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Live your Grassland Fantasy at Tal Chappar Sanctuary

On the very boundary of the Great Indian Thar Desert lies the refuge of the most exquisite Antelope in India, the 'Black Buck'.

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The Tal Chappar Sanctuary is not a just a plain tract but it also has some scattered flat grassland with interspersed prosopis trees and Acacia, making it look like a typical Savanna Forest.

The sanctuary is named after the nearby 'Chappar' village and local people refers to the plain saline depression as 'Tal'.The sanctuary is located exactly on Nokha-Sujangarh state highway in tehsil Sujangarh of district Churu in Shekhawati region of the North western Rajasthan. The sanctuary is on the fringe of the Thar Desert, about 210 km away from Jaipur. The sanctuary is known to be the biggest reserve of the Black Buck in India, housing around 1680 Black Bucks.

In the early days, the place was used as private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Bikaner. It got recognized as the Wildlife Sanctuary in 1962. Being the highest concentration of the most elegant Antelope ever found in India, it is also named as Black Buck Park.

The main attraction of this sanctuary is definitely the Black Bucks. However, besides Black Bucks, the sanctuary also acts as unique habitat for around 122 species of migratory birds and resident birds. In the month of September, birds like montagur, skylark, marsh harrier, tawny eagle, pale harrier, imperial eagle, short toed eagle, green bee eaters, blue jay, sparrow hawk, brown dove, crested lark, ring drove, black ibis and demoiselle cranes come here. Other wildlife like Chinkara, Nilgai, Jackal, Desert Fox, Black Naped Hare and Jungle Cat are also found in the sanctuary.

One impressive thing about this sanctuary is the type of grass, which is termed as Mothiya by the locals. The word 'Mothiya' comes from Hindi word 'moti', which means ‘pearl’. The seed of the grass have the appearance of a finely rounded pearl. All the wildlife and avian diversity of the sanctuary, along with the humans, enjoy savoring the sweet taste of the seeds. Unfortunately, the seeds are cultivated in meager quantities and the production of these seeds is just a few kilograms in each season.

Two rest houses with four fairly spacious suites are situated in the sanctuary area for the visitors. These are maintained by the forest department and Deputy Conservator of Forest, Churu must be contacted for booking the accommodation. Kacha tracks are present in the sanctuary which is used mainly for examining, protecting and observing the fauna of the sanctuary.

As the sanctuary is part of the itinerary of "Heritage on Wheel" train since February 2006, the tourists can now visit the world famous Black Back Sanctuary twice in a week. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from September to March.

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