Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharathpur, Rajasthan.
This park is situated in the town of Bharathpur. This is about 165 Km from New Delhi and 175 Km from Jaipur.
The Keoladeo National Park came into existence 250 years ago and was named after the Keoladeo Temple located in its enclosure. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. From 1726 to 1763, Maharaja Suraj Mal was the ruler of Bharathpur. He built the Ajan Bund at the confluence of Banganga and Gambhir, the two rivers of that area. Due to this, the area remained flooded as it was a natural depression. Traditionally, since 1850, the maharajas of Bharathpur used this park as a hunting ground and annual duck-shoots were conducted in the honour of British viceroys. It remained a private duck-shooting preserve of the maharajas of Bharathpur. On 13 March 1976, the area was demarked as a bird sanctuary. On 10 March 1982 the place was set up as a national park. The Keoladeo National Park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985 under the World Heritage Convention
About the Park
The park is 29 sq km consists of wetlands, dry grass woods, woodlands and woodland swamps. It is essentially a series of manmade ponds separated by walkways. The park is house to more than 300 bird species, about 40 Mammals and large number of Amphibians, Fish and Reptiles
The main mode of transportation inside the park is by Cycle Rickshaw. This can be hired at the ticket counter.
One can also walk or Use Cycles to move around the park
Motorised vehicles are allowed till a point called Shanti Kutir gate a buffer zone about 3 Km from main gate but not into the main park
Some areas of the park are also covered by Boats but this is seasonal and depends on water level
The main attraction to the park is Sarus Crane (Grus antigone). This bird breeds here and various behaviours of the bird like Nesting, Mating rituals, chick rearing etc. can be observed in close quarters.
This park also attracts various Ducks like Red crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Tufted Duck, and nearly all Dabbling Ducks like Pintail, Shoveler, Mallard, etc.
The Shell ducks and Whistling ducks are regulars here along with Storks like Painted stork, Black necked stork and spoonbills
The other Bird to look for is the Snake Bird or Indian Darter. Lot of action photography is possible with Darter which obliges with Fish hunts
A lot of Owl species like spotted owlet, Indian Scops Owl and Dusky eagle owl can be seen here.
The park also attracts a lot of Raptors like Eagles, Marsh Harriers and buzzards
This park hosts a large number of birds for their breeding and in the breeding season the whole park is covered with nests and sounds of the young birds calling out for food
The park also has a lot of Mammal species like Nilgai, Sambar deer, Jackals etc.
The park has a large number of reptiles, the prominent one being the Indian Rock Python and Water Monitor Lizard
But the most important aspect for a Bird photographer about the Park is the Light. I have personally not found such a beautiful Light to photograph the birds. The bunds are Placed such that they are East or West of walkways….hence a photographer has the opportunity to shoot the birds with and against light. Lot of points in the Bunds have become designated points to shoot the birds against Sunset here.
How to reach Bharathpur
Air: Nearest Airport is New Delhi and Jaipur
Railway Station: Bharathpur
Road: From New delhi via Mathura about 160 Km, From Jaipur about 175 Km
Open on all days of the year
Summer: 6:00 am to 6:00 Pm
Winter: 6:30 am to 6:00 pm
The park offers various opportunities to observe the behaviour of the wildlife here
The Migrant birds arrive in October and are usually present till March hence it is called the Season for Bharathpur
The breeding season for Herons, Spoonbill, Storks, Cormorant is July-September
The best time to do Photography here is EVERYDAY
Where to stay :
Many hotels have sprung up in the vicinity of the park. They cater to all possible budgets
Hotel Birders Inn
Address: 314, Bird Sanctuary Colony, Rajendra Nagar,, Vijay Nagar colony, Bharathpur, Rajasthan 321001
Phone No. : 05644-297050
Hotel Sunbird Inn
Address: Near Bird Sanctuary Entrance Gate, Saras Circle, Bharathpur, Rajasthan 321001
Phone No. : 05644-225701
The Rickshaw pullers are very Knowledgeable about the park and can help you identify birds. They also know where the birds are in the park
Specialist guides are also available here at the ticketing gate
Rickshaw Fees : for half day : Rs 700
Park Fees: (they are subject to revision by authorities, Kindly check them before planning a trip)
- For Indians : Rs. 50
- For Non-Indians : Rs. 250
- No fee for Still camera ( DSLRS, point and Shoot)
- For Video Cameras Rs. 200
Other Recommended Areas
One Must combine the visit to park with a Visit to Chambal Sanctuary. This is a sanctuary on the Chambal River about 125 Km from Bharathpur.
National Chambal Sanctuary spread across a sprawling landscape of 635 sq km, is a Tristate sanctuary lying in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and also Rajasthan. The sanctuary supports the highest population of some critically endangered species such as the Gharial (crocodile), the red-crowned roof turtle and our national aquatic animal, the Gangetic dolphins. The sparkling waters of Chambal River circulate within this sanctuary through ravines and beside the hills, creating an impeccable view of the wild. Motor boats take the tourists around the sanctuary. Eco-tourism by foot is also possible,
The main attraction here is the Indian Skimmer found only in fresh water areas.
Saravanan Janakarajan: +91 9840119078, email@example.com
Chottu Khan: +91 9829277099,