Top Bird Sanctuaries In India That No Bird Lover Should Miss!

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One of the best gifts that mother nature has bestowed upon us are birds and it is probably the best sight that can tickle our senses and give us a therapeutic experience to watch the birds. India is home to more than 1,200 local and migrant exotic species of birds that you can see in their full glory in the Bird Sanctuaries in India.

Apart from the species of exotic birds like Great Indian Hornbill, Great Indian Bustard, Kingfisher, and a lot more you can also soak up the beauty of the panoramic views of the Bird Sanctuaries, spot other wildlife, and hike through the forest trails.

Here is a list of the Top Bird Sanctuaries in India

1. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

A UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural significance, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world. It is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park and is home to more than 366 species of birds.

Apart from the birds it also house various wildlife like Nilgai, Chital, Boar, and Sambar.

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  • Most famous birds at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: Various species of cranes, pelicans, geese, ducks, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, wagtails, cormorants, buntings, larks, pipits, herons
  • Location of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: Keoladeo National Park, Keoladeo National Park Road, Bharatpur, Rajasthan
  • How to reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: Agra is the nearest airport at a distance of 56 km. Bharatpur has its own well-connected railway station and it is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Entry fee of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: INR 50 for Indians, INR 400 for Foreigners
  • Best time to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: October to February

2. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Goa

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Named after the famous ornithologist Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is one of the best bird sanctuaries to spot rare fauna species. You can access this bird sanctuary by taking a ferry across the Mandovi River.

There is a watchtower installed in the sanctuary to spot not only the species of birds but also other fauna species like marsh crocodiles, jackals, foxes, and mudskipper fish and also the stunning views of Mapusa and Mandovi River.

  • Most famous birds at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: Drongos, cormorants, Malabar trogons, kingfishers, sandpipers, woodpeckers, white egrets, purple herons, mynhaws, kites
  • Location of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: Chorao Island, Ilhas, Ribandar, Goa
  • How to reach Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: Goa has a well-connected airport and railway station and is also easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: INR 10 for Indians, INR 100 for Foreigners
  • Best time to visit Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: November to January

3. Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa

Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Orissa
Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary

The largest brackish water lake in Asia, Chilika lake is visited by more than 160 species of birds every year. Apart from the species of birds, the natural scenic beauty here makes it one of the best bird sanctuaries in India.

You can go for a mesmerizing boat ride and also spot some of the animal species like Irrawaddy dolphins, prawns, crabs, limbless lizards, and crustaceans.

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  • Most famous birds at Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary: Gulls, flamingos, white-bellied sea eagles, ospreys
  • Location of Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary: Nalaban, Orrisa
  • How to reach Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary: Bhubaneshwar is the nearest airport at a distance of 120 km. Balugaon is the nearest railway station at a distance of 53 km. It is easily accessible by road
  • Timings of Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 7 pm
  • Entry fee of Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary: Free
  • Best time to visit Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary: November to February

4. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, Haryana

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

Spread over an area of 1.43 square km, Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular bird sanctuaries in India. It is home to more than 250 species of resident and migratory birds.

It receives a large number of nomadic birds from Siberia, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Russia during the pleasant winters.

  • Most famous birds at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary: Black-necked stork, laughing dove Indian roller, white-throated kingfisher, great egret, red collared dove, red wattled lapwing, rock pigeon, rose-ringed parakeet
  • Location of Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary: Gurgaon Farukh Nagar Rd, Sultanpur, Gurugram, Haryana
  • How to reach Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary: Delhi is the nearest airport and railway station at a distance of 48 km. It is easily accessible by road
  • Timings of Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm (summers), 6 am to 4:30 pm (winters)
  • Entry fee of Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary: INR 5 for Indians, INR 2 for children (5 to 11 years of age), INR 40 for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary: October to February

5. Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Gujarat

Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary
Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary

One of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries, Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary as derived by its name is home to the majority population of Great Indian Bustard.

Apart from the species of Bustard, this sanctuary also dwells in other animal species like Nilgais, desert cats, bush cats, chinkaras, and jungle cats.

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  • Most famous birds at Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary: Great Indian Bustards, Houbara Bustards, Florican Bustard, Macqueen’s Bustards, Merlins, Lesser Florican
  • Location of Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary: Jakhau, Kutch, Gujarat
  • How to reach Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary: Ahmedabad is the nearest airport at a distance of 110 km. Naliya is the nearest railway station at a distance of 22 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary: Free
  • Best time to visit Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary: October to March

6. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

One of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is spread over 30 acres of land. It literally translates to “hamlet of the hunters” in the local language and is visited by more than 40,000 migratory birds every year.

  • Most famous birds at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: Pintails, garganeys, spoonbills, grey wagtails, blue-winged teals, common sandpipers
  • Location of Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: Vedathangal, Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu
  • How to reach Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: Chennai is the nearest airport at a distance of 61 km. Chengalpattu is the nearest railway station at a distance of 26 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: INR 25 for adults, INR 5 for children (above 5 years)
  • Best time to visit Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary: November to February

7. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Nestled on the bank of enchanting Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread over an area of 14 acres. It is one of the most popular and beautiful bird sanctuaries in India surrounded by stunning views and lush greenery.

Apart from spotting the resident and seasonal birds you can also delight your senses by visiting the exquisite Pathiramanal island which is also a perfect spot for bird watching and taking backwater rides.

  • Most famous birds at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Paradise flycatchers, golden-backed woodpeckers, pheasant tailed jacanas, parrots, teals, larks, owls, kingfishers
  • Location of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Kavanattinkara, Kumarakom, Kerala
  • How to reach Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Cochin is the nearest airport at a distance of 38 km. Kottayam is the nearest railway station at a distance of 12 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: 6:30 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: INR 50 for Indians, INR 100 for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: July, August, November to February

8. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Gujarat

Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary

One of the largest and the most famous bird sanctuaries in India, Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is spread over a sprawling area of 120 square km. It is famous for its wetlands and a record of more than 210 species of birds dwelling here.

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Apart from bird watching you can also enjoy some fun activities like a horse ride at the lakeside, one day picnic, ‘pilu’ trees which have a red berry type edible fruit and the local food.

  • Most famous birds at Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: Geese, spoonbills, pelicans, ducks, flamingos, eagles
  • Location of Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: Bagodara Nalsarovar Link Rd, Nalsarovar, Gujarat
  • How to reach Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: Ahmedabad is the nearest airport at a distance of 63 km. Viramgam is the nearest railway station at a distance of 40 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 5:30 pm
  • Entry fee of Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: INR 40 (Weekdays), INR 50 (Weekends) for Indians, $10 (Weekdays), $12.50 (Weekends) for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: October to January

9. Mayani Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Mayani Bird Sanctuary
Mayani Bird Sanctuary

A wetland ecosystem, Mayani Bird Sanctuary is so rich in its biodiversity that it enables the growth of both the scattered forests and cactus. It is home to more than 400 migratory birds and a favorable destination for bird watching making it one of the best bird sanctuaries.

  • Most famous birds at Mayani Bird Sanctuary: Painted storks, kingfishers, brahmini ducks, black ibis, coot, flamingos
  • Location of Mayani Bird Sanctuary: SH76, Kankatre, Maharashtra
  • How to reach Mayani Bird Sanctuary: Pune is the nearest airport at a distance of 197 km. Satara is the nearest railway station at a distance of 86 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Mayani Bird Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Mayani Bird Sanctuary: INR 15 per person
  • Best time to visit Mayani Bird Sanctuary: September to January

10. Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary
Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary

Known for its biodiversity, Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary is one of the must-visit bird sanctuaries in India for bird watching. It is spread in an area of 358 square km and nothing but a true delight for nature lovers.

Apart from the bird species, it is also a major wildlife reserve. You can also spot some of the mystical creatures like sloth bears, spotted bears, porcupines, elephants, pumas, tigers, monitor lizards, and a lot more.

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  • Most famous birds at Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary: Grey pelicans, rosy pelicans, painted storks, cockatiels, budgerigars
  • Location of Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary: Near Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
  • How to reach Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary: Bengaluru is the nearest airport at a distance of 120 km. Vellore is the nearest railway station at a distance of 65 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary: 7 am to 5 pm
  • Entry fee of Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary: NA
  • Best time to visit Kaundinya Bird Sanctuary: October to April

11. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Kerala

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Termed as “The richest bird habitat in peninsular India” by the famous ornithologist Salim Ali, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary was the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. It comprises evergreen lowland forests which houses more than 270 bird species.

It is also regarded as the “Cuckoo Paradise” because of the population of Cuckoo here.

  • Most famous birds at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: Indian pitta, orange headed thrush, emerald green pigeons, yellow browed bulbul, large-billed leaf warbler, Indian cuckoo, Jordan’s nightjar, oriental darter, Ceylon frogmouth
  • Location of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: Kothamangalam-Pooyamkutty Road, Nayapalli PO, Thattekad, Kerala
  • How to reach Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: Cochin is the nearest airport and railway station at a distance of 45 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: INR 10 for Indians, INR 100 for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: November to February

12. Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary, Delhi

Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary
Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary

One of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary is a wetland ecosystem that attracts more than 5,000 birds many of which are endangered species.

Apart from from the birds you can also spot various fauna species like jackals, foxes, cobras porcupines, nilgai, and monitor lizards.

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  • Most famous birds at Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary: Whistling ducks, Indian pond herons, spoonbills, ducks, vultures, gadwalls, painted stork, black-tailed godwit, black-necked stork, sarus crane
  • Location of Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary: Dharampura, Najafgarh, Delhi
  • How to reach Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary: Delhi has its own well-connected airport and railway station and is also easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary: Free
  • Best time to visit Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary: October to February

13. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

One of the largest bird sanctuaries in India, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is one of the most ideal destinations for bird watching. It comprises six small islands by the banks of the river Cauveri.

In addition to the bird species it is also home to significant animal species like mugger crocodile, flying fox, Indian grey moose, monitor lizard, and various others.

  • Most famous birds at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: Oriental darters, streak throated swallows, stork billed kingfishers, Indian shags, whistling ducks
  • Location of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: Ranganathittu Road, District Mandya, Srirangapatna, Karnataka
  • How to reach Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: Bengaluru is the nearest airport at a distance of 125 km. Mysore is the nearest railway station at a distance of 18 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: INR 50 for Indians, INR 200 for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: July to December

14. Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Bakhira Bird Sanctuary
Bakhira Bird Sanctuary

Nestled on a large nature floodplain and wetlands, Bakhira Bird Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries and gives you a serene experience of bird watching.

Apart from being home to some of the most unique and exotic bird species it also houses animal species like golden jackals, jungle cats, and mongoose among others.

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  • Most famous birds at Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: Purple moorhen, swamphen, kaima
  • Location of Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: Tarbarachh, Uttar Pradesh 
  • How to reach Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: Gorakhpur is the nearest airport at a distance of 49 km. Khalilabad is the nearest railway station at a distance of 24 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: INR 30 for Indians, INR 350 for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: November to February

15. Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal

Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary
Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary

One of the most pristine bird sanctuaries, Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary is not visited by many but is one of the best places to spend some quality time in the lap of nature watching some exotic bird species and indulge in photography.

  • Most famous birds at Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary: Blue-throated Flycatcher, fish eagle, Asian koel, black-headed bulbul, collared scops owl, little spider hunter
  • Location of Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary: Hogulkuria Rajpur Road, Ramchandrapur, Narendrapur, Kolkata, West Bengal
  • How to reach Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary: It is located in the south of Kolkata and Kolkata has its own well-connected airport and railway station and is also easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary: 7 am to 5 pm
  • Entry fee of Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary: Free
  • Best time to visit Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary: November to February

16. Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Samaspur Bird Sanctuary
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary

Covering 780 hectares of land, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary is one of the best but untouched bird sanctuaries in India. It houses more than 200 species of resident, migratory as well as endangered species of birds.

It also comprises a lake in which several species of fishes are a major attraction.

  • Most famous birds at Samaspur Bird Sanctuary: Vultures, kingfishers, spoonbills, whistling teals, comb ducks
  • Location of Samaspur Bird Sanctuary: Mamuni, Uttar Pradesh
  • How to reach Samaspur Bird Sanctuary: Lucknow is the nearest airport at a distance of 122 km. Unchahar is the nearest railway station at a distance of 22 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Samaspur Bird Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Samaspur Bird Sanctuary: NA
  • Best time to visit Samaspur Bird Sanctuary: October to February

17. Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary
Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary

One of the most famous bird sanctuaries, Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is equally famous for its wildlife. Pulicat Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in India which attracts some of the exotic species of birds to dwell here.

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Apart from birds, it is also home to various species of fishes, worms, mollusks, and prawns among others.

  • Most famous birds at Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary: Marsh sandpiper, gadwall, shoveler, black-tailed godwit, garganey, white ibis, grey pelicans, spot billed ducks
  • Location of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary: Attakanitippa, Andhra Pradesh
  • How to reach Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary: Chennai is the nearest airport at a distance of 90 km. Sullurpet is the nearest railway station at a distance of 10 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary: Free
  • Best time to visit Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary: October to March

18. Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary, Maharashtra

Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary
Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary

Popularly known as the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary flaunts its wide population of the endangered species of the Great Indian Bustard.

It is located near Solapur and apart from the birds, animal species like Wolves, Indian fox, and mongoose among others are a common sight here.

  • Most famous birds at Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary: Indian bustard, spot-billed duck, shikra, grey francolin, laughing love, snake eagle
  • Location of Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary: Nannaj, Maharashtra
  • How to reach Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary: Pune is the nearest airport at a distance of 253 km. Solapur has its own well-connected railway station and is also easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary: Dawn to Dusk
  • Entry fee of Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary: NA
  • Best time to visit Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary: October to January

19. Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary
Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary

One of the best bird sanctuaries for bird watching in solitude, Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary is a natural habitat for numerous species of birds. It comprises a few lakes and ponds which attracts many indigenous and migratory birds.

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  • Most famous birds at Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: Avocets, painted storks, gadwalls, pelicans, wigeons
  • Location of Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: Near Guntur Road, Uppalapadu, Andhra Pradesh
  • How to reach Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: Vijayawada is the nearest airport at a distance of 50 km. Guntur has its own well-connected railway station and is also easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: INR 30 per person
  • Best time to visit Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary: October to January

20. Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh

Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary
Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary

Located around a freshwater lake, Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary provides habitat to more than 250 species of resident and migratory birds.

It was renamed in 2015 and before that, it was known as the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary but it still is one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries.

  • Most famous birds at Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary: Greylag goose, pintail, cotton teal, red-crested pochard, open bill stork, white ibis, black-winged stilts, dabchick, purple moorhen
  • Location of Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary: NH25, Ravanhar, Uttar Pradesh
  • How to reach Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary: Lucknow is the nearest airport and railway station at a distance of 35 km. It is easily accessible by road.
  • Timings of Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary: 6 am to 6 pm
  • Entry fee of Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary: INR 30 for Indians, INR 350 for foreigners
  • Best time to visit Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary: October to March

So where are you going next to spot some birds?

FAQs

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Which is the largest bird sanctuary in India?

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary located in Rajasthan is the largest bird sanctuary in India.

Which is the first bird sanctuary of India?

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary located in Kerala is the first scientifically formed bird sanctuary in India.

Which is the largest bird sanctuary in Asia?

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary located in Rajasthan is refered to as the largest bird sanctuary in India as well as Asia.

Which is the smallest bird sanctuary in India?

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary located in Tamil Nadu is the smallest bird sanctuary in India.

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Also read: 15 Historical Places In India That Are Unexplored!

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