Kutch Bustard Sanctuary which is often nicknamed as ‘Kachchh Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary’ is located at a quaint village in Jakhau in Kutch district of Gujarat. There is another sanctuary which is also known by the same name situated at Jamnagar. It was declared as a sanctuary back in the year 1992 with the objective to conserve and protect the Great Indian Bustard. It is regarded as one of the heaviest flying birds which belong to the avian family of Otididae.
Geography and Climatic Conditions
Kutch Bustard Sanctuary is a region of arid and semi-arid grasslands consisting of deserts, wetlands and marshy swamps. It is a grassland area which comprises of thorns, scattered bushes, and dry grass. Since this sanctuary is located in an arid landscape, rainfall is scanty and erratic thereby receiving an average rainfall of about three eighty-four millimeters. There are mainly three types of climatic seasons observed in this sanctuary such as winter, summer, and monsoon. The winter season begins from the middle of November to the end of February. The summer season commences from March to the end of May and the average temperature recorded here is 45 degree Celsius.
Flora and Fauna
One of the major highlights of Kutch Bustard Sanctuary is the Great Indian Bustard. Apart from the Great Indian Bustard, there are many other exotic varieties of birds which are found here. The Great Indian Bustard is nicknamed as “Ghorad” among the locals since the height and weight of this bird is quite similar to that of an ostrich. Even though the bird is a professional flier, it usually prefers to stay on the ground roosting and breeding.
The Kutch Bustard Sanctuary is home to more than twenty wide varieties of birds such as Mc Queen’s Bustard, Lesser Florican, Stoliczkas, Bush chats, and Merlins. Some of the other magnificent animals which are commonly found here include jungle cats, Chinkaras, harriers, desert cats and migratory birds.
Food and Accommodation
Tourists who are searching for a comfortable and suitable three-star hotel at Kutch in Mandvi may proceed straight to HV Beach hotel. It is one of the leading three-star hotels which are located at Mandvi in Gujarat. It is one of the finest hotels which offer picturesque views of the surrounding areas. Each and every room in this hotel which is located on the ground floor provides easy access for the discerning guests to get to the beach.
This hotel has gained immense popularity among the foreign tourists as well as the local residents of Mandvi. This hotel is well equipped with a team of professional staffs offering top notch customer services. They offer personalized services by making sure that all the rooms are properly cleaned and well maintained.
It houses a multi-cuisine restaurant which serves authentic vegetarian cuisines. Besides that, they provide lip smacking Punjabi, Chinese and traditional South Indian dishes. HV Beach hotel comprises of party lots where the esteemed guests can organize major events such as wedding reception and birthday. It has the capacity to accommodate about six hundred guests at a time. It also houses a conference hall which has a seating arrangement of about fifty plus.
Places to Explore
Banni Grasslands Reserve: – Banni Grasslands Reserve is an arid grassland ecosystem which is renowned for wildlife and biodiversity. The reserve is spread over an area of about three thousand eight hundred and forty-seven square kilometers. It is inhabited by mammals such as Nilgai, Chinkara, blackbuck, wild boar, golden jackal, Indian wolf, caracal, Asiatic wildcat and desert fox. It is also a breeding ground for plenty of migratory birds including flamingos, cranes and for one hundred and fifty other varieties of birds.
Chari-Dhand Wetland Conservation Reserve: – Chari-Dhand Wetland Conservation Reserve is currently owned and operated by the Reserve Forest in India. It is a seasonal desert wetland and receives average rainfall during the monsoon season. This reserve which is spread over an area of about eighty kilometers square is home to more than two lakh birds, migratory birds, and several other endangered species. Flocks of birds throng this place especially during the onset of monsoon and winter season.
Things to Do
Kutch is a shopaholic’s paradise. There are plenty of shopping malls which deal in apparels and accessories and each product is available at affordable rates. Some of the products which are available in the market include silver jewelry, gold jewelry, camel wool shawls and chunky silver jewelry. It is also an ideal opportunity for the tourists to test their bargaining skills while dealing with the vendors. It is an awesome destination which houses ornate temples, opulent palaces, and winding lanes.
Camel Safari at Rann of Kutch: – The tourists can take part in a camel safari which is led by the tour operators. There are various kinds of holiday packages available for the tourists.
How to Reach
By Road: – After arriving at the airport, the tourists may proceed straight to the nearest bus station which is located at Naliya.
By Rail: – Naliya Cantonment Railway Station with the code bearing NLC is the nearest railway station which is located in the Kutch district of Gujarat. The station has a single platform and it is regarded as the last station located on the Western side of India.
By Air: – Bhuj airport which is a domestic airport is located at Bhuj is the nearest airport.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary is during the onset of monsoon and winter season. The sanctuary is opened to the public on all days. They have got a free entry fee but if necessary the tourists may opt for professional guides during tours and safaris.
The Kutch Bustard Sanctuary is undoubtedly an ideal spot for a nature enthusiast.
Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary Map