Anniversary Amongst Birds

On Sept 7th this year, we went to Bharatpur, the famous bird sanctuary in Rajasthan. We stayed at Ibis House Farm Stay. What an accidental find Ibis House was !! We loved the place.

Ibis House Farm Stay is just 3.5 kms from the Unesco World Heritage Keoladeo National Park. Its run by Mukesh ji and his family, now our family too :). For three days, we were taken care of so well by Mukesh Ji and his younger brother Chandan Ji that we feel like going back often.

Their father is the renowned birdman of Bharatpur, Ratan Singh who started life as a boatman and went on to becoming a bird guide. He even worked with the famous ornithologist, Salim Ali. In 2004, Ratan Singh was awarded the ABN AMRO Sanctuary award for services to Wildlife.

Two of Mukesh Ji’s brothers, Rahul and Lokesh, are also bird guides and conduct tours all over the country for bird watchers.

Food at Ibis House Farm Stay

Whether you like birds or just want a break, you should consider Ibis House Farm Stay for just the food. Chandan Ji is the younger brother of Mukesh Ji and he does all the cooking. All three of us enjoyed the food tremendously and the tea he makes is worth every sip. He loves to cook and it shows in the taste.

I first tried to say I will make tea myself…. but once I tasted the tea that Chandan Ji made, I was happy to let him do it and didn’t interfere.

The house is spotlessly clean, well maintained and all the produce used is organic.

Anniversary Day

We left early in the morning and a cousin of Mukesh Ji dropped us at the Keoladeo Sanctuary. Mukesh ji also came along and managed to get us a guide and one of the golf carts. I wish the Government would do away with the cycle rickshaws and train all the rickshaw pullers to drive the golf carts. They are silent and far more comfortable to sit.

We went till the temple which is about 5 to 6 kms inside the national park. Our guide managed to click some amazing pictures of the birds using his spotting scope and a cellphone camera !!! The Indian “jugaad” innovation :).

The weather is still hot and humid so we couldn’t enjoy a longer bird watching trip. We got back to Ibis House and enjoyed a great brunch.

In the evening we went to see Laxman Mandir – the only temple in India dedicated to Bhagwan Rama’s younger brother. There was a power cut just before we entered the temple and we couldn’t see the vigrahas clearly. It only means we need to go back another time and spend more time in seeing the other sights in Bharatpur.

The Route

We took the Gurgaon-Sohna-KMP expressway-Old Agra Expressway-Agra-Bharatpur bypass to reach Bharatpur. The roads are great and Fastag has made life on the road a lot simpler. The beautiful flyover built across Sohna from Subhash Chowk onwards makes it a breeze to reach the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway easily.

Will post a separate blog on the route on places to eat etc.

Pictures of some Birds

Anniversary Bharatpur birds
Indian Roller
Anniversary Bharatpur birds
White Throated Kingfisher
Anniversary Birds
Grey Heron
Anniversary Birds
Black Bittern
Anniversary Birds
Purple Heron
Anniversary Birds
Lasser Whistling Duck
Anniversary - Bharatpur
Open Bill Stork
Anniversary Birds
Jacobin Cuckoo
Anniversary Birds
Grey Hornbill
Anniversary Birds
Great Cormorant
Anniversary Birds
Bar Tail Swallow
Anniversary Bharatpur
Pied Kingfisher
Anniversary Birds
Darter or Snake Bird

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