Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – The Melody of Silence
As I looked into the darkening canopy of Kadamb trees awaiting our convoy of rickshaw vans, I realized there was certainly something strangely alluring in the surrounding silence. As we progressed further into the foliage I knew what it was. The silence around us was making its presence more pronounced with the soulful melodies created by the call of the peacock and the cooing rhapsody of the laughing doves. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary did indeed have the power to create the strains of this magical orchestra.
If you are still wondering where on earth did I lose myself, stop thinking and get driving. It will take you close to 3-4 hrs (with all the tea, food and natural breaks packed in) from Delhi to reach this piece of earth which we prefer to call heaven.
After an arduous and mentally destabilizing week in Gurgaon, our family of three members decided to switch everything off and pack ourselves away in the safe sanctum of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Also known as the Keoladeo National Park, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary dates back to 1726 when Raja Surajmal the ruler of Bharatpur patronized the construction of the Ajan Dam. The land that is shaped like huge shallow saucer spreads out over an area of 29 sq. km. Moreover, its shape has been largely responsible for helping it evolve as the ideal bed for aquatic vegetation. The myriad freshwater marshes which gradually began to characterize the place helped to attract a large number of migratory birds. The rest is history and the reason why this blog came to be written.
Look up Google and you will find oodles of information on the sanctuary and how to reach it. However, when you do reach it, close your eyes and surrender your senses to the enchantment that lies soaking in these wetlands. Our wonderful experience of Bharatpur gave us stories galore which might just help to induce the same fervour in you.
A busy weaver bird oblivious of our presence kept on expertly stitching bits of grass and twigs with his beak. He was just building his home. It was the nesting season and he had to get things ready for the Missus to start laying eggs. For us, however, it was a masterpiece. Simply watching him deliver efficiency so precisely was an experience that we needed to carry back with us and we did. We inhaled the freshness of the place with full gusto.
As we looked up to catch the sunrise, a young peacock flitted across and alighted on the branches of a tree. Like all young people, it was aspiring for the taller trees where its father was roosting with his cronies. While heralding in another new day, they did indeed create a motley cacophony, albeit one that we thoroughly enjoyed baring our ears to. As the young one gave us a brazen look as if to challenge us to move out of his domain, we realized that we were standing in a peacock grove with every tree laden with the blueish hued birds. Adorned in their regal plumes they did contribute in making a wholesome landscape against the rising sun.
It was the turn of the moorhens next to catch our attention. As we knelt down to peer into their watery nests, we were amazed to see it full of tittering little ones ready to break out into the open and claim their share of the earth. It was our turn to back out and give them the privacy they so deserve but seldom get.
Be it the Lapwing, the herons, the storks, the cranes, the eagles or the vultures, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is resounding with their music. Here every chirp, twitter, flutter and call is filled with a lilting strain that will fill your dreams with a new desire. You will be haunted by a need to come back and let the enchantment of the place seep into your whole being purging your senses of the numbness inflicted by the ravages of city life.
Every time I think of Bharatpur I feel like stretching out the memories of my moments spent there like the Darter bird that spreads its wings to dry in the sun. As the mellow sun warms its back and soaks up the wetness to prepare it for its next dive, my memories help me do the same. It revs up my spirit providing the vital stilts to help me wade through the obnoxious urban monsoon roads. I pull on for I know this is just the build up to help me plan the next getaway in my quest to do what we all want but few can – Live Life.