At some point in time, everyone has been attracted by the vibrant, winged beauties called butterflies. For centuries, they have been the subject of poets, artists, writers and philosophers. There's not one person who'd not be charmed by these fascinating species of insects that flutter their colourful wings and sprinkle merriment to the surrounding.
Not only are the butterflies beautiful creatures, but are also a very important part of the ecology. Some species of butterflies are important pollinators, not as much as the honeybees, but they do carry and distribute the pollen grains over distances and help the plants flourish.
There are two open seasons to go butterfly watching, first is March to May and the second one is September to November. So if you are a lepidopterist, a wildlife photographer, a hobbyist or simply someone who's fascinated by these 'flying jewels', here are some of the beautiful butterfly parks of India that you must visit.
The Butterfly Park of Bangalore was the first ever Butterfly enclosure in India, that was established in 2006. Popularly called the 'Garden City', Bangalore has the perfect environment to become a home to the exotic butterflies. The park is situated in the Bannerghatta National Park and consists of a butterfly conservatory and a museum.
With an artificial ecosystem that includes a waterfall and suitable flora, the conservatory has been designed in such a way that it supports numerous species of butterflies. One can get more information about the creatures by visiting the audiovisual room and seeing the carefully preserved species of exotic butterflies in the museum, which are also part of the Butterfly Park. The park can be visited between 9.30 am and 5 pm on all days.
The little-known Butterfly Garden or Butterfly Park of Pune, also known as 'Oxford of the East', is located near the Aranyeshwar Temple and Aranyeshwar Park. Not many people are aware of this conservatory, that houses numerous trees and plants and attracts around 40-45 varieties of butterflies. You can see the common lime butterfly, grass yellow, tiger swallowtail and some of the exotic ones, like the spotted blue tiger and Indian Nawab butterflies.
The specialty of the park is that none of these butterflies have been brought in here, but the beautiful ecosystem created has drawn these beautiful creatures into the park. The Butterfly Garden is open for visitors between 6 am to 6 pm on all days.
PC: May Wong
Situated in the tiny, nondescript village of Ovale near Thane, this Butterfly Park near Mumbai is known to very few people and is largely advertised by word of mouth. For generations, the land here was covered with paddy fields, but now is a home to over 5000 plants and trees which attract over 100 varieties of butterflies.
Butterflies from nearby regions and even from the eastern side of Sanjay Gandhi National Park fly into this carefully crafted butterfly enclosure. Striped tiger, bluebottle, swordtail, crimson rose, wanderer and many other species of butterflies spotted here can surely give you an opportunity to click some wallpapers and screensavers quality pictures.
Thane is close to Mumbai and can be reached by bus, local train or cab. Ovale village is located 10 km further from Thane on Ghodbunder Road. The butterfly park can be visited on Sundays (only) between 8 am to 2 pm.
Home to Kanchenjunga-third highest mountain in the world, Sikkim has an unparalleled beauty. The place also bagged a title of being the cleanest and most organic state in the country. Given the lush vegetation, climate and its unique geographical location, Sikkim is an ecological hotspot and home to an extremely rich and exotic species of flora and fauna. About 630 known varieties of butterflies and 740 species of flowers are found in Sikkim!
The Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary of Sikkim is a protected area in east Sikkim, around 30 km west of Gangtok. Home to thick orchid and rhododendron forests, the sanctuary is home to an abundant species of butterflies, including yellow swallowtail, Chumbi green underwing, Silvertripe, silversteaks, tortoiseshell and azure mountain blue. Apart from the sanctuary, parts of Rangeet Valley and Teesta Valley are ideal to spot the winged beauties.