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North India

 

Applying the term 'northern' to India could imply a vast area over 2000km wide, from the border with Pakistan to the west and extend east to Bangladesh.  For our purposes, this description applies to the region surrounding, and north of Delhi, including the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir to the north and east, and parts of eastern Rajasthan to the south and southwest.  This region is incredible for birds, with a remarkable avian diversity that can be attributed to the variety in climate, topography and vegetation as rugged semi-desert gradually merges into the Great Himalaya.

 

The north Indian plains host an array of species that thrive in the combination of drylands, acacia scrub, rocky outcrops and irrigated farmland.  During the winter months resident birds are augmented by large numbers of Palaearctic migrants, whose presence is most conspicuous as large congregations of waterfowl which gather in some of India's finest wetlands, such as Keoladeo-Ghana Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur.  Further north, the terai, the broadleaved forest that flanks the Himalayan range, supports an interesting avifaunal assemblage at the junction of the plains and the foothills, while the western Himalaya themselves are home to distinct montane species in some of India's finest Chir Pine and Sal forest and alpine meadows.

 

An equally diverse array of mammals make their home in this region, including Ganges River Dolphin, Asian Elephant, and Tiger in Ranthambhore and Corbett National Parks, two of India's finest tiger reserves.  In the extreme north, the most elusive of all the world's large cats can be found in the spectacular mountains of Hemis National Park in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh.

 


 

Whiskered_Yuhina

North India & the foothills of the Western Himalaya

Tour Code: NI001 / 16 days

North India is an exceptional area for birds, where the close proximity of lowland regions to higher altitudes as the foothills of the Western Himalaya rise sharply out of the plains ensures that distinct communities of species can be found within easy reach of one another. 

Himalayan_Greenfinch

Kumaon Himalaya

Tour Code: NI002 / 12 days

The Kumaon region of the Himalaya, together with the flanking terai grasslands, are exceptional from a birding perspective; the meeting place of the avifauna of the foothills with that of the Indo-Gangetic Plains, and home to a number of restricted range endemics. 

Indian_Skimmer

Ranthambhore, Bharatpur & the Chambal River

Tour Code: NI003 / 10 days

Bharatpur, one of Asia's most outstanding wetland reserves, along with a productive stretch of the perennial Chambal River and the semi-desert of Ranthambhore, provides an excellent introduction to the resident and migratory birds of the north Indian plains.

Common Nawab

Kumaon Himalaya - birds and butterflies

Tour Code: NI004 / 12 days

At the junction of the Himalaya with the Indo-Gangetic Plains, Kumaon is home to a rich bird and butterfly diversity.  Both birds and butterfly communities vary with altitude, the distinctly Oriental butterfly fauna below 1500m becoming dominated by species with Palaearctic affinities in the higher temperate zone.

Asian Elephant

Corbett's India - birds and mammals

Tour Code: NI005 / 10 days

Corbett National Park occupies an advantageous position, nestled against the western Himalaya at the junction of the plains with the foothills.  This is a uniquely picturesque landscape, home to some 50 species of mammal,  including Tiger.