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Wildlife Sanctuaries


Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)

Within the golden triangle of tourism (Delhi -Agra - Jaipur)   lies a formerly Jat princely State of Bharatpur. It is the Eastern most town of Rajasthan. Keoladeo     Ghana    was created by one of the Maharajas of Bharatpur. In fact, he got inspired by a visit to Britain     where he was     invited for duck shooting by his royal hosts and
after arriving here he created his own reserve for the same purpose so  that he can in turn play host to the royal guests and Indian notables. As a result the existing marshland was deepened  and extended to attract water fowls and later the tracks and dykes were constructed to make the area more accessible. Viceroy Lord Curzon inaugurated the first official duck shoot on December 1, 1902 in the company of Commanding-in-Chief, Lord Kitchner.   The party shot 540 birds. The Viceroy and Governor General of India Lord Linlithgow was the top  scorer who downed no less than 4273 birds in a day on November 12, 1938 (3044 birds were killed in the morning and 1229 in the afternoon) the world record of duck shooting . The last duck shooting took place in 1964-1965 but Maharaja himself retained his personal shooting right until 1972. Thanks to the Late Dr. Salim Ali and timely action of  forest department of Rajasthan that the duck shooting forest was declared as Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in March, 1956 .

Subsequently in August, 1981 under section 35 of the wildlife protection act ,1972   it was declared national park, the Keoladeo National Park (KNP) a magnificent marsh, heaven     for the birds.  It is named "Keolaadeo" after the
name of a temple of lord Shiva in the heart of the park.    It was declared  "World Heritage Site" by UNESCO in 1985.The estimated number of visitors have reached over 100,000 annually.

50 species of fishes , 5 species of amphibians, 8 species of lizards, 13 species of snakes,7 species of turtles, 375 species of birds and 27 species of mammals have been reported from the park .  A total of 35 species belonging to 19 genera of 7 families of butterflies have also been reported.

The Cycle rickshaw and Tonga are available at barrier and main gate. Electric van of the park is also available for visiting the park. The local administration of the park on request,  arrange a movie "The birds of Indian Mansoon"
to the visitors.
Population : Ranthambore National Park
The tigers are the prized attractions of the park. Other inmates of the park are the Antelopes, Nilgai, Sambhar and Chital, which are easy to spot. Those who are lucky enough get to see the Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopard, Jungle Cat and Marsh Crocodile.
The lakes and water holes in the park are the best places to sight the animals. These water bodies are full of lotus and water lilies. Ranthambore also has a sizeable bird population, both resident and migratory. There are about 264 species of birds found within the park. Indian Hare, Mongoose and Monitor Lizards can also spotted.

Geographical co-ordinates, Location and Map

Keoladeo National Park lies between 7729.5' to 7333.9' East longitudes 2776' to 2712.21' North latitudes.

it is hardly 2 km south east of Bharatpur city. 38 km south west of Mathura and 54 km west of Agra. Delhi and Jaipur are almost equidistant.

Topography,Soil and Climate

The total area of the park is 29 sq. km. It is almost flat with a     central depression of about 8.5 sq. km. and is
the main submerged area of the park.  Much of the area is bushy but it also contains semi arid woodland and scrub. It lies 370 meters above sea level.It is separated from the surrounding villages and agricultural fields by a boundary wall. The soil is alluvial and at many places the saline  patches can    be seen. In fact Bharatpur was salt producing town and the salt production was banned in 1885 A.D.  through a pact     between Bharatpur State and the British Government.

Premansoon season is hot and dry with as low as 30%   humidity. The mansoon sets in the end of June and extends upto September when the     Relative Humidity (R.H.) ranges between 70-75%. The winters last from November to February. The Maximum temperature in     summers ranges between 40-46 C and in winters around 29 C and the minimum temperature 21-23 C and 3-5 C        in summer and winters respectively. The average rainfall received in Bharatpur is  approximately 495 mm but the drought    has become very frequent now a days.The overall climate is sub-humid to semi-arid.

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 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.
 

Suggested Itinerary :

Day 01 : Depart by surface from Delhi to Bharatpur ( 200 km; 04 -05 hrs driving time approx.). Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel for five nights. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02-05 : Enjoy your full day visit to the Park. You can take cycle-rickshaws, bicycles (or go punting) for visits to the Keoladeo National Park. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 06 : Depart by surface from Bharatpur to Delhi. Upon arrival you will be transferred to a nearby airport hotel for lobby use & facilities (meal & accommodation not included). Later in the evening, transfer to the International airport to connect your flight for onward destination.

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