Kulik Bird Sanctuary, West Bengal
Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary, popularly known as Kulik Bird sanctuary is no less than heaven to the bird watchers. This haven of a huge variety of birds is located near Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal. The sanctuary offers shelter to almost 164 species of birds and every year around 70,000 to 80,000 migratory birds visit the sanctuary. The sanctuary spanning an area of 1.30 sq km is often claimed as the second largest bird sanctuary across Asia. The Kulik Bird sanctuary has the shape of the English alphabet "U" and is connected with the River Kulik with an intricate network of artificial canals.
Kulik Bird Sanctuary is located in Raiganj, which is well connected by NH34.You can drive to Raiganj from Kolkata, located at a distance of 425 km. You can also hire cars from Siliguri, which is 181 km from Raiganj. Raiganj railway station is also well connected by trains from Sealdah.
The ideal time to visit the sanctuary is between October and March, which are late summer and early winters. The migratory birds start visiting the sanctuary from the end of May and they start leaving the place from the middle of December.
A wide array of colourful birds in the Kulik Bird Sanctuary is a delight to the eye. The resident birds include flycatchers, kites, owl, woodpeckers, kingfishers, drongoes and many more. Apart from this, a number of migratory birds also fly here every year from the coastal areas and South Asian countries. The major migratory species include egrets, open-bill storks, black crowned night heron, pond heron, Indian Shag, little cormorants and most importantly Asian Open-bill.
Apart from birds, the exotic collection of flora and the wildlife of the sanctuary is also fascinating. The Kulik Bird sanctuary was first opened with some species of flora, which include Jarul, kadam, Sisoo and eucalyptus. Now, you will find some other trees like Simul, Siris, Khair, Akashmoni, Minigiri, Khadam, Lali and Sal. The beautiful and extensive swamp land on the river bank of Kulik is an added attraction of the tourists.
Nearby attractions of Kulik Bird sanctuary:- One of the major destinations near the Kulik Bird sanctuary is the Sap Nikla forest admired with a beautiful lake. This Mixed Deciduous natural forest offers a true visual treat to the tourists.The Temple of Goddess Bhairabi at Bindole, Temple of Goddess Kali of Baira, Mosque of Burhana Fakirs, Museum at Karnajora, Banabithi Resort at Barui, Park at Karnajora and Farm-House at Samaspur are some of the near-by attractions. The historical town of Gour famous for its mosques and temples is around 50 km from Kulik on NH 34. Malda is 65 km from Kulik.
Things to do in Kulik Bird sanctuary:- Spend some leisure time at the bird sanctuary, while exploring the entire region through a well-laid brick pathway. Bird watching is the major activity at Kulik Bird Sanctuary.