The Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan, near Jodhpur

Sighting the Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan, near Jodhpur was a treat to our tired eyes!

The route from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur is dotted with several surprise spots to stop and admire. A tiny village Khichan in Phalodi, 150 kilometers from Jodhpur is one such place. We were awe struck to see a small water body emerging out of no where in the desert and thousands of Demoiselle Cranes flocking all around it. A rare spectacle!

Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan near Jodhpur RajasthanDemoiselle Cranes of Khichan 1

Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan 2
Migratory birds can be seen at many places, but there is something special in Khichan, Rajasthan. The locals of the village offer loads of grains to the birds early morning in a rectangular enclosure every day. The villagers enjoy a special relationship with the birds. Wiki mentions the story of how one Ratanlal Maloo of Khichan started this feeding activity in 1970s. The cranes fly into specially created rectangular enclosures, at the edge of the village. Locals call them chugga ghar. The feeding time is for one and half hours.

These Eurasian cranes fly out of the breeding grounds of steppes and start flocking in and around the various water bodies of Khichan. They fly in from August and spend the winter months here. Demoiselle cranes are the smallest of the crane species. Studies prove they have elaborate communication methods.

Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan 3

Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan 4
Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan 5
Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan 6
Well cared Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan

We saw the birds taking a short drink, some bathing while some were acrobatically displaying the affection to their mate. And the krok-krok calls all were an audio-visual treat in the scorching heat of the desert. The villagers in Thar venerate them for the norm of keeping a single life partner all through their lifetime. Their duets and ballet-like dancing strengthen the bonds between the birds. Seems like the Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is God) spirit of the Rajasthanis holds good not just for the human guests ! They follow it for the migratory birds, The Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan too.

Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan 7

Camel's Eyes
Beautiful Peacocks of Rajasthan, National Bird of India

46 Responses to “The Demoiselle Cranes of Khichan, near Jodhpur

  • Oh my! those are really fantastic shots! I love them all. Thanks for sharing:) I always look forward to seeing your critters every weekend!

  • I did click to enlarge these photos, and was amazed at the numbers of cranes. I love the ones in flight too

  • Very great these shots… The birds are geants !

    Very beautiful post !

  • These are terrific shots! I agree that you got some great shots of them flying.
    Wonderful info – thanks for sharing.

  • That’s a lotta birds! Cool!

    I played too 🙂

  • This post is truly beyond spectacular! WOW – the photos are amazing and I learned about something I never even knew of! Thank you so much for this fantastic post!

  • huge and wondrous loved this Sandy

  • Beautiful birds, very elegant. I had never seen cranes like this. The only kind I know are one single colour pink or white. I think I saw them in the zoo and in the South of France. Cranes are not a native bird here.
    I knew that the crane is a symbol of health but I did not know that they keep a single partner their whole lifetime. Very interesting!

  • Wonderful pictures. I’m particularly in awe of the ones of the birds in flight.

  • Wonderful story and photos! Hopefully at the end of January I’ll be posting about the sandhill cranes down in southeastern Arizona. Over 20,000 cranes winter there and it’s such a fantastic thing to see.

  • Fabulous shots of the cranes you did well in there capturing
    Thanks for the stop over

  • wow, truly exceptional shots right there….this place looks inviting. I hope i could be there with a bird-watching guide, listening to those beauties! Demoiselle cranes, eh? Thanks for telling me about them….i’ll check them up on the net! 🙂

  • These are magnificent looking birds. Also nice to learn and see something new.

  • Great, great photos.

  • lovely pics of the elegantly stylish birds! nice to hear about the bird feeding by the locals too!!

  • What a wonderful post! I really love the bottom photo of the birds in flight… you can actually see the drops of water falling off of their feet. Wow!

  • Wooah! That’s a lot of cranes. What a sight!

    Thanks for sharing.

    I have two entries for CC this week!

    All dogs, all the time!

  • Very, very nice post – amazing that they come all the way from Russia, and are treated like honoured guests by the villagers. I am also impresssed that they have only a single partner.

    The pictures are great, especially the one of the birds in flight.

  • A nice presentation…The fourth foto was simply superb…

  • These birds look so elegant, and how nice that they get food from the people !

  • I always enlarge photos and then I can admire them much better. Yours are no exception ! The cranes look very elegant and I enjoyed reading the information you wrote in this post!

  • Great critter picture. Thanks for stopping in on my site. I am off to look around yours more.

  • Amazing – I can but agree with all the comments. Gattina said elegant – so right whether standing or flying.

  • Hi Indrani!

    The waterbodies in eastern Rajasthan are said to be water harvesting structures done by Rajendra Singh, called the Waterman of Rajasthan.

    He won the 2001 Ramon Magsaysay Award for his work in Rajastan’s arid regions…

    Nie pictures you have here…
    i forget about your photo blog.
    will keep visiting that too..


  • These are beautiful shots of the birds. Thank you for visiting my CC.

  • Very lovely pictures, especially the one with the cranes flying away from the water. Chinese use crane as symbol of long life.

  • What a wonderful series of photos. I love hoe you’ve captured their elegance in flight. That’s something that always eludes me when trying to photograph the herons we have around here all summer. Wonderful post.

  • These photos are great of cranes I will likely never see in person! Thanks!

  • Great photos. Love the ones of the birds coming in for a landing. 🙂

  • Wow, this must have been wonderful to see. Gorgeous birds.

  • Awesome! What a treat it must have been to see all of those cranes. I’ve only ever seen geese like this. Great shots.

  • Glad you stopped to stare. The cranes may not feel like leaving come summer; the villagers will miss them too!

  • amazing pictures! Very interesting!

  • Great photos. I admire these beautiful birds. I love the photos of them in flight.

    Thanks for visiting my other blog.

  • Fascinating post and great shots of the birds.

  • Amazing photos. You always share such wonderful things.

  • Beautiful…simply amazing!

  • Great pictures of the landing and

    the acrobatism and krok-krok could
    be for chiding their mates!!

  • What beautiful.. elongated graceful.. birds they are! The photography is wonderful.

    On close up the red eyes and the water dripping off…amazing!! To be like Thumbelina (I would say a bird but to have the chance to sit and feel the wind blowing my hair and the fluidity of their flight)and fly with seems so effortless!!

  • Wonderful pictures, amazing photography.

  • Being a Rajasthani I can relate to this post. Beautiful !

    Jitendra Mathur

  • Great to know that you have visited Khichan. It is one of the few places where the people protect the wildlife.

  • They look surreal, Good post !! xx

  • awesome post, fantastic shots.

  • Nice info Indrani, and beautiful shots too.

  • Beautiful captures. Capturing birds is like a game…you keep clicking right?

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