We two families went to Bharatpur with our four College going Kids. It was 31st of December 2011 when we went there. The entrance gate where we stopped to buy the tickets is swarming with activity. My son who is studying in IIT was entrusted with the task of buying the tickets. He immediately spotted that there was a provision of concession for the Students so he collected the College ID cards of all the children and bought the entrance tickets at half rates. Tickets for bikes were also purchased here. We also hired two rikshaw as well as a guide here. From the ticket gate to the sanctuary gate there is quite a distance. When we reached the sanctuary gate we realised that it would have been better that after purchasing the tickets we should have come up to the sanctuary gate in our cars, parked them in the parking and then hired the rikshaws, which are readily available there. It would have saved us a lot of time and money as the rikshaws cost on hourly basis. We spotted a lot of birds and a few snakes there like python, rat snake, a lot of turtles, spot billed duck, coot, spotted owl, eagle, lap wing, cormorant, snake bird, painted storks in hoards, green pigeons, spotted doves, neck ring dove, neelkanth, king fisher, pochard, shoveler, dubchick, little heron, stilts, common duck, kite and many more. The guide with us was not of much help and next time would be better avoided. The chart available at the ITDC office inside the Ashoka hotel inside the sanctuary is a great help in spotting and naming the birds. The swamps looked great with the a sheet of red all over. We spent a good 4 hours in the sanctuary. Biking and riding the rikshaw in turns. At the hindside next time we would head straight for the boating area and take a left turn from there as that part of the area if fairly calm and unvisited and we missed visiting it now due to paucity of time. After we came out we ate the panipuri and chat at the ticket gate. Though a bit apprehensive about the cleanliness we really enjoyed the taste. As we were all a bit hungry we headed for the "birders inn" near the gate which was recommended by many for good food. However being a new year eve they were busy preparing hence expressed in ability in serving us food. Moreover we were quite late. It was almost 5 o-clock in the evening. Then we went back to the gate and with no apprehensions had a tummy full of chat and headed for our hotel Brij Vasundhra in Brindavan.
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