The Keoladeo National Park is the finest avifauna sanctuary of the country. It was formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and is located in the district of Bharatpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The Keoladeo national Park is home to more than 380 varied species of birds, counting both resident and migratory birds. It is the most sought after and famous tourist spot for ornithologists from different corners of the world. The Sanctuary is among the richest bird areas in the world.
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park was created over 250 years ago and is named after the famous Keoladeo (Lord Shiva) temple that is located within the park. The area was used as a hunting ground by the maharajas of Bharatpur. The area became a protected sanctuary in the year 1971 and was accredited as a national park in 1982. Later in the year 1985 the park was also declared to be a World Heritage Site. Besides being a magnificent bird haven, the diverse habitats of the park also includes 379 floral species, 50 different species of fishes, 13 kind of snakes, 7 amphibian species, 7 varied turtle species, 5 kinds of lizards and a selection of other invertebrates.
Attractions at the Park
The main attraction of the Keoladeo Ghana National Park is the flock of migratory birds that come from faraway places like Central Asia and Siberia for wintering at Bharatpur. Some of the popular migratory birds that visit the sanctuary are Hawks, Cranes, Shanks, Pelicans, Stints, Geese, Wagtails, Warblers, Pipits, Buntings, Flycatchers, Wheatears and several other different species. These birds flock to Bharatpur to spend their winters and later return back to their respective breeding grounds.
The Keoladeo National Park is one of the finest birding areas of Asia with more than 380 different species of birds including the rare Siberian Cranes and Demoiselle. Besides the park is also a superb place to sight mammals like Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal, Sambar, Blackbuck, Nilgai, Jungle Cat and Fishing Cat to name a few. During the winters, you can also watch the giant Indian pythons sunning themselves. The word ‘ghana’ means dense and denotes the lush vegetation of the park. The stunning beauty and landscapes of the park makes it a chosen destination for wildlife lovers who visit the park in large numbers. The park is undoubtedly a paradise for bird watchers.
Information about the Safari
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is not very huge and is spread over an area of 30 Square Kilometres. The park is partitioned into well-defined treks that can be explored on foot, or a cycle or you can even hire a rickshaw. Exploring the park and bird watching is best done by taking a rickshaw ride. The rickshaws are easily available for hire inside the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The rickshaw pullers are trained in bird watching by the park management. These guides are knowledgeable about all the aspects of the park and the ones carrying a yellow plate also provide binoculars to the tourist for getting closer view of the rare birds. When the water level in the lake is high, boat trips are also organized within the park. The boat trips in the early morning or during late evening offer a rewarding experience to the tourists.
All through the dayTimings:
There is no specific timing for visiting the Keoladeo National Park as the park remains open from sunrise till sunset. The best time to visit the park is early morning or evening.Entry Pass and Permits:
All visitors to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park need to take entry permit from the Ranger or Warden present at the entrance of the sanctuary. There is fixed charge for Indian and Foreign tourist. Also cameras or other photographic equipment are allowed on paying some extra charges.Dos and Don’ts Within the Park:
- Visitors must reach the park about 30 minutes before the stipulated time to finish all the formalities for entry into the Keoladeo National Park.
- Maintain silence within the park
- Keep the park pollution free and throw all your waste in a plastic bag
- While walking on foot inside the park, do not step off the track. This will prevent you from trampling on bushes, flowers or even disturb nesting birds.
- Sunscreen lotion
- Mosquito repellents
Best Time to Visit the Park
Located close to the boundaries of Thar Desert, Bharatpur experiences warm climate all through the year. Summers here are invariable hot while the winters are not extremely cold. During the summer months from March to May, the maximum temperature reaches to 48⁰C. The maximum temperature recorded during winters is 5⁰C. Light cotton clothes are required during the summers while you need to carry some woollen clothes if you are travelling in winters. Keoladeo National Park can be visited all year round but the best time for birding is from the months of August to November for sighting resident breeding birds and the months from October to February for sighting migrant birds.
Nearby Tourists Attractions
Bharatpur Government Museum is a great archaeological destination that houses some of the rare and best archaic and old souvenirs. The museum also displays some priceless sculptures that were discovered at the excavation sites. The Bharatpur Government Museum is a chief tourist’s attraction of Bharatpur.
The Bharatpur Palace is located close to the museum and is renowned for the excellent blend of the Rajput and Mughal architecture. Visitors can’t stop admiring the beauty of the palace.
Deeg Palace is located at a distance of 32 kms from Bharatpur. This massive and strong fort was once the summer retreat for rajas of Bharatpur. Spread over a huge area, there are several gardens and palaces present side the park. Visitors cannot stop admiring the architectural excellence of the place. Moreover the royal treatment offered to the visitors is also the biggest attraction of the place.
Lohagarh Fort is a popular tourist’s attraction located close to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The fort was constructed in the 18th century by Suraj Mal, the Jat ruler of Bharatpur. The fort derived this name when even after several attacks by the Britishers the fort remained invincible. The carving of the fort reflects the royalty and rich heritage of the place.