The gigantic metropolis that is Delhi also holds many an ecological surprise. The patches of forest scattered over different parts of the city are hotspots for the ardent walker and nature enthusiast.

One such hotspot exists near the Karni Singh Shooting Range on the Surajkund Road, known as the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary. Home to a wide array of birds as well as a smattering of reptiles, amphibians and mammals, the sanctuary offers a tryst up close with nature to those who want a reprieve from the city life.

Trekking the trails

asolabhatti Exploring Asola Wildlife Sanctuary: Walks and WildlifeWalk in, and less than a hundred metres inwards, you will find the Conservation Education Centre {CEC}, run by the Bombay Natural History Society. They organise walks and expeditions into Asola and other biodiversity treasure houses in Delhi every week. Meet Sohail Madan there, who runs the centre, and would be glad to show you around whenever you go.

Lose yourself in the myriad bird-calls as nature composes its little symphony in this bubble of green, and take a good look at the nesting-boxes around the CEC. Ask for the stories surrounding each; they are interesting as well as funny.

The birds and the bees

There are babblers, warblers, sparrows, bulbuls, white-eyes and many others in the foliage. There are kites that hover overhead, and fierce shikras that send all the little birds screaming as they dart in and out of the trees on their hunts. The sweet calls of the koel are unmistakeable, as is the rain-dance of the peacock if you’re having a lucky day.

Watch out for the little nilgai herds, as well as the impressive termite hills dotted throughout the park. Soak in the atmosphere as the sounds of the city get muffled as you walk deeper in, and come closer to nature.

Getting there

You can get there by heading from Tughlaqabad {via the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road} to Surajkund Road {about 2 kms} near the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.

You can also travel from Mehrauli via Chattarpur Temple {6 kms} near Sanjay Colony {Bhatti Area}, near Tuglaqabad Fort, on the way to the Surajkund Mela.

Don’t forget…

Full-length trousers, comfortable shoes, a bottle of water, a notebook & a pen, binoculars and your camera {of course}!

For pre-planned nature walks, join the CEC’s Facebook group here. There are regular updates with details, and a great experience is usually guaranteed.

#LBBTip: It can be dangerous to travel in small groups in Asola. If you aren’t taking part in a walk, we suggest you take a large group of close to 1o people, so as to not be bothered as you explore the trails and take a dip in the lakes.


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