This is the third of the three blog series delineating the unmissable attractions of Bharatpur. This post will talk of the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.
Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
Egrets, Cormorants, Siberian cranes, Pelicans, Darters, Herons, Pintail, Common Teal, Shelduck, Mallard – and you just have to name the variety to be able to spot it in the Park! Starting from the gracious Saras cranes to migratory water fowls to predatory Imperial eagles to some of the most beautiful peacocks you will ever spot – the park has all the varieties to complete the avian food chain.
Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary hosts more than 375 species of birds and is the breeding ground for over 135 species. This is despite the fact that the park itself is just 29sq/km. For bird lovers, the Park is a pilgrim spot since migratory birds from China, Europe, Siberia and Tibet can also be found here. Some animals, too, can be spotted, including the Sambhar, Nigais, Black Buck, Spotted deer and Pythons.
The sanctuary’s existence is traced to the British reign when it was known as one of the ideal duck shooting spots. In 1956, it was turned into a reserve for birds and soon named as a National Park. Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary has also been named as a world heritage site.
Quick Tips for the National Park
- Your visit to the park will last for 5 hours or more. Therefore, it is advisable to carry your sunshades and water bottles. For a very enriching experience of the bird sanctuary, you must carry your binoculars.
- Entry fees is 50/- for Indians and 200/- for foreign nationals.
- The best way to explore the park is either on foot or by bicycles. However, you can even opt for open horse carriages and cycle rickshaws. A horse carriage will charge up to 800/- for a 5-hour trip.
- If you have opted for an Electra Van which is offered by the forest department, your vehicle will be allowed only till the Shanti Kutir.
- There is an accommodation facility inside the Park – Bharatpur Forest Lodge – maintained by the government of Bharatpur. There is also a lesser expensive Shanti Kutir, maintained by the ITDC.
- Surprisingly, the carriage and rickshaw drivers can double up as guides and prove to be quite a repository of information regarding birds. For those of you looking to save some money can confidently rely on these drivers since they have been trained by the sanctuary management in bird watching.
Quick Tips for Bharatpur
- The best time to visit Bharatpur is between October and March. Summers and monsoons are best avoided. March to June sees the temperature varying from 37°C to 45°C. The monsoon month (July to September) is comparatively cooler at 27°C, but humidity makes sightseeing quite a task.
- Bharatpur is 200kms from Delhi, 270kms from Jaipur and 70kms from Agra.
- Bharatpur has a large number of hotels and guest houses – government and private, forest rest houses, budget motels and dak bunglows. (Check this). The mode of travel within the city is, more often than not, auto-rickshaws. You can even consider booking a jeep.