Thursday, September 17, 2009

JAMNAGAR - Effortless Birding Experience (26th to 30th Nov,2009)

Date: 26th Nov'09 evening 17:35 to 30th Nov'09 mor. 5:30 (travel days included). The bookings for Jamnagar / Khijadia / Narara bird-watching trip are on… your seats now (see the details at the end).....Birdwatch in one of the most Bird-rich areas with Nature India... where thousands of birds can be seen at ease .

JAMNAGAR - Effortless Birding

Jamnagar the Jewel of Kathiawar, is on the coast of "Gulf of Kutch" in the state of Gujarat, India. It has unspoilt Islands & Beaches, Hills, Temples, Palaces, Forest, Fantastic Bird life in the Bird & Marine Sanctuaries and Fascinating Corals along the coast…..

Jamnagar is the oldest city in Saurashtra. This city was also known as "Halar" in olden days, later it came to known as "Nawanagar". Modern Jamnagar city was built in 1920 AD by Maharaja Shri Ranjitsinhji. The city has army, navy and air force installation as it has strategic geographical location. In last few years Jamnagar has emerged as a Petro Giant. India's largest private company Reliance has established the world's largest grass root level refinery near Jamnagar, Essar Oil too has a refinery in Jamnagar district.
Dotted by numerous water bodies and the hospitable people around, Jamnagar is well-known for its incredible birdlife that is so easy to spot and observe that it wont be an exaggeration if the birding in Jamnagar area is termed as “Effortless Birding”…..And hence this region is also a favorite haunt of Bird photographers. As this bird heaven is strategically located on the flyway of the migratory route, in winter it turns into a prime area for the birds and the bird-watchers as well.

Several migratory birds make Jamnagar their home during the winter months. Bird watchers flock to different places like the Sanctuaries, Coastal regions, Salt pans, rivers & water reservoirs of Jamnagar. The checklist shows more than 400 species.... Thanks to the varied habitat…....

Places like Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, Lakota Lake right in the heart of the city, Narara beach, Bedi Bunder and the water reservoirs surrounding the town offer excellent place to view & photograph birds. Almost every water body in and around the town is dotted by remarkable species of birds which are now accustomed to the friendly neighborhood.

If you are arriving in Jamnagar by train, especially in winter, you are sure to see wonderful birds right near the station, as you step down from the train.

Please go through some of these links to know more about birding in Jamnagar.

Nature India announces an exclusive and effortless bird-watching trip to this wonderland from 26th to 30th Nov, 2009…. The details are given at the end. Amongst the places that we intend to cover are Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, Narara beach, Lakhota Lake & Bedi Bunder Area.

Just less than an hour’s drive from the town (12 kms) is a renowned Khijadia Bird Sanctuary which many city dwellers are unaware of.

This protected area packs in an incredible diversity of ecosystems into the relatively small area of 6 The sanctuary, created over the 1920s and '30s, is formed from two man-made dykes that separate fresh water from sea water, creating the opportunity to simultaneously observe species that belong to each ecosystem, and some that share both.

Along with the marine and fresh water habitats, there are also marshy lands, mangroves, Prosopis areas, mudflats, salt pans, creeks, forest scrub, sandy beaches, and even farmlands bordering the area. This provides a haven for more than 220 species of resident and migratory birds, including globally threatened species such as Dalmatian pelican, Asian open bill stork, Black-necked stork, Darter, Black-headed ibis, Eurasian spoonbill, and Indian skimmer, and provides birdwatchers with a delightful chance to sight rare birds in large numbers.

Watching the arrival of the Cranes during sunset for roosting is a fantastic experience. You can spot thousands of wintering Common and Demoiselle cranes, and other water birds including Flamingos, Pelicans, Gulls, Ducks, Storks, Waders, Geese and the endangered Indian Skimmers. The Black-necked stork nesting can also be seen here. Method of Birdwatching is to walk along the dam. It is a refreshing change from riding in jeeps.

Lakhota Lake is a smallish waterbody in the middle of Jamnagar with the Lakhota Palace as its center. Next to Lakhota lake there are smaller lakes. This area is quite a revelation for any birdwatcher. You may have never seen so many birds inside a busy city before!

Walking in the early mornings especially in the winter months & sitting under the beautiful domes allows you to experience nature with the birds... Just sit along the periphery wall of the lake and you can easily watch several species of ducks, Pelicans, Gulls, Terns etc at close quarters. More than 75 species of birds (both migratory and resident) have been recorded from this smallish lake making it one of the most productive “Lake” in the heart of a busy city anywhere in India…..

This beach is a part of Marine National Park which is easily accessible by road. One just has to drive down to Narara Edge about 60 kms from Jamnagar. Here one should reach just before the tide starts, when the tide comes in, it brings the birds closer to land, making it easier for the bird watchers to watch from quite close.

Narara beach is acclaimed as one of the only place in India where one can watch the rare Crab Plovers in large numbers and a variety of waders at close range.

It is one of the cleanest beach where live corals still exist and easy to explore on foot. As you walk in shallow waters during the low tide, you are often surrounded by Star fish, Sea cucumbers, Brain corals, Crabs, Sponges, Sea anemones etc…..walking along and exploring the corals along with birding is a unique experience indeed.


Dhichda is also an excellent birding area, with lots of water bodies. Dhichda can be reached by taking a derour after the village of Bedi from the road turning left before the entry road of Bedi Port.
The entire stretch offers excellent birding from roadside....another effortless experience. Here the Lesser and Greater flamingos can be seen at close qaurters.



Date: 26th Nov 2009 eve. 17:35 pm to 30th Nov 2009 mor. 05.30 am (travel days included)

Mode of Travel: Train uptil Jamnagar and local travel by Jeeps.

Overnight train travel can be booked from Mumbai..... however since it is a busy sector, the train bookings should be done soon to get the desired train and class .... there are just a couple of trains available for Jamnagar from Mumbai....Nature India can ASSIST in bookings if required.

Tour Iterinary:

1) Thrusday 26th Nov’09: Departure from Mumbai by Saurashtra Janata Express train at 17:35 pm

2) Friday 27th Nov, 2009: Arrive at Jamnagar at 09:35 - Checkin hotel & Refresh / Breakfast (really fast) – Visit Lakhota Lake for a relaxing birding – Lunch – Visit Khijadia Bird Sanctuary – Return - Revision & Discussion of day's sightings – Dinner and stay at Jamnagar.

3) Saturday 28th Nov, 2009: Early morning Birdwatching in Khijadia WLS – Visit Ranjitsagar Dam – return for Lunch – Visit Narara beach for Corals and sighting Crab Plovers, Oysterctachers and Other waders – Return - Revision & Discussion of day's sightings – Dinner and stay at Jamnagar.

4) Sunday 29th Nov, 2009: Morn. Birding at Bedi Bunder/Dhichda and INS Valsura area - early lunch - checkout and board train back to Mumbai at 13:35

5) Monday 30th Nov, 2009: Reach Mumbai early morning at 05:30 am

More details on the iterinary will be given to those who register.....

Trip charges: Rs.5400/- (Jamnagar to Jamnagar)....

Includes Stay in Hotel at Jamnagar on a twin sharing basis in non-A/C rooms, Local transport by Jeeps or Tempo traveller, Park entry charges, Local guide charges, egetarian food, Articles on Khijadia and Jamnagar Birding, Bird checklist, on board mineral water and snacks……

This does not include train travel from Mumbai to Jamnagar & Back or any other charges and also any individual camera charges ....Individuals will have to pay additional charges if any to the forest dept. as per the rules.

Registration: You can register by sending a confirmatory mail to and by paying a non refundable Advance of Rs.3000/-

(The seats will only be confirmed after recieving the advance amount) …..the remaining amount will be collected in train on the day of travel.......Please Register soon to get the confirmed train bookings and the desired class of travel. We can assist you for train bookings.

Resource Persons: Mr.Kunal Joshi (Local expert) Mr.Adesh Shivkar & Mr.Mandar Khadilkar

Mode of Payment: You can either

1) Transfer the advance money directly to my HDFC A/c : (please call me for my A/c no.) .... please mention your name, date and other details….
2) Courier a cheque of Rs.3000/- to the following address
Name: Mr.Adesh Shivkar
Address: D/8, The Adi Janata Society, Behind HP Petrolpump, Opp. Hotel Shangrila, Sion(East), Mumbai-400022

Please Note:
1) Once registered, the advance amount of Rs. 3000/- is strictly non-refunadable
2) Alcohol & Smoking is strictly prohibited on Nature India Tours

Please contact us, in case you need any clarification …..
For any other queries we are available on 9321463362 / 9820455713 (Adesh) or 9967518665 (Mandar) or

Also sign up on to get regular updates on our trips, photos & articles....

Hope to see you for this wonderful trip !!

Thanks for your patience.

Warm Regards,

Adesh Shivkar & Mandar Khadilkar
Nature India
Appreciate, Respect & Conserve