What does the city of Delhi remind you of? To the lovers, it is all about history, food and the culture and for the haters, there is pollution, heat and traffic. No one would ever even think of butterflies! It was a pleasant surprise when the butterfly park in Asola opened its doors in 2016 and I was one of the first visitors to show up after the fancy ribbon cutting – Delhi is also known for its politics.
A couple of months later I attended the Breakfast with the Butterflies event when the park opened on a Sunday, offered free tours and talks about butterflies and some breakfast. It attracted a good crowd and where there were butterflies to be seen and clicked – there still was ongoing work. Recently, the park has not just expanded but also hosts a much larger array of butterflies. There are six families of butterflies and five of these are found in Delhi. In a few hours at the park I could spot member of 4 of these families. Not all the 100 species of course, but enough to get me excited. Add to it a wide range of caterpillars, bugs, grasshoppers and spiders. It made for a wonderful morning. Even with a crowd of about 300+ people it didn’t feel overcrowded.
There were six very knowledgeable naturalists who conducted separate walks. My walk was genuinely interesting and informative. The leader could identify species point out interesting nuances and even tell some stories. The group comprised some well-informed butterfly enthusiasts, people with kids, college student groups and some shutterbugs like me.
To make it even better, it was a plastic free event and where there were printed brochures most of the other things were reusable. The breakfast served was kachoris and aloo – which was delicious and apparently from some famous kachoriwala in old Delhi, I was expecting something simpler, kid friendly and more healthy but the focus wasn’t breakfast. Parking was a little messy but in the end it was sufficient, especially because lot of people took cabs to get there.
Overall, definitely a must do if you are a nature enthusiast in NCR and kudos to the organizers for such a well planned event.