|Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that sees (or saw) thousands of rare and highly endangered birds such as the Siberian Crane come here during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.
The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. Initially, it was a natural depression; and was flooded after the Ajan Bund was constructed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the then ruler of the princely state of Bharatpur, between 1726 to 1763. The bund was created at the confluence of two rivers, the Gambhir and Banganga. The park was a hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India. After India's independence, the rulers of the princely states were allowed shooting rights until 1972. In 1982, grazing was banned in the park, leading to violent clashes between the local farmer and Gujjar communities and the government.
||Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India
|Best Time to Visit:
||August to November and October to February
|| Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Boar Painted Storks, Egrets, Cormorants, Jacanas, While Harriers, Fishing Eagles, Pied Kingfisher and Siberian Crane.
|| Bharatpur Government Museum, Bharatpur Palace, Lohagarh Fort and Deeg Palace.
|| Nearest Railhead is Bharatpur
The main attractions for tourists visiting the National park/ sanctuary are the migratory birds, which come from Siberia and Central Asia to spend winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds. Some of the important migratory birds at Bharatpur bird sanctuary include numerous species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Stints, Wagtails, Hawks, Shanks, Warblers, Flycatchers, Buntings, Wheatears, Pipits and Larks.
Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary/ National Park is open throughout the year but the ideal visiting months are from August-November for resident birds and October- February for migratory birds.
The nearest airport is situated at Agra, which is 56-kms from Bharatpur. Delhi is 184 Kms from Bharatpur.
Regular rail services connect Bharatpur with all the major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra. The Bharatpur railway station is about 6 Kms from the park/bird sanctuary.
An excellent network of roads connects Bharatpur to all the major cities of the Rajasthan and the neighboring states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana. Bharatpur is well connected by road from Agra (56-kms, 5 hours), Delhi (184-kms, 6 hours) and Jaipur (176-kms, 6 hours).
It is advised that you carry a pair of binoculars for bird watching. A number of factors combine to make bird watching a pleasure. These are season, timing, and patience so it's better to visit the Bharatpur bird sanctuary during the visiting period.