Sultanpur National Park is located at Sultanpur, Haryana
District, Haryana, India
, fifteen kilometres from Gurgaon, Haryana.
Sultanpur named after Sultan Singh, who occupied it in 1474 Vikram Samwat, was the biggest village (covering 52000 bighas of land) under Farrukhnagar
and many of the present day villages around it have originated as 'dhanis' i.e. temporary farmer's shelters within the boundary of Sultanpur. The region around Sultanpur was called Dhundhoti. Sultanpur was the center of salt production for use in Delhi and the United Provinces till the late 19th century exporting annually 250000 quintals (680000 maunds) over the Rajputana-Malwa Railway. The railway train service was started in 1873 and at Sultanpur there were a couple of railway sidings for loading salt into the train wagons.
Salt was produced by extracting brine from about 40 wells using bullocks and drying in open plots. Since salt was one of the major sources of Government revenue the office of the salt superintendent at Sultanpur supervised the levy of Rs 2 tax per maund. With the levy of the heavy salt tax and acquisition of the Sambhar salt works in Rajputana by the British Indian Government the Sultanpur Salt became uneconomical and by 1903-4 the salt industry was struggling for survival with salt export having fallen to 65000 maunds leading to severe setback to the economy of the Sultanpur area. Finally, in 1923 the British shut down the office of the salt superintendent, had all the mounds of salt thrown back into the wells and shut down the salt industry leading to considerable economic misery to the people.
As a bird sanctuary it was the find of Peter Jackson, famous ornothologist, and Honorary Secretary of the Delhi Birdwatching Society, who wrote to Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, founder of the Society, in 1970 about the need to declare the Sultanpur jheel near Delhi, a bird sanctuary, and she asked him to take her there. She had to cancel at the last minute, but later instructed the Chief Minister of Haryana to protect the jheel and in 1972, the Sultanpur Bird Reserve was established. On 07/13/1989 the reserve was upgraded to a National Park. The area was declared a Bird sanctuary in 1972, and twenty years later in 1989, it was made a later a National Park. It has an area of 1.43 square kilometres. It is a protected area where over 250 species of birds have been sighted.
Earlier before the construction of bandhs and drainage areas around Sultanpur remained waterlogged and attracted a large numbers of migratory birds and hunters, many from the Diplomatic Corps at Delhi. Now however the bird sanctuary is artificially revived using pumped water from the Jamuna river. You are required to shown your identity card to enter sultanpur national park. Without Identity card, you will be denied entry .In addition,entry fee is INR 5.00.
This Bird Sanctuary, ideal for birding and bird watchers, is best visited in winters when a large number of migratory birds come here. Sultanpur has the typical North Indian climate of harsh summers (up to 46 Degree C) and cold winters (Low of up to 0 Degree C). Rainy season is short, from July to then end of August.
Resident birds include the Common hoopoe, Paddyfield pipit, Purple sunbird, Little cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Common Spoonbill, Gray Francolin, Black francolin, Indian roller, White-throated kingfisher, Spotbill, Painted stork, Black-necked stork, White ibis, Black-headed ibis, Little egret, Great egret, Cattle egret, Crested lark, Red-vented bulbul, Rose-ringed parakeet, Red-wattled lapwing, Shikra, Eurasian collared dove,Rock pigeon, Magpie robin, Greater coucal, Weaver bird, Bank Mynah, Common Mynah and Green Bee-eater.
Every year over a hundred migratory bird species visit here to feed. In winter the sanctuary provides is a panorama of migratory birds such as Siberian Crane, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Northern Shoveler, Rosy Pelican, Spot-billed Pelican, Gadwall, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper and Long-billed Pipit. In summer about 11 species of migratory birds such as Asian Koel, Black-crowned Night Heron,Comb duck, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater and Cuckoos come here.In addition to the many birds, animals such as Blue Bull and Black Buck are also seen here.Trees which are popular with the birds like Acacia nilotica, Acacia tortilis, Berberis and Neem have been planted.
The park is a popular picnic spot for residents of New Delhi and the NCR (National Capital Region), especially during the winter migration months when thousands of birds visit here from across the globe. There are four watch towers (machans) located at different points, an education and interpretation center, a library, films, slides and binoculars for the benefit of bird lovers. A walk along the perimeter of the park takes up to two hours. A room dedicated to the memory of Dr. Salim Ali, which contains his bust, photographs, write ups, and some of his personal effects.There is public parking, bathrooms, drinking water facilities and a children's park in the reserve. For those wishing to stay overnight, the park also has a well-appointed guest house with all amenities.