Tal Chapar is a beautiful but small and relatively under visited sanctuary. Anyone who is looking at birding in Rajasthan, must visit this place in my very humble opinion. While this place has a loyal fan following, I thought I would put together the useful information about the sanctuary for easy reference. It may help newbies like me to get around to the sanctuary.
Reaching Tal Chapar
Tal Chapar is quite accessible from Delhi as well as Jaipur. Nearest railway stations are:
- Sujangarh Junction @ 20 minutes drive
- Ratangarh Junction @ 45 minutes drive
Out of the two, I liked traveling to Ratangarh better as I could finish my work in Delhi and travel to Ratangarh in the night, reaching early enough to enjoy sunrise in the sanctuary. You could elect drive down from Jaipur too, if traveling train does not appeal to you for some strange reason. However that’s a long drive and can get tiring. On the plus side, you “might” get some birding done on the way.
Staying in Tal Chapar
A lot of people elect to stay in on of the various hotels in Ratangarh/Sujangarh, I found that staying at the FRH was a great option. The FRH is at the gate of the Sanctuary (quite literally). It was clean, had good simple food available. If you need something essential, the town is not that far off. Also this was easy on the pockets.
For FRH booking and tariff, visit www.talchapar.com (As of Sept 2014, the frh site is not working and showing some weird content. I have written to them, and hoping to hear from them soon. If you want their contact details, please post a note in comments and I will mail it to you.)
A lot have changed since my trip. See my note “About FRH and Hari Bhai”.
Hiring a local Bolero would be a good option to get around. FRH does that for you. Alternatively you can use your own car too. You will have to plan your excursions by yourself in you use your car. In case you hire a local jeep, the driver will take you around and double up as a guide. If you make a day trip to Jorbeer, you can go to the city for your lunch. After lunch, you can look for yellow eyed pigeons & cream colored coursers near Jorbeer.
Also note that there is a famous Hanuman Temple called “Salasar Balaji nearby”. For religiously inclined it may be an added bonus.
About FRH and Hari Bhai:
2016: Hari Bhai passed away sometime ago. Visitors of TC will surely miss him and his knowledge. Additionally, FRH management has changed and I do not have their coordinates anymore. I have heard of a nice homestay near the park which can be worth looking into. I can mail that info to you, if you promise to share your experience and write a detailed trip report.
For planning my trips, I depend a lot on reading trip reports and gaining information from there. This helps me prepare for my trips. In the hopes that there are more similar weirdos out there, following are some of the trip reports that I found to be really good resource and useful.
Darter.in trip report
birdsnbeyond trip report
SillBills Trip report
Nature India Tours Multiple Trip reports