Overview - Khichan
Khichan, an unassuming village in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, has a conservation story which started with one man Mr.Ratan Lal Maloo aka the Bird Man of Khichan who started off with feeding a small number of Pigeons, Sparrows, Peacocks and Palm Squirrels with grain as a family tradition, one day chanced upon a small number of migratory Demoiselle Cranes in the 1970’s.
Demoiselle Cranes visit India from colder breeding grounds of high altitude Mongolia, North China and Tibet on their annual winter migration to India and Khichan is now their preferred home where they are welcomed after their long and grueling journey to prepare for the mating season whence they return.
Today, 12000 to 15000 Demoiselle Cranes visit Khichan every year due to the compounding effort of Mr.Maloo, the Jain Community of Khichan and now a worldwide support system to the cause – it has resulted in getting Khichan on the world map for its Demoiselle Crane congregation and spreading of the beautiful grassroots conservation success story which goes with it.
It has been declared a Bird Sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best Time to Visit Khichan
Though the Demoiselle Cranes have begun visiting from August itself, the largest congregations are seen from the beginning of December to March.
Highlight Species - Khichan
Types of Safaris - Khichan
There are no formalized safaris here, one can visit Khichan village at dawn to see the Demoiselle Crane feeding spectacle and participate in the same.
Nearby lakes can be accessed in a private vehicle.
How to reach Khichan
By Air : The nearest air head is Jodhpur airport which is 150 km from Khichan Village.
By Train : The nearest Railway Station is Phalodi which is around 10 km from the Khichan village. Phalodi railway station is well connected with the train routes of the major cities like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, New Delhi.
By Road : Phalodi, the closest town from Khichan, is well connected with major cities of Rajasthan.
- Distance from Bikaner to Khichan is around 165 km takes about 4 hrs drive
- Distance from Jaisalmer to Khichan is approximately 170 km takes around 4 hours to drive.