Sultanpur National Park is located in close proximity of Delhi. It is just 20-25 km away from IFFCO Chowk Gurgaon. In January 2011, I visited this place which was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1972 and later a National Park in 1989. Though I am not an avid bird watcher but the word National Park was enough for me to explore this place. It is around 60 km from my place (Sahibabad). I took the route of Dilshad Garden-Nizamuddin-Mathura Road-Chhatarpur-Gurgaon and then followed easily available Indian GPS system till Sultanpur. I reached around 8.30 AM and the ticket window was open with no body at sight except the staff. Next to National Park gate there is a food joint managed by Haryana Government which turns to be pathetic and costly at the same time. But overall it was pleasant till that moment. A perfect winter morning of Delhi, a hot cup of tea with some puff and about to enter in a National Park….my restless soul was started to getting some much needed peace. More pleasure came my way when I saw just two cars in the parking area. Happily I got the ticket and carried my binocular, digital camera and a bottle of mineral water to the park.
That moment was the end of my honeymoon period and what lies ahead was harsh reality of life. Till few meter the road was well paved which I somehow didn’t like. Nobody needs concrete in a supposing national park. Let it be ruined by pristine beauty of nature. But it was just the start few meters ahead full on construction was going on.
Sultanpur National park consist a lake which is centre of all avian activity and the construction work was going along circumference of the lake to make it well paved. The circumference is around 4-5 km and it takes around 2-3 hour to complete a round. One can step down to get close to lake. Probably this year if one would go there then they might witness a lake with less avian activity and a marine drive like structure around the lake.
I clicked some images but till then I didn’t had DSLR so from normal digital camera the result was not exciting. Though binocular was life saver and a must have for bird watching.
It was around 10 when I heard an unbearable amount of noise that those tiny-miny creatures would not be able to make under any weird circumstances. There were hundreds of people loaded with every sort of equipments necessary for a picnic. In few minutes the place was over crowded with activities not at all suited for bird watching. Most of them were teenagers from neighborhood area and they were utilizing the bird-watching machaan for their own love story. So, the do-hanso-ka-joda kind of were easily and conveniently available at the cost of others convenience.
Somehow I completed my round and when came back to parking lot there were around 200 cars instead of just 2 in the morning, and I was assuming that this could be a place less known to others. I was complete dumbstruck with no clue that how to get out from here. Luckily after half an hour few visitors returned and I managed to get my car out.
So, first and foremost lesson to visit this place is parking your car at a point from where you can take it out easily. Sacrifice a little and visit early because this is a favorite place for picnic dwellers around Gurgaon. In outer area of the park you’ll see kids playing around and parents busy in taking brunch that is quite annoying. The Government restaurant is not ideal and costly at the same time so it is good to carry light food with you. Every year the number of migratory birds is decreasing but still it is a good place to visit. Last advice if possible avoid Sunday.