India Birding Destinations

Ace birding hotspots dot India’s landscape. Himalayan lakes in the north, Western Ghats in the south, Rann of Kutch in the west and a clutch of Wildlife Sanctuaries in the northeast – India is nature’s boon to birdwatchers.

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India Birding Destinations

Geography and forces of nature conspire to make India a great biodiversity hotspot and one of the best birdwatching destinations in the world.

The Himalayas stand tall in the north like a sentinel. Every year, the mighty range traps the monsoon winds blowing in from the south and sustains the rainforests in its foothills. These rainforests, found in Northeast India and parts of North India, are superb habitats for a wide range of birds. The Northeast state of Assam alone is home to over 900 avian species, many of which can be spotted at the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kaziranga National Park and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary. If that isn’t enough, Assam boasts India’s largest stretch of tropical lowland forests called Dehing Patkai and its namesake wildlife sanctuary. Our Assam Birding Tour covers it all.

To the north of Assam is the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, land of Buddhist monasteries, high mountain passes, sylvan valleys, and one of the best birding hotspots of India. It was at Arunachal’s Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary that the bird Bugun Liocichla was discovered not long ago. Rare Himalayan birds frolic at the heights of Mandala Pass, Sela Pass, Mayodia Pass and Mishmi Hills – birdwatching destinations that are part of our Arunachal Pradesh Birding Tours package. The neighbouring states of Meghalaya and Nagaland are relatively smaller in size but home to some unique bird species. The Khonoma Tragopan Sanctuary of Nagaland is particularly a favourite haunt of birders and a success story of wildlife conservation.

At the western end of the Himalayan arc in North India, one finds high-altitude lakes of Ladakh that are among the few breeding grounds in the world for Bar-headed Goose and Black-necked Crane. Our Ladakh Birding Tour unfolds at the elevations upwards of 4000 meters in an arid landscape and particularly targets high-altitude Himalayan birds. The Kashmir Birding Tour, though set in the Himalayas, has a contrastingly different backdrop of lush hills, verdant valleys and glassy lakes. A little way down, in the state of Uttarakhand, birding at Jim Corbett National Park and the hill stations of Pangot and Sat Tal reveals a different variety of winged stunners and also gives you a chance to go on tiger safaris.

The geography in west India is a study of contrasts. The Aravalli mountain range creates a rain-shadow region in western Rajasthan, but the eastern parts are green and dotted with beautiful lakes. Likewise, the Great and Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat are vast marshy mudflats with sparse and scrubby vegetation, but the soil still yields Banni Grasslands and Khathiar-Gir deciduous forests to the east. All these are stomping grounds for hundreds of species of migratory birds that fly in from colder regions every winter. Our Rajasthan Birding Tour and Gujarat Birding Tour explore these very hotspots for what can be aptly called a spell-binding pageantry of avian beauties.

Down south, the Western Ghat mountains run parallel to Peninsular India’s coastline and cause abundant monsoon rains for four to five months every year. The vegetation in these parts is lush green and the soil is rich enough for several spice and tea plantations to thrive. Add to the picture the flatland forest of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, situated at a fork in Kerala’s longest river, the Periyar, and you have the richest bird habitat of Peninsular India with many varieties of endemic birds. These are the targets of our Western Ghats Endemic Birding Tour.

Speaking of endemics, there are dozens to be found in the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, hundreds of miles off the coast of mainland India. Geographic isolation of these isles has led to the evolution of several endemic bird species seen on remote birding trails of our Andaman and Nicobar Birding Tour. The pristine sea and beaches as an added bonus.

Check out all the birdwatching destinations of India below.

Birding in Arunachal Pradesh

ARUNACHAL PRADESH BIRDING

Overview

Birding in Arunachal Pradesh means birding right in the middle of an ecological hotspot. Proximity to the Himalayas and bountiful natural resources make Arunachal Pradesh in the north-eastern tip of India a biodiversity haven with an irresistible pull for any nature lover out to do the best birding tours of India.

Arunachal Pradesh is naturally gifted with a huge expanse of green cover, comprising of tropical forests, temperate forests, pine forests, and subalpine forests. As many as ten rivers cut through the mountainous terrain of this hilly state to create five river valleys. These forests and rivers support an incredible variety of flora and fauna, and particularly impressive is the bird diversity of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Assam Birding Tour

ASSAM BIRDING TOUR

Overview

Think of birding in India, think of Assam. The green and hilly state, located in the northeast of the country, boasts the highest diversity of birds in India, making it a mecca for birders from across the world.

India, with its 1300 different species of birds, holds out an excellent bird-watching prospect, and Assam, home to about 935 of these birds species, is where most of the action is centred. The region’s incredible biodiversity makes it a thriving avifauna habitat, and the range and variety and beauty of the birds spotted here – both endemic and migratory – make the Assam birding tour worth every cent and second spent. Hardly an hour goes by on our birding trip of Assam when you don’t spot something interesting.

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Birding In Andaman & Nicobar

Birding In Andaman & Nicobar

Overview

A birding tour of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is an object lesson in avifauna evolution for any curious birder or student of Darwin.

For it is here, on this cluster of islands hundreds of miles off the east coast of mainland India, that one gets to find as many as 21 endemic species of birds. That is more number of endemics than any particular birding hotspot in mainland India can boast (with the possible exception of the Western Ghats, if you count in the recent ‘splits’). The incredulity of this number hits home when you consider that the land mass of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a mere fraction of the wide swathes of birding areas in India. So what explains this evolutionary avifauna bounty in the Andamans?

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Birding in Kashmir & Ladakh

BIRDING IN KASHMIR AND LADAKH

Overview

Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh sit cheek by jowl at the head of India, but the birding experiences they offer are worlds apart.

Kashmir is hailed in India as ‘paradise’ for its incredible scenic beauty. The Great Himalayas tower in the north and east of Kashmir and separate it from the high-altitude Tibetan plateau. The Pir Panjal mountain range envelopes Kashmir from the west and runs along its southern fringe to cut it off from the great plains of India. The geography we thus get is that of a verdant land of fairy-tale valleys, lush forests, glassy lakes and rolling meadows.

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Birding in Nagaland

BIRDING IN NAGALAND

Overview

Arunachal Pradesh and Assam may be reckoned as the big boys of birding tourism in Northeast India, but the tiny state of Nagaland is no underdog.

It is here, in Nagaland, that an international team of ornithologists observed about a million Amur Falcons roosting in the autumn season a couple of years ago, and were inspired to dub Nagaland as ‘the falcon capital of the world.’ Few places on our wonderful planet see such huge gatherings of falcons at a time. It is in Nagaland that one still stands a chance to watch one of the world’s rarely sighted birds: Yellow-throated Laughingthrush.

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Birding in Uttarakhand

BIRDING IN UTTARAKHAND

Overview

Some of the world’s best birding hotspots are located in the lee of the Himalayas, where the climate is pleasant and geography perfectly suited for flora and fauna to thrive.

The north Indian state of Uttarakhand boasts just such conditions to make it a choice destination for birding in India.

A traveller entering the state from south will firstly come upon the plains in what is called the terai region. Moving northwards, the landscape begins to show the first bumps of the outermost Himalayas. This fertile region, called Bhabar, is where the Indo-Gangetic plain meets the Himalayas.

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Gujarat Birding tour

GUJARAT BIRDING TOUR

Overview

Gujarat is the preferred wintering ground for numerous migratory birds and many Indian endemics that draw birders from across the world every year.

What makes birding in Gujarat special are the diverse bird habitats found in this coastal state in the west of India. To the northwest in Gujarat is the Rann of Kutch, a vast swathe of marshy, salt-crusted flatland with ecosystems as varied as mangroves, scrub forests, deserts, wetlands and grasslands. To the east are the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests, which support enormous wildlife and avifauna diversity. To the south are the green hills of the Western Ghats. And spread throughout Gujarat are a number of rivers, reservoirs, lakes, forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

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Kerala Birding Tour

KERALA BIRDING TOUR

Overview

When it comes to birding in South India, you can’t choose a better location than Kerala. The coastal state is hailed as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India and is home to 516 species of birds.

What makes Kerala a biodiversity haven is its ideal location on the southern tip of India. To its west lies the boundless Arabian Sea and to its east rise the Western Ghats or Sahyadri mountains that trap the south-westerly monsoon winds coming in from the sea to cause heavy downpour for four to five months every year, thereby creating a hotspot of diversity for both flora and fauna. Within this fertile, verdant and river-streaked region, one finds an interesting variety of bird habitats: lowland forests, lakes, wetlands, bluffs and backwaters.

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Rajasthan Birding Tour

RAJASTHAN BIRDING TOUR

Overview

Our Rajasthan birding tour is an experience complete in itself. We cover both the desert and hilly regions, the dry and wet parts of the north western state of Rajasthan to help you see some of the rarest and highly sought-after resident and migratory birds of the Indian subcontinent.

The largest Indian state in terms of area, Rajasthan is a land of contrasting geographies. The Aravalli mountain range cuts the state diagonally from southwest to northeast in a roughly 60-40 ratio, the larger portion being the arid desert scrubland to the west and the smaller being the fertile plains to the east. These diverse ecosystems – desert, hills, and plains – are home to about 633 species of resident and migratory birds.

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LATEST TOUR PACKAGES

Our India birding tour packages are a cut above the competition, and they especially stand out for their wide range. Put together, these tours throw up sightings of around 700 bird species.

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