Wildlife Travel India
Wildlife Travel India
Wildlife Travel India
Wildlife Travel India
Wildlife Travel India

Keoladeo National Park

An Introduction to Keoladeo National ParkKeoladeo  National Park

Keoladeo or Bharatpur National Park is situated in eastern Rajasthan, about 176 kms away from Delhi, and 50 km west of Agra, is the Keoladeo Ghana or Bharatpur National Park, one of the most spectacular bird sanctuaries in India

Bharatpur National park, the former duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas is one of the major wintering areas for large numbers of aquatic birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Some 364 species of birds, including the rare Siberian crane, have been recorded in the park.

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 the area. While many of India's parks have been developed from the hunting preserves of princely India, Keoladeo Ghana 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 earthern 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 Keoladeo 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.

Siberian CraneKeoladeo  National Park

The Siberian Crane or the great white crane, which migrates to Bharatpur National Park every year, covering a distance of more than half the globe. These birds, numbering only a few hundred, are on the verge of extinction. It is birds from the western race of the species, that visit Keoladeo, migrating from the Ob river basin region, in the Aral mountains, in Siberia via Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are only two wintering places, left for this extremely rare species.One is in Feredunkenar in Iran, and the other is Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The journey to Bharatpur takes them 6,400 kms from their breeding grounds, in Siberia. They arrive in December and stay till early March. Unlike Indian cranes, the Siberian crane is entirely vegetarian. It feeds on underground aquatic roots and tubers in loose flocks of five or six.

Climate (Bharatpur National Park)

During summers (April. June), the temperature of the national park varies from 38C to 45C. In The Month of monsoon the temperature to about 27C. In Winter season the temperature of the park falls below 10C.

How to Reach There

Bharatpur is on the Agra. Jaipur highway, just a two-hour journey by bus from Agra (55 km) and an hour from Fatehpur Sikri. The nearest rail junction is Bharatpur, which is well connected to Delhi, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and many other parts of India.

Best Season to Visit:

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

Travel Tips

Light cotton clothing for summers and woolens for the winters would be suitable. Vehicles are prohibited within park confines.

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