The Okhla Bird Sanctuary opens at sunrise and remains open till sunset. It has two entrances, one from the road which leads to Kalindi Kunj and the other from close to the SSP Police's office near the Noida Gate (Noida entry from Mayur Vihar side). The Kalindi Kunj entrance is on the right of the road if you are going from Noida toward Delhi and is the better and cleaner entrance. However the day we went it was shut although it was past sun rise and we had to drive around and take the other entrance.
One steps into a different world when one enters the sanctuary. The noise of the Noida traffic recedes into the back ground and one can only see the greens and Jamuna in front. In winters you will see a large variety of birds but you need to carry a powerful pair of binoculars for serious bird watching. The outline of Delhi can be seen and it is fun pointing out the landmark buildings. The peace is unfortunately may be shattered by a noisy groups of youngsters.
There are 2 or 3 watch towers which have rickety stairs which you can use to go to the top of the "machan" (platform) to sit and look around. Though when I went to the sanctuary the birds were no where near the machan. You can walk to the machans using the paths which go through green grass and shrubs. Be careful and follow the path and do not step into the grass as the surroundings may be marshy.
On the main road in the Okhla Sanctuary, there are benches which offer a great view of the birds, Jamuna and the Delhi skyline. There are some benches on the way to one of the towers but the surroundings are not clean.
All in all a good place to spend a few hours on a winter morning especially if you are a bird watcher of a photo enthusiast. If you live in Noida, it is IN Noida (you probably never knew about it) and if you are in Delhi, it is just across the Jamuna.
Entry is Rs30 per head and Rs100 for a car. Cycles are available on rent though you do not really need them especially of you are taking your car inside.
Catch up with nature at your door step.
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