Sultanpur National Park – A Hidden Birding Paradise Near Delhi

Bar-headed Goose in Sultanpur National Park
Bar-headed Geese

Sultanpur National Park is situated right on the state highway connecting Gurgaon (Gurugram) to Jhajjar. It is approximately 15 km away from Gurgaon and 45 km away from Delhi. The park is managed by the Haryana Forest Department.

It is spread over 1.42 sq km, comprising mainly wetland. This national park is a major habitat for aquatic birds including migratory and resident birds.

Migratory birds visit the park from regions like Siberia, Central Asia and Europe. Come winter and you can see flocks of migratory birds in the park.

If you are contemplating a visit to Sultanpur National Park, here is all you should know.

A Quick Glance Through

Fast Facts

  • A renowned British conservationist, Peter Jackson noticed the potential of the Sultanpur Lake wetland in 1969. He persuaded the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, to accord it the status of a bird sanctuary.
  • Thereafter, in 1971, the Sultanpur Lake wetland area was declared a bird sanctuary with an area of 1.21 sq km.
  • The bird sanctuary was upgraded to a national park in 1991 and the coverage area was increased to 1.42 sq km.
  • Sultanpur Lake is a seasonal water body that gets replenished by rainwater.
  • In the last many years, the water level has been declining. So, the water is pumped in from other sources to keep this wetland ecosystem alive.
  • Sultanpur National Park is the smaller one of the two national parks in Haryana. The other one is Kalesar National Park in Yamunanagar district.

How To Get There

The best way to reach Sultanpur National Park is by your own vehicle or by cab from Delhi. There is a parking facility for visitors. So, you need not worry about parking your car.

The national park is around an hour’s drive from Delhi Airport via NH 48 and Gurgaon – Farukh Nagar Road.

The nearest railway station to the park is located in Farrukhnagar town. However, it is a small railway station and mainly passenger trains halt there.

Gurgaon serves as the major railhead. From the station, it takes about 25-30 minutes to get to the park by taxi.

If you want to reach there by Delhi Metro, then get off at HUDA City Centre Metro Station on the Yellow Line. Hire a taxi from there. The travel time to the park is roughly 40 minutes.

Sultanpur National Park Location

Address: Sultanpur National Park, Gurgaon – Farukh Nagar Road, Sultanpur, Gurgaon (Gurugram), Haryana – 122006

Refer to this map for driving directions from Delhi Airport.

Things To Do And See

Sultanpur National Park is an excellent birding spot. It hosts around 250 species of resident and migratory birds.

Open billed Stork Sitting on A Tree
Openbill Stork

With the onset of winter in October, migratory birds start arriving here to nest and breed. There is a paved walkway around the lake where you can take a stroll and spot birds.

The lake also features small islet-like structures where birds come to feed on insects and marsh vegetation. If you are carrying binoculars, you can clearly see birds congregate on those islets.

The commonly seen resident birds in the park include little cormorant, lesser whistling duck, spot-billed duck, black-headed ibis, openbill stork and various species of egrets.

Also Read: 15 Most Beautiful Birds in India.

Lesser Whistling Duck in Sultanpur National Park
A Flock of Lesser Whistling Ducks

Migratory birds reside in the park for about 4-5 months. By the end of March, a majority of them return to their native land. So, plan your visit accordingly if you want to sight migrants like sarus crane, greater flamingo, rosy pelican and bar-headed goose.

Spot-billed Duck and Open Bill Stork in One Frame
Spot-billed Ducks and Open Bill Stork On The Lakeside

For birdwatching, there are several watchtowers inside the national park. You may climb it to see the entire lake in one frame. The distant horizon of Gurgaon city is also visible from the top.

The park also houses an Educational Interpretation Center on the premises. It has a library and a small museum with images of various birds on display.

If you like going on birdwatching trips, you may want to check these posts.

Where To Stay

Rosy Pelican Tourist Complex is the nearest hotel that is located right next to the park. It is run by Haryana Tourism.

The hotel provides basic amenities for a comfortable stay. There is an on-site restaurant that serves nice wholesome food. You can book it online through the Haryana Tourism website.

Given the park’s proximity to Gurgaon, you have plenty of stay options in all price ranges. Check availability and prices of hotels in Gurgaon.

When To Go There

Winter is the best time of the year for birdwatching in Sultanpur wetland. Thousands of migratory birds visit the park from October to March.

With the rise in temperature towards the end of the season, migrant birds start flying back home. I recommend a visit between December to January to see the park in its full glory.

Time Required To Visit

A half-day trip from Delhi is sufficient for visiting Sultanpur National Park. Start early to avoid the morning rush hour traffic in the city. You can easily spend 2 to 3 hours exploring the avian diversity of the park.

Tips For Visiting Sultanpur National Park

  • The park’s timings are from 7 am to 4:30 pm. It remains closed on Mondays.
  • Try visiting here early in the morning. With not many people around, you can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the park. It starts getting crowded in the latter part of the day.
  • Carry binoculars along with you so that you can get a better view of the birds flocking far away in the lake.
  • If you are going there for photography, then do remember to carry your DSLR. Most of the time, you will not be observing the birds up-close. So, taking pictures using a mobile phone may not be a good idea.
  • Permit (entry ticket) can be bought after reaching there from the Forest Department office. You need to show your identity card at the time of entry.

Over To You Now…

Away from the bustle of nearby cities, Sultanpur National Park is truly a birdwatcher’s heaven. Have you been there? Tell us about your birdwatching experience in the comment section below.

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