Home to the endangered blackbucks, the Tal Chapper Sanctuary is situated in Churu district of Rajasthan. Spread over 719 hectares, the sanctuary has highest concentration of blackbucks and is also home to a variety of other birds and animals.
Before being declared a sanctuary in 1966, the region was the hunting preserve of the erstwhile royal family of Bikaner. The sanctuary gets its name from Chapper village where it is located and Tal, which means plane land in Rajasthani.
The sanctuary mostly comprises of flat tract of land which is broken only by Acacia and Prosopis trees which lends it the look of savanna grasslands.
Blackbucks, the only antelope species found in India, are the prime attraction of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to 1680 blackbucks. It is the highest concentration of blackbucks. A single herd often comprises of between 500-700 animals. The blackbuck antelopes are a sight to behold because of the colour of their coat and spiral horns.
Besides blackbucks, desert fox, jungle cat, black naped hare, neelgai, jackal, chinkara, etc. can also be found in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is also home to around 122 species of migratory and resident birds. Harriers, eastern imperial eagles, tawny eagle, short-toed eagle and sparrows comprise the avian diversity of Tal Chapper. Tal Chapper lies on the passage of migratory birds.
Another attraction of the sanctuary is a special type of grass called Mothiya by locals. Mothiya comes from the Rajasthani word moti which means pearl. The seed of the grass is like very fine round shaped pearls and has a sweet taste. Humans, blackbucks and birds enjoy eating and it is cultivated too although in small quantities.
WHERE TO EAT
There are no restaurants or eateries in the sanctuary. It would be advisable to carry sufficient amounts of food and water.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit the sanctuary is between September to March.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SHEKHAWATI
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Shekhawati is as given below. The best time to visit Shekhawati is also specified.