Jan 31, 2011


A little rain in the night meant that it wasn’t a very bright morning, so it was all very well that our plan got delayed. We were to reach the Ridge near the polo grounds by 7.30 am, but reached only at about 8.45 am.

A little bit of mist was still there in the air, as we turned our car into the first left after the statues of Gandhi Ji and his followers at the end of SP Marg. It was going to be our very first birding jaunt in this part of the Delhi Ridge. Right after the turning there were a few tenements of construction labourers, whom we asked for directions. We were told that the army polo ground was just down the road.

We drove over the rough road, and suddenly came upon a large regal tree, and the polo ground behind it. Oh the joy of discovering a beautiful place which is so near yet so completely hidden from us. The polo ground and the area around it was like a wind-blown hill station, especially on that winter morning. We got out of the car, and were struck by the crispness of the air and the sheer beauty of nature all around.

The tree next to the polo ground

We walked along a motorable road lined by tall trees, with the polo ground on our left and inviting forests to our right. We could hear a variety of birdcalls right away, and there were so many, that we quickened our steps to get into the forested area.

The road leading into the forested ridge

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

Jan 3, 2011

Arctic chemical waste dead poison river drain Yamuna - A Photo Walk!

It was a cold December morning, and we reached Okhla Bird Park. We stepped on to the bamboo bridge that joined the main path to watchtower no. 2. It was a sturdy and exciting bridge.

We walked to the watchtower and a little beyond right up to the water, but there were very few birds around. A purple heron was waiting to catch some fish.

Seeking more excitement, we came back from the watchtower and drove down the road that goes along the water body and on to the Kalindi Kunj main road. Surprisingly, there were a huge number of swallows flying over the water.

There were quite a few black headed gulls too.

We drove onto the main road and turned into the lane that goes along the 'nalla' flowing parallel to river Yamuna. We wanted to get aboat ride, but the fishermen there had shifted across the river on to the other bank. On the way back we saw a rapotor perched on a tree, it lookde like a Serpent Eagle but finally we agreed that it was nothing more exciting than a Black Kite.

On reaching the other bank, after driving into the road that heads out towards 'khader', we negotiated with a fisherman to take us around on the river. We stepped into the boat amidst an arctic landscape. It wasn't snow or ice though, it was industrial affluent foam that had formed a thick layer over the river water.

Jan 2, 2011

How to reach Yamuna Biodiversity Park - with photos, landmarks and contact number!

We made a few mistakes while reaching Yamuna Biodiversity park, so I thought I could take a few pictures to help others reach it (many were taken on the way back so are unclear, still they might help).

The basic route as currently given on websites and blogs is something like this, directions to Yamuna Biodiversity Park, Delhi:

Go along the ring road straight down ISBT (kashmere Gate), for a couple of kilometres beyond Majnu Ka Tila. Go towards Wazirabad, till you come to the big Wazirabad crossing (for ID – there is short divider here which splits the straight-going lane into two). Carry on straight and then take a right after the Wazirabad crossing. Go across a nalla. Once on the other side, take a left so that you are running parallel to the nalla. Now, look out for and follow the Yamuna Biodiversity Park signboards. Take a right again which will lead you to the Yamuna Biodiversity Park.


Go straight along the Ring Road pass ISBT, keep going straight till you come to the Wazirabad Crossing.

                                                        On the left it says Wazirabad! 

                                              The Road Directions near Wazirabad crossing!

At this point a divider appears on the road that splits the road in two, however there is a lot more too. There is construction happening on a large scale, and there are screening boards on both sides.