State : Rajasthan
Total Area : 232sq.km/2,873 hectares
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park
or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
lies between two of India's most historic cities, Agra and Jaipur.
This north Indian sanctuary is situated in the country's northwestern
state of Rajasthan, about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi.
The name Keoladeo is derived from the name of an ancient Hindu temple
devoted to Lord Shiva in the sanctuary. s central zone while the
Hindi term 'Ghana' implies dense, thick areas of forest cover.
The park set up in1981 in Bharatpur district, 2 km away from Bharatpur
town, covers an area of 29 km. The nearest rail head is Bharatpur
at a distance of 8 km. The nearest airport is Agra 55km from the
It is famous for its exotic bird species, close to 400. Besides,
during winters it is visited by migratory birds such as the Siberian
crane. Although the park has a good deer and antelope population,
there are few other animals. However, forest officials claim to
have spotted a wandering tiger in the more dense parts of; the forest
a few years ago. Bharatpur is an ideal getaway. Foreign tourists
visiting the Taj Mahal at Agra, two hour’s drive away, also
drop in at Bharatpur. The relatively small size makes it an easy
park to cover.At present this park supports a population of more
than 375 species of birds and acts as a reserve of numerous mammals
as well as reptiles.
Strict protection and excellent management have made Keoladeo a
haven for birds. Like several protected areas in India today, it
was once the hunting preserve of the local royal family and is probably
the only instance of a suitable habitat being 'created' by a maharaja.
In the late 19th century, the arid scrublands were dramatically
altered. What used to be a seasonal, rain-filled depression became
a wetland ecosystem, the water supply augmented by diverting a nearby
irrigation canal and by conserving the existing water sources. Of
course, the maharaja's intention was to create the finest waterfowl
hunting preserve in north India. A plaque near the Keoladeo Temple
within the park records the daily tally over the years. The highest
figure is of 4,273 birds in November 1938, bagged by the then viceroy,
Lord Linlithgow's party.
History (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary)
Prince Bhamji of Morvi state in Gujarat converted this area into
a world famous wildlife reserve. Duck shoots were organised in the
area every year by the rulers of Bharatpur, in honour of Viceroy
Lord Curzon and his party on 1st December, 1902. The exploits of
all visiting dignitaries since 1902 have been engraved on stone
plaques standing near the Keoladeo temple.
Largest number of birds (4273) were killed on 12th November,
1938, by Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy & Governor General of India
and his party. After independence, this reserve was notified as
a bird sanctuary but the former rulers of Bharatpur continued
to enjoy their shooting rights over the area till 1972. The area
was notified as a National Park in 1981 but made effective only
Conservation efforts originally started by Dr. Salim Ali received
a further impetus when the area was deemed a national park in
March 1982. In 1985, Bharatpur was accepted as a World Heritage
Wildlife in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The park often referred to as paradise for birds is famous of
the variety of indigenous and migratory birds, both aquatic and
non aquatic. The fauna of the park are Siberian crane cormorant,
stork, spoonbill, quail, coot, heron, teal, tern, sambar, cheetah,
black buck, wild boar, civet etc. The Siberian crane which breed
in Siberia usually visit this park during November- December after
covering a distance of 4,000km and go back in March. This species
is critically endangered. The number of those cranes visiting
the park has dwindled sharply from 100 in 1976 to just 5 in 1993
Climate (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary)
During summers (April. June), the temperature of the national
park varies from 38°C to 45°C. In The Month of monsoon
the temperature to about 27°C. In Winter season the temperature
of the park falls below 10°C.
Best Season: The best months for visiting the park are from
September to April. The park has rest houses. All areas for watching
wild life are within walking distance.
How to Reach
Air : Air-Agra (50 km),Air-jaipur(176 kms), Air-Delhi
Train : Bharatpur is on the main Delhi - Bombay
line with regular connections to Mathura, Sawai Madhopur and Kota
on the same route. It is also connected with Agra
Road : Bharatpur is well connected by road with
Agra, Mathura, Delhi and Jaipur. Regular bus services operate
for all major cities.