guide. Or rather, the guide asked for an atrocious amount and I refused. Then we walked further and I changed my mind, went back and agreed to pay him muh maangi rakam (asked for amount). Because shamelessness is a required skill for bargaining. We spotted nilgais while entering the park. The park is very small, less than 1/4th the size of Bharatpur but it is very nice and quiet. The guide took us into the heart of the park but we couldn’t see a thing because of the morning fog. We waited for half an hour for the fog to clear and spotted many birds- a stork, kingfisher, purple heron, ducks, geese, pelicans etc. We couldn’t see the spotted owl because it wouldn’t leave it’s nest. It took us 1-1.5 hours to cover the park. This is a nice place to bring your kids and let them experience nature.
There is a government resort at walking distance if you want to stay overnight or just have breakfast. A good weekend break.
Here are some pics of the park:
A stork. Without a care in the world.
Lots and lots of birds on the trees from all over the world.
The purple heron
Lots of Indian ducks
Peacock at the entrance
Please don’t use your phones in the park or be loud. You don’t want to annoy the animals and birds.