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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Location: Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India
Area covered: 29 sq km
Main Wildlife Attractions : White Breasted Kingfisher, Migratory Birds, Sambar, Chital
Best time to visit: October to February (The park remains open throughout the year)

About Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, more popular as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary has one of the most prolific avian populations in the country. Two-thirds of the Park remains under water and the remaining one-third is covered in dry deciduous forests and extensive grasslands.

Bharatpur can be called the kingdom of Avian fauna in India with more than 400 bird species already spotted. If your luck permits it is not too tough to spot 50 to 100 species in a day. Travellers during the winter season can expect a sudden (though most unlikely as the last sighting was in the year 2002) encounter with the elusive Siberian Crane wintering here. The fact remains that Bharatpur is one of the only two known wintering haunts of Siberian Crane.

Wiildlife Attractions in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Over 350 species of birds find a refuge in the 29 sq-km of shallow lakes and woodland, which make up the park. A third of them are migrants, many of whom spend their winters in Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds, as far away as Siberia and Central Asia. Migratory birds at Keoladeo include, as large a bird as Dalmatian pelican, which is slightly less than two meters, and as small a bird as Siberian disky leaf warbler, which is the size of a finger. Other migrants include several species of cranes, pelicans, geese, ducks, eagles, hawks, shanks, stints, wagtails, warblers, wheatears, flycatchers, buntings, larks and pipits, etc.

Attracted by the influx of the water fowl, the predatory birds - tawny eagles, spotted eagles short-toed eagles, imperial eagles and fishing eagle also arrive. Common Kingfisher, Colourful Kingfishers, graceful pelicans, rare Siberian cranes and trans-continental fliers like the migratory water-fowl are amongst the 400 species of birds found in the Keoladeo National Park. The most spectacular nests are those of the egrets, storks, herons and cormorants which make over 10,000 nests every year. They all form the apex of the biological pyramid of the sanctuary and complete the avian food chain of the ecosystem. There are large herds of the nilgai, chital, wild boar and fear cows in addition to a few herds of sambar. Some of the unique attractions of the park include....
Siberian Crane
Siberian Cranes are a highly specialised member of the crane family in terms of habitat, morphology and behaviour. Being omnivorous they eat a wide variety of food items including cranberries, rodents, fish and insects. The threat to the wintering habitats of these species caused due to the growing human population has put a serious question mark on the existence of these rare birds in India.
The story of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is incomplete without an account of the migratory waterfowl. The most prominent water fowl coming to this park are bareheaded and greylag geese. Ducks also create a lot of fluttering in the lakes. The ducks usually found here are pintail, widgeon, common shelduck, shoveler, garganey, teal, mallard pochard etc.

White Breasted Kingfisher
The beautiful amalgam of colors as if painted extremely carefully by nature with a brilliant turquoise blue body, a chocolate brown head and neck, a long red pecker and a white front are sure to draw curious glances from on lookers. The main delicacies on its menu include fish, tadpoles, grasshoppers, lizards and other small insects.

Take an early dawn elephant back safari with an authorized mahout guide. Jeep rides can be arranged at the Tourist Centre. Although jeeps penetrate deeper into the forest than elephants, they cannot get nearly as close to the wild animals.

Other Attractions
Bharatpur Government Museum
Another major attraction of the area is the government museum situated at a short distance from the park. The museum contains a rare collection of artifacts and articles from the past that provide a unique insight into the royal past of Bharatpur.

Bharatpur Government Museum
The majestic Bharatpur Palace is a magnificent building displaying an amalgam of the Mughal and Rajput forms of architecture. The palace is adorned with beautiful chandeliers and other unique furnishing.

Lohagarh Fort
The invincible Lohagarh Fort has the unique distinction of remaining unconquered despite several attacks by the British.

Deeg Palace
The Deeg Palace, situated just 32 km north of Bharatpur was the summer resort for the erstwhile rulers of Bharatpur. The massive fortress houses a number of beautiful palaces and gardens. (Palace entry fee is Rs. 10)

How to Get there

Air : Agra is the nearest airport connected to Delhi through a number of flights. However, Jaipur will be the most convenient airport, if you are traveling from cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The Indian Airlines has regular flights from Mumbai. Those flying in from Kolkata (Dep.15:45) should opt to travel on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, as flights on other days are not direct.

Rail : Bharatpur, on the Delhi-Mumbai trunk route, served by a number of important trains. From Delhi daily trains include the Intercity Exp. (Dep.22:15), Golden Temple Exp. (Dep.7:15), Paschim Exp. (Dep.16:55), Mewar Exp. (Dep.19:00), Dehradun Exp. (Dep.21:45). The trains from Mumbai are Goldentemple (Dep. 21:25), Paschim Exp. (Dep. 11:35), Dehradun Exp. (Dep. 22:25) and FZR Janta (Dep. 7:25).

Road : A network of express bus services link Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the State. Tongas and Cycle-rickshaws are the best way to commute within the city. Buses for Sariska are easily available at an interval of 30 minutes. To reach Bharatpur from Delhi, take the NH2 to Mathura via Faridabad, Palwal, Hodal and Kosi Kalan. From Mathura, take the state road to Bharatpur.

Distances from Major Cities
Agra : 53 km (W)/1 hr
Delhi : 168 km (SE)
Jaipur : 171 km
Mumbai : 1024 km
Bangalore : 1585 km

Best Viewed 1024 * 768 Photo credit :- Mr. Les Halpin,Mr.Yuwaraj Gurjar & Mr.Kamaal