Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Nearest Access : Bharatpur
Main Wildlife Found : Sambar, Chital, Nilgai,
Boar, Migratory Birds
Coverage Area : 29-sq-kms
About Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
One of the finest bird parks in the world, Bharatpur Bird
Sanctuary (Keoladeo Ghana National Park) is a reserve that offers protection
to faunal species as well. Nesting indigenous water- birds as well as migratory
water birds and waterside birds, this sanctuary is also inhabited by Sambar,
Chital, Nilgai and Boar.
Flora in Bharatpur
More than 300 species of birds are found in this small
wildlife park of 29-sq-kms of which 11-sq-kms are marshes and the rest
scrubland and grassland. Keoladeo, the name derives from an ancient Hindu
temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, which stands at the centre of the park.
'Ghana' means dense, referring to the thick forest, which used to cover
A Man Made Natural World
While many of India's parks have been developed from
the hunting preserves of princely India, Keoladeo, popularly known as
Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary, is perhaps the only case where the habitat
has been created by a maharaja. In earlier times, Bharatpur town used to
be flooded regularly every monsoon. In 1760, an earthen dam (Ajan Dam) was
constructed, to save the town, from this annual vagary of nature. The
depression created by extraction of soil for the dam was cleared and this
became the Bharatpur Lake.
At the beginning of this century, this lake
was developed, and was divided into several portions. A system of small dams,
dykes, sluice gates, etc., was created to control water level in different sections.
This became the hunting preserve of the Bharatpur royalty, and one of the best
duck - shooting wetlands in the world. Hunting was prohibited by mid-60s. The
area was declared a national park on 10 March 1982, and accepted as a World
Heritage Site in December 1985.
Major Wildlife Attractions
The major attractions of tourists visiting the park are the
numerous migratory birds, which come from as far away as Siberia and Central
Asia and spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding
grounds. Migratory birds at Bharatpur bird sanctuary include, several species
of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails,
Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits, etc.
Other Travel Attractions
Bharatpur Government Museum:
One of the major attention grabber after the Bharatpur
sanctuary is Government Museum of Bharatpur, which provides a glimpse of
the past royal splendour of Bharatpur.
Not far from the museum is the Bharatpur Palace,
a marvellous structural blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture.
Lohagarh Fort :
The invincible Lohagarh Fort, which remained
unconquered despite several attacks by the British regime.
Deeg Palace :
Situated just 32-kms away from Bharatpur is the Deeg
Palace. A strong and massive fortress, Deeg Palace was the summer resort
of the rulers of Bharatpur and houses numerous beautiful palaces and
Best Time to Visit - Bharatpur Bird
Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary is
open throughout the year, still the ideal visiting months are from
August-November for resident breeding birds and October- February for
Trips within Bharatpur Wildlife
There are well-defined forest
trails, which can easily be covered on foot or on a cycle or you can also
hire a rickshaw that 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. An early morning boat
trip or a late evening one is quite a rewarding experience to check out
the hidden surprises of Bharatpur.
How to get there
Air : The nearest airport is situated at Agra, which is
56-kms from Bharatpur.
Rail : Regular rail
services connect Bharatpur with all the major cities of India such as
Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra. The Bharatpur railway station is 6-kms
from the park
Road: An excellent network
of roadway services connects Bharatpur to all the major cities of the
Rajasthan and its neighbouring states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and
Haryana. Bharatpur is well connected by road from Agra (56-kms, 5 hours),
Delhi (176-kms, 5 hours) and Jaipur (176-kms, 6 hours), all of which have
airport facilities too.