While the whole of India is known for its biological diversity, its northern part is a little special. Hundreds of species of birds are found only in the state of Uttarakhand; many of these can be found in and around Nainital. It is among the most scenic hill stations in India and also one of the most preferred ones. Nestled in the Himalayas at an altitude of about 2000 metres, it is the realm of peace. Among the myriad activities that you can try here is birding, which allows one to learn about the diverse avifauna of the region.
Where it Takes Places
About 17 km from the hill station, Pangot has become famous for its thick jungles that are home to a large number of birds. More than 200 avian species have been recorded in the area; hence, a large number of birdwatchers are drawn here. To a tourist, Pangot may be like any other hamlet in the serene Himalayas, but to a wildlife expert, it is a treasure trove of colourful birds that come in all shapes and sizes. Surrounded by forests of oaks and rhododendrons, it is a small settlement with about 15 families.
While birding at Pangot, you do not need to worry about finding colourful feathered creatures, since there are many. A few to name are black-throated thrushes, common stonechats, slaty-headed parakeets, red-billed blue magpies, streaked laughingthrushes, russet sparrow and yellow-breasted greenfinches. Jungle crows, grey-winged blackbirds, green-backed tits, treecreepers, common mynas and short-billed minivets can also be seen here flying high in the sky or relaxing on a tree branch.
During bird watching near Nainital, you can not only come across the birdlife of the region, but also numerous mammals and reptiles. The list of animals found in the area includes monkeys, Himalayan langurs, Indian porcupines, barking deer, wild pigs and flying squirrels. A large number of pythons and lizards can also be seen while on a tour in the hilly region.
Where you can Stay
Among the few accommodation options here is Jungle Lore Birding Lodge Pangot, offering a comfortable and relaxed stay. The lodge offers accommodation in four cottages that give a home-away-from-home experience to travellers. All guestrooms come with attached toilets that have running cold and hot water supply. During the winter season, gas heaters are provided so guests can enjoy a good night’s sleep. In the dining area, you can gorge on traditional regional dishes that are made from locally sourced ingredients. A wide selection of North Indian delights is offered here in buffet style. Those, who would like to learn about the local cuisine and try a few recipes back home, can get in touch with the lodge’s chefs. These culinary experts also prepare food for people with special dietary requirements.
What to Do
The Jungle Lore Birding Lodge at Nainital organises a wide variety of adventure sports like rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing and flying fox. Those, who want to get the adrenaline rushing in their veins, can opt for any of these activities. Going for a nature walk is a good option to enjoy the bounties of nature in a peaceful manner. Strolling in the lush jungles, you will come a lot closer to nature. To learn about the local people, you can opt for a village tour. There are numerous hamlets near Jungle Lore Birding Lodge at Nainital, and a tour to some of these will tell you how people live in this hilly region.
This 3-day venture is the perfect chance you need to see the fascinating biodiversity of the region. However, bird watching near Nainital is not only about the feathered creatures, but also about exploring the natural bounties. Take a break from your busy schedule, and go for this amazing trip to spend time amidst vistas of nature. Birding at Pangot is an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. After the 3-day venture, you will return home a whole new self and with a new-found respect for nature. If you have been stuck in the humdrum of the city life for too long, birding is the thing to do, and Jungle Lore Birding Lodge Pangot is the place to be.
Activities: Birding and Nature Walks
Location: 15 KMS from Nainital
Best time to go: October to March