11:08 pm - Wednesday October 20, 2021

Wildlife in India

Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)

Area : 232sq.km/2,873 hectares

Established : 1956 as a bird sanctuary, 1981 as a national park

Description

The marshes of Keoladeo, more popularly known as Bharatpur, was the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Bharatpur. It was developed in the late 19th century by creating small dams and bunds in an area of natural depression to collect rainwater and by feeding it with an irrigation canal. Over the years, the lakes attracted great numbers of waterfowl and the Maharajas held grand shoots with family, friends and visiting dignitaries. Two-thirds of the park lies under water, the extent and volume depending on the intensity of the rains. The remaining one-third of the park is covered in dry deciduous forests (with Acacia, Ber, Kadam and Khajur trees) and extensive grasslands. On the raised ground outlining the wetlands grow a profusion of Acacia trees, where the resident water birds nest, often in large mixed colonies, a spectacular sight during the monsoon.

Keoladeo is famous as one of Asia's finest birding areas, with over 380 resident and migrant species, including the Common, Demoiselle and the rare Siberian Cranes. It is also an excellent place to watch mammals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyaena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar. The park derives its name from the temple of Keoladeo (Shiva) and ‘ghana' which locally means dense, implying the nature of the vegetation. During the cool winter months it is also possible to see large Indian Pythons sunning themselves.

Season

The park is open throughout the year. Best months are August-November for resident breeding birds and November-March for migrant birds.

Access

Bharatpur is well connected by road from Agra (56 km, 5 hours), Delhi (176 km, 5 hours) and Jaipur (176 km , 6 hours), all of which have airports. The Bharatpur railway station is 6 km from the park.

Park Population

The park supports a population of 375 species of birds, numerous mammals and reptiles. With the onset of winter, migratory birds from all over world come here. They arrive by August and leave in February. Visitors include Coot Snipes, Spanish Sparrow, Red Crested Porhard, Rosy Pelican and Flamingo. The special attraction, however, remains the arrival of the rare Siberian Crane. The park is also rich in Pythons, Spotted Deer, Sambhars, Blue Bull, Black Buck, Jackals, Otters, Fishing Cats, Monitor Lizards.

Nearby Attractions

Nearby places of interest are the Government Museum, Bharatpur which gives a glimpse of past splendour. Not far from the museum is the Bharatpur Palace which is an excellent blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture. There is the Lohagarh Fort which remained invincible despite several attacks by the British. Just 32 km from Bharatpur, is the Deeg Palace. This strong and massive fort was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur and has many palaces and gardens.

Park visits

The Keoladeo National Park is not very large being 29 sq km. There are well-defined treks which can easily covered on foot or on a cycle or you can hire a rickshaw (the best way). They are available on hire. Rickshaw pullers have been trained by the park management in bird watching and are quite knowledgeable. Boats are also available on hire. A boat trip early in the morning or late evening is quite a rewarding experience. Do not forget to carry a binocular for watching the birds.

Climate

Bharatpur is located on the fringes of the Thar desert. This marshy land has very warm climate. Summers are invariably hot and winters are not very cold. Carry light cottons during summers and woolens during winters. Rainfall is less but sufficient.

Accommodation

LAXMI VILAS PALACE
Standard Grade Heritage Hotel
Laxmi Vilas Palace is situated 55 kms from Agra airport, 5 kms from Bharatpur railway station and is near Bharatpur circuit house and bird sanctuary. The hotel is partially air-conditioned. The hotel offers Indian and Continental food.

BHARATPUR FOREST LODGE
A Government property maintained by the ITDC situtated inside the Bird Sanctuary.
Also there are quite a few basic hotels in Bharatpur situated outside the sanctuary.

CHANDRA MAHAL HAVELI - PEHARSAR
Built in 1850 A.D. Chandra Mahal Haveli. The hotel has 23 rooms with all modern amenities, billiards room a library and multi-cuisine restaurant.
Location: Delhi - 200 kilometers : Jaipur - 150 kilometers : Bharatpur - 20 kilometers : Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary - 10 kilometers

 

Other Categories

Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)
Ranthambore National Park
Sariska National Park (Tiger Reserve)
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Dudhwa National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park
Pin Valley National Park
Corbett National Park (Tiger Reserve)
Rajaji National Park
Valley Of Flowers
Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Nanda Devi Sanctuary
Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kashmir
Hemis National Park
Gir National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park (Tiger Reserve)
Kanha National Park
Panna National Park
Pench National Park
Namdapha National Park (Tiger Reserve)
Kaziranga National Park
Manas Tiger Reserve
Nagarhole (Tiger Reserve)
BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar National Park
Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Palamau Tiger Reserve
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary