Sultanpur National Park, Bhiwadi
About Sultanpur National Park
Sultanpur is named after Chauhan Rajput raja Sultan Singh Chauhan, a great grandson of "Harsh Dev Singh Chauhan". Harsh was one of 21 sons of king Sangat Singh Chauhan. Raja Sangat Singh was a great-grandnephew of king Prithviraj Chauhan (reign. c. 1178–1192 CE ) according to historical recorded by British raj Indian civil servant and historian Henry Elliot (1817-1907). Raja Sultan Singh Chauhan established Sultanpur in 1474 Vikram Samwat (1417 or 1418 CE) after wresting it from Silar Muslims. Silar Muslims, a branch of Oghuz Turks, originated from the invader Mahmud of Ghazni's (971 – 1030 CE) nephew Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud (1014 – 1034 CE) buried in Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh. Sultanpur was the biggest village (covering 52000 bighas of land) under Farrukhnagar and many of the present day villages around it have originated as dhanis i.e. temporary farmer's shelters within the "lal dora" revenue boundary of Sultanpur.The region around Sultanpur was called Dhundhoti. Sultanpur was the center of salt production for use in Delhi and the United Provinces of British India till the late 19th century exporting annually 250000 quintals (680000 maunds) over the Rajputana-Malwa Railway. The Farrukhnagar railway station and metre-gauge railway train service was started on 14 February 1873, and there were a couple of railway sidings at Sultanpur for loading salt into the train wagons. Sultanpur had an ancient mosque dating back to the period of Sultan of Delhi, Ghiyas ud din Balban (1200–1287 CE). Two slabs of red sandstone bearing Arabic inscriptions taken from this mosque are fixed on the southern wall of the Jama Masjid at Farrukhnagar. The foundation of this mosque was clearly visible a few decades ago as per old residents of Sultanpur. Salt was produced by extracting brine from about 40 saline water wells using bullocks and drying in open plots. Since salt was one of the major sources of Government revenue, the office of the salt superintendent at Sultanpur supervised the levy of ₹2 tax per maund. With the levy of the heavy salt tax and acquisition of the Sambhar Chawal salt works in Rajputana by the British Indian Government the Sultanpur Salt became uneconomical and by 1903-04 the salt industry was struggling for survival with salt export having fallen to 65000 maunds leading to severe setback to the economy of the Sultanpur area. Finally, in 1923 the British shut down the office of the salt superintendent, had all the mounds of salt thrown back into the wells and shut down the salt industry leading to considerable economic misery to the people.
Establishment of bird sanctuary
As a bird sanctuary it was the find of Peter Michel Jackson, famous British ornithologist, and honorary secretary of the Delhi Birdwatching Society, who wrote to Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, founder of the society, in 1970 about the need to declare the Sultanpur jheel near Delhi, a bird sanctuary, and she asked him to take her there. She had to cancel at the last minute, but later instructed then Chief Minister of Haryana, Bansi Lal, to protect the wetland, as a result the area was declared a Bird sanctuary in 1972. On 13 July 1989 the reserve was upgraded to a National Park. It has an area of 1.43 km².Out of total 10,005 species of birds in the world, nearly 370 species migrate to India due to seasonal changes, including 175 long-distance migration species that use the Central air Asian Flyway route, and among those over 250 species of birds have been sighted at this protected area. Earlier before the construction of bandhs and drainage areas around Sultanpur remained waterlogged and attracted a large numbers of migratory birds and hunters, many from the Diplomatic Corps at Delhi. Now however the bird sanctuary is artificially revived using pumped water from the Yamuna. Visitors are required to pay a ₹5.00 entry fee and show identity card to visit Sultanpur National Park.