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5 Forests in NCR That You Should Visit

In the concrete jungles of Delhi suburbs, it’s not unusual for real estate developers to promise you a personal forest of your own along with a condominium. But many would find it hard to believe that Noida, Greater Noida. Gurgaon and Faridabad have hidden forests too, some going back hundreds of years.

Ayushi Raina
A forest in delhi
A forest in delhi

If you are looking for a quick excursion and a peaceful time with friends or family then we have some great places for you. Let me tell you that there are some really good forests in the Delhi-NCR that you can visit in the weekends.

These forests are not at all expensive, and one may even attempt bird watching.

Here are five NCR forests that should not only be discovered but also understood and conserved.

Greater Noida's Dhanauri Wetlands

The breeding grounds of Uttar Pradesh's state bird, the Sarus crane, are a few kilometers away from Greater Noida. The Dhanauri wetland, located halfway between Dhankaur and Thusrana villages, is divided in two by a road that connects the villages to the city.

Cries of sarus cranes and other birds may be heard as soon as one approaches the wetlands.
In 2019, the forest department and the Gautam Buddh Nagar district government-designated 69 wetlands as part of the region. The Dhanauri wetlands which cover 7.5 hectares are included in this list.

Sultanpur National Park, Gurgaon-Jhajjar

Sultanpur National Park, which has been closed since March 18, 2020, will reopen in November this year. Prior to the Covid pandemic, the park remains close every year from June 1 to September 30 for birding season.

The national park was designated as a "Ramsar site" in August 2021 and had a weekend footfall of 800-1000 before the pandemic. The birds have benefited greatly from Covid.

They're nesting in locations they've never nested before. Bar-headed geese, greylag geese, pintails, common pochards, painted storks and spoonbills may all be seen in the park.

In terms of tourist visits and accessibility, Sultanpur has traditionally been the most "well-known" forest. It also helps that the notoriety means it is well-organized, allowing tourists to plan visits and gain valuable birding experience, even if they are novices.

Mangar Bani, Faridabad-Gurgaon

When you consider that leopard sightings are very regular in the region, a walk through Mangar Bani can be intimidating. However, when you begin to notice peacocks every few metres, you begin to appreciate the grandeur of this forest, which is regarded sacred by the locals.

Because of its sacred status, the forest was spared from the real estate eye and ‘developmental' projects.

Gudariya baba, a saint-like figure, is said to have achieved samadhi in a cave within the forest, according to locals. That place has now been transformed into a temple. On Tuesdays, residents come to the temple to do pujas in great numbers. The forest is located in the Aravallis foothills.

Bhondsi, Gurgaon

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar launched a 100-acre nature camp in Bhondsi in 2017 with the goal of encouraging people to connect more with nature and wildlife. Bharat Yatra Kendra, a 600-acre ashram owned by former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, was used to create the camp.

However, that strategy appears to have been abandoned in the middle. A journey to Bhondsi reveals that the nature camp is now little more than photographs of birds placed up every few metres, primarily of species that are commonly seen in the area. They are now resuming work. The region is devoid of infrastructure.

Man-made forest, Noida

A women-led organisation in Noida Sector 47 joined together to not only limit garbage production and dumping, but also to construct a one-of-a-kind forest. "We planted it using the Miyawaki method, where you get a 100-year-old forest in ten years," explains Deepa Bagai, an ex-IAS officer and member of the women's organisation who was critical in developing this forest.

Multiple native species are planted closely together so that they grow tall rather than broad and rapidly develop a dense jungle-like canopy." Even the forest department, according to Bagai, can't believe the forest's health, growth, and survival rate after two years.

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