Jan 18, 2011

Birds, trees and butterflies at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park! - A Photo Walk.

It was a dreary January 1st 2011, when at about 8 am, we set out for the Yamuna Biodiversity Park. We had only seen the directions on the website of the biodiversity park, and went straight on the ring road after the ITO crossing, looking for a place where the road was split into two by a divider. We found it and took a right turn over a 'nalla', and entered the lane alongside the 'nalla'. This lane was supposed to take us to the biodiversity park, and was also supposed to have a few signboards. There were no signboards, and it took many turns and twists before taking us to the biodiversity park. 

We had taken the wrong turning after the divider. We should have gone on straight on the ring road and taken a right turn after a petrol pump, where there was a signboard of the Yamuna Biodiversity Park.

Not withstanding that, we came to a road that went alongside the Yamuna river. On this road, we saw some pretty interesting areas where birding could be a possibility. Finally after reaching a place called Jagatpur, we reached the biodiversity park.

The time was 8.55 am, and we walked into the gates. We were met by a few grizzled old men sitting around a small bonfire. They told us that we could not enter the park wihtout permission or without the scientist-in-charge being there. However an old man was very helpful, and made a few calls, and on contacting one of the people in charge, he allowed us to go for a small round with one of the men  there.

The man told us that there were many snakes in the park, and in the summers they are often seen on the paths, which is why it was mandatory to go with someone from the park. 

We set out, and the first thing we saw was a signboard about the nursery.

A sign board that captures the basics of the park 

It was a cloudy day, but the park was looking wild and inviting.

The wilderness is taking shape

A very large area and clear walking routes

Thick undergrowth perfect for small mammals and birds
We saw some interesting plants, including cactii.
From cacti to all kinds of exotic flora

The cactus-scape

We were taken to the main water body in the park, and then towards another part where there was more water. A bridge made of bamboo took us over a stretch of water. From this pretty bamboo bridge, we saw a cormorant.

The bamboo bridge leading to the butterfly garden
We got on to the bridge.

A cormorant waits patiently

We saw another cormorant.

Cormorant on a branch

We walked on and at one place, we were close to the boundary wall of the park, and were a little surprised to see heaps of vehicle tyres just beyond the boundary wall.

Notice the stacks of vehicle tyres amidst the wilderness

We were taken to the butterfly area, but the cold and damp and cloudiness had ensured that there wasn't a single butterfly.

A view of the butterfly park

A huge diversity of trees had been planted

A lotus pond in the butterfly park

Here is the central enclosed areas where the flowering plants are grown, which attract the butterflies.

The butterfly park

As we walked on, we saw some mounds and on the mounds a few plants protected by small hay shelters.

Saplings under small straw and twig structures, that protected from frost

Towards the main gate a few cottages were being built. A man was working on the roof with an interesting stacking of tiles.

A man on the roof of a part of the office buildings being built in the park

The same tiles were lying on the ground too.

Roof tiles on the ground

A close look at the plant shelters, which we got to know later protected them from the frost and the cold.

The protective structure over the saplings

An interesting part where the trees grow through the latticed ceilings of these wood structures.

A tree garden

Some of the completed cottages.

Cottages near the main gate
The gate from the inside.
The park's entrance from the inside
The path leading up from outside the gate. It makes a very neat and peaceful pattern.
The cobbled pathway leading to the entrance

The strict message outside the gate 'No entry without permission'.

The entrance from outside

Wilderness that thrills the heart

We were told that until one of the scientists came, we would have to wait. We were given chairs, so we sat down on them in the gentle sunlight. We got some biscuits and stretched out our legs, as the kind people in the park served us hot tea.

Sitting and sipping tea, as we wait for the park official to arrive

After ten minutes we were told that one of the people in-charge had arrived and we could talk to him in the office. As we set out we saw a sign that listed out the main highlights of the park.

A direction plaque

While walking to the office, we saw a very interesting stone that had been carved. The entrance to one of the buildings there was overgrown with vines and creepers, and looked quite interesting.

An interesting stone block in the park of the main office building

The huge stone block has nice carvings

The office building entrance with overgrown creepers

A closer look at the creepers and vines

We then met a person who was a little strict, but well meaning, he was in-charge of the administration. He assigned one person to take us around the park. When we got up to go for our trip, I noticed a flip book on a ledge with a nice quote.

The quote on a flip-book

And then started a journey through many trees and plant species. Here is the first, the 'ber' tree.

Ber tree

Ber tree

Ber fruit and leaves

Ber tree leaves

Foliage of Ber tree

Imli tree

Leaves of the Imli tree

Bark of the Imli tree

Foliage of the Imli tree

Our guide was a very polite and helpful young man 'Sagar'.

Our patient and helpful guide 'Sagar'

Young Jamun tree

Leaves of the Jamun tree

The Anaar tree

Leaves of the Anaar tree

More leaves of the Anaar tree

Cheeku tree

Details of Cheeku tree

Cheeku tree leaves and baby fruits

Leaves of the Cheeku tree

Young Cheeku tree

Young Cheeku tree

The 'Desi Keekar' or Acacia 

Desi Keekar or Acacia

Leaves of the Imli tree

Young Amrood tree

Leaves of the Amrood tree

Close-up of leaf of Amrood tree

Another close-up Amrood tree leaf

Stalk of a young Amrood tree

A young Anaar tree

Kus grass that grows on the bank of the Yamuna 

Amrood fruit on a young tree

After walking for a while we once again came to the main lake. It was filled with numerous wading birds.

A haven for wading birds
We spotted scores of Northern Shovellers, males and females. There were a few Tufted Ducks too.
Northern Shovelers

Northern Shovellers, Common Coot and others

Northern Shovellers

On a tree in the middle of the lake were many Great Cormorants.
Greater Cormorant

Then we spotted a Dusky Warbler.
Dusky Warbler

Well camouflaged Dusky Warbler

Northern Shoveller Female

Great Cormorants showing the white underparts and neck 

Northern Shovellers

A Little Grebe came along.
A Little Grebe

Cormorants near the far shore of the lake

The surrounding trees were white with Cormorant Droppings. Supposedly it is very good as a manure.

Trees whitened by cormorant droppings

Northern Shovellers with Northern Pintail (??) in the background

Tufted Duck

Common Moorhen

Northern Shovellers

Northern Pintail ?? Fulvous Whistling Duck ??

Northern Pintail ?? Fulvous Whistling Duck ??

Then we began to walk towards the butterfly enclosure, and on route saw many other trees and plants.

Malwa plant

Khajoor or Dates

Khajoor or Dates

Imli tree foliage

A growing Ficus Panda

Yellow Footed Green Pigeons

A closer look at the Yellow Footed Green Pigeons
Next we reached the Sapling Care House, where the temperature was kept warm in winters and cool in summers. This was done through an automatic sprinkler and by cooling screens.
Sapling Care House

The temperature controlled environment

Add caption

Individual sprinklers which can be turned at specific time periods 

The temperature control panel
We were shown the Sefendas plant from which natural soap is made.
Sefendas saplings from which soap is made

Bamboo clump
Then we came to the Net House, which had a small hole through which I  took a photograph.
Self explanatory

A small hole in the net house

Net view
We walked on seeing more trees.

Barh trees

Leaf of the Barh tree

Bark of the Barh tree

We went towards the bamboo bridge again, and saw a snake bird and cormorants.
Towards the Butterfly park

Typical pose of the snake bird

A funny looking cormorant

Bamboo bridge

I framed the bridge opening into the sky.
Bamboo bridge and beyond

Then followed another interesting session of flora watching.
Peepli tree

Leaf of the Peepli tree

We reached the butterfly garden. The central portion was enclosed by a thin wire mesh. We saw several butterflies but could photograph only two. In spring, this will be amazing.

Oroxylum tree

The Sisulphenia?? tree

Kachnar or Bauhinia tree

Flower of the Kachnar or Bauhinia tree

Buds of Kachnar

Kachnar tree

Aloe Vera adult

Cotton tree

Cotton tree with cotton bulbs

A closer look at the cotton tree

The cotton tree bulb

Lemon Pansy (thanks Nitu!) - A really pretty butterfly

Common Leopard  (thanks Nitu!) butterfly on flower

Beautiful Common Leopard  butterfly, pretty flower

Young Mehendi tree

Mehendi leaves

We started our Flora walk again.
Teak tree leaves

Bamboo variety

Another type of bamboo

Desi Babool tree

This looked like a cycle out of the pages of history.

Ber tree

Sagar made us smell the leaves of several plants including Pudina and lemongrass.

Pudina leaves, out of focus though!

Karhi Patta plant

A young Meethi Neem tree

I caught a shy lady 'bird' on camera.

Shy Lady Bird

Small Kaju tree or Cashewnut tree

Flowering Peepli tree

Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass

Seimul tree bark

Close-up of the Seimul tree's bark

Another Seimul tree's bark

Anjeer or Fig

Haldi or Turmeric plant

Aloe Vera with the stalk growing out of the thick fleshy leaves that we are more accustomed to.


A young Jamun tree

It was an amazing walk, and we vowed to come back at the earliest.


  1. Very refreshing post.The cheekoo tree has baby fruits, little brown colored in their leaves and not buds.The birds are so beautiful. We live in noida and have agreat desire to visit the okhla bird park. the only problem is we cannot identify them/ All look the same to us.

  2. Thanks Roopa,

    Am just making the change about the baby fruits.


  3. u have lemon pansy and common leopard butterflies.common coot is actually moorhen



  4. Thank you so much Nitu, am updating the names of the butterflies...


  5. It is not Lemon Pansy, it is Yellow Pansy and one more correction is Northern Pintail ?? Fulvous Whistling Duck ?? it is "Gadwal"

    Mohan Singh
    Yamuna Biodiversity Park

  6. Sorry in my first Everything is nice but there is need of little correction. "Lotus" is actually "Waterlily (Nymphea)".

    Mohan Singh
    Yamuna Biodiversity Park

  7. Thank You Uncle for your kindness in uploading the photos for us to download......you helped me a lot sir.....i had a project on YBP.Thank you a lot Mr. Sanjeev......

  8. Thanks a lot for all the trouble you have taken to post these photographs and the useful information. However, if this is all there is to the YBP then I'll reconsider my decision to plan avisit to the Park.

    1. hey u shud surely visit YBP its really a refreshing place bt not in mid summers it wud be a very hard tym walking in summers u wud surely get a lot of knowledge about plants there..:) al the best..!!

    2. ya its a gud place to visit u shud be able to learn alot about nature there..!! :)

  9. Dear Sanjeev,
    thank you very much for your post.
    I would like to visit this park, but noted that I cannot walk by myself. Do you know how I would organise a guide to walk with me. I come from UK and will only ever have one day at a time in Delhi, so it would be good to be organised in advance.