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Indian Wildlife
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary
About Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

Tal Chhapar Sanctuary is a sanctuary which is located in the Churu district of Northwestern Rajasthan in the Shekhawati region of India. It is known for black bucks and is also home to a variety of birds. The sanctuary is 210 km from Jaipur on the fringe of the Great Indian Desert and is situated on road from Ratangarh to Sujangarh. The Tal Chhapar sanctuary lies in the Sujangarh Tehsil of Churu District. It lies on Nokha-Sujangarh state highway and is situated at a distance of 85 km from Churu & about 132 km from Bikaner. Tal Chhapar is a refuge of the most stylish antelope encountered in India, "the black buck". Census of Wild animals is carried out every year in the Sanctuary.

In the Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, a special type of grass is found. This grass is called Mothiya locally. The word "Mothiya" comes come from the word "Moti" or from the English word for Pearl. The shape of the seed of this grass is like very fine round shaped pearls. Mothiya has a very sweet taste. People enjoy eating it, but it is found in very small quantities. Production is only a few kilograms every season. Mothiya is also food for Black bucks and other birds which dig it from earth with their Starks.The best time to visit the Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary in Churu is from September to March.

Total area of Talchhapar Sanctuary is 719 hectare. The sanctuary area is mostly covered by grasses with a very few and sparse trees of Salvadora, Khejri, Ber, Ker and Neem. Main grasses found in the area are Doob, Sewan, Dhaman Lampla, Moth and Lana etc. The area gives a lush green look during rainy season but again dries up during summer season. The most amazing migratory seen from here is that of harriers. These birds pass through this area during the month of September in distinct groups of male, female and immature. Montague's and marsh harrier are more common, while pale harrier and hen harrier are found in lesser numbers.

Blue cheeked bee-eaters and green bee-eaters are commonly found, for this it is their breeding place. The black ibis is commonly seen here. The most typical phenomenon is that of the demoiselle cranes which arrive in the first week of the September and stay till March.

Flora and fauna of the Sanctuary

The forest of this region falls under major group “Tropical Forest” as per classifications of Indian forests by Champion & Seth. The forest of sanctuary area again falls under Group “Topical Thorn Forest” & Sub group “Desert Thorn Forests”.

The sanctuary area is generally covered by grasses with a very few trees. It lies on the way of the passage of many wandering birds such as harriers. These birds pass through this area during September Tal Chappar wild life sanctuary comes alive with the twittering of these migratory birds. Birds commonly seen in the sanctuary are harriers, Demoiselle Cranes, Little Green Bee-eaters, Short-toed Eagle, sparrow, Tawny Eagle, Black Ibis and Eastern Imperial Eagle, which stay here till March on the other hand, skylark, Ring Dove, crested lark, blue jay and brown dove are seen throughout the year. Desert fox and desert cat can also be spotted along with typical avifauna such as partridge and sand grouse. The train towards Tal chhapar has not been started till yet.

The Great Indian Bustard
The Great Indian Bustard has been launched for the first time at the Tal Chhapar wildlife sanctuary in Churu district of Rajasthan on August 9, 2009. The Great Indian Bustard’s natural habitats are large areas of arid and semi-arid grassland and low-thorn scrub. With increasing destruction of surroundings and environmental degradation coupled with external factors eg poaching and demographic pressure, a number of these exceptional birds in this huge desert State has declined to less than a hundred. The Great Indian Bustard being sighted at Tal Chhapar is an important occurrence, for it shows that the endangered species is in search of new habitats for their survival.

Geography and geology

The sanctuary is named after Chhapar village which is located at 27°-50' North and 74°-25' East. It is a flat salty depression locally known as "Tal" that has a unique ecosystem in the heart of the Thar Desert, Perched at an elevation of 302 meters above sea level. Tal Chhaper sanctuary, with almost flat area and scattered shallow low lying areas, has open grassland with scattered Acacia and Prosopis trees which give it an appearance of a typical Savanna. The word "Tal" means plane land. The rain water flows through shallow low lying areas and collect in the small seasonal water ponds.

The Geology of the zone is obscured by the wind blown over-burden. Some small hillocks and exposed rocks of slate and quartzite are found in the western side of the sanctuary. Area between hillocks and the sanctuary represents the watershed area of the sanctuary. The whole sanctuary used to be flooded by water during the heavy rains but with salt mining going on in the watershed. Hardly any rain water falling on the hillocks reach the Sanctuary

Climate of the Sanctuary

This region is characterized by distinct winter (Oct. to Feb.), Summer (March to June) and Monsoon (July to Sept.) The zone has a dry climate with large variation in temperature wind blows South – West during summer. In May and June winds become very hot and that is called “Loo” Maximum temperature reaches up to 48°C in June & minimum temperature falls up to 10°C in month of December - January. The Tal Chhapar Zone comes under the principal arid zone of the country. Rainfall in this region is highly unpredictable. There is large variation in mean annual rainfall in this region. Normal rainfall in this region is about 300 mm.

Facilities At Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

There are two rest houses situated in sanctuary area which are being maintained by forest department having four suites accommodation. These rest houses come under the control of Deputy conservator of forest, Churu.. Chhapar - Sujangarh state highway divides the sanctuary area in two parts. In the sanctuary there are Kacha tracks which are used for inspection, patrolling & viewing the fauna of the sanctuary.

How to Reach Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

By Rail
The nearest railway station is located in Jaipur and it is one of the main stations in the state and it is well connected to most cities in the country. Trains are an ideal option and are the most comfortable mode of transport as well.

By Road
Tal Chappar Wildlife Sanctuary can be reached from Jaipur by taxis and private vehicles. It is located about 215 km from the city of Jaipur, on the Jaipur to Nokha highway. The nearest railway station is Chappar which lies on Degana-Churu-Rewari line of North Western Railways.

By Air
The nearest airport is situated at Jaipur and the airport is well connected to many parts of the country. There are frequent flights from all the metros to the Jaipur Airport and it also receives a few international flights from countries in the Middle East. One can hire a taxi from the airport to reach the sanctuary. The drive takes about 3 hours to reach the Sancuary.



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