Also known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the well known bird reserves in the world. It is situated at a distance of 2km from the Bharatpur town of the state Rajasthan. Earlier, it was the hunting preserve for the Maharaja of Bharatpur but by mid 60s the hunting was prohibited. On 10th March 1982, the preserve was given the status of a sanctuary in 1956 and declared a national park in 1985 and became a world heritage site. The park is popular for its numerous varieties of birds species including several migratory. It is also home to wide range of mammal and reptile species.
Entry Fee :
The park charges an entry fee of Rs 200 for foreigners and Rs 25 for Indians. Extra charges are levied for the entry of cameras and wildlife safaris.
Wildlife Attractions :
Flora in the Park - This 29 sq. km. of park has a dense cover of forest including marshes, scrub land and grassland. This thick forest provides a natural habitat for variety of flora and fauna species.
Avi-fauna in the park - The park houses some of the richest birdlife, both native as well as migratory from Siberia and Central Asia. It has more than 300 species of birds including cranes, ducks, geese, pelicans, hawks, flycatcher, larks, ibises and a variety of eagles.
Fauna in the Park - The bird sanctuary also houses several animal species like Sambar, Chittal, Nilgai and Boar.
Trips within the park :
There are well defined forest trails which can be covered by foot or by a cycle. Rickshaws are also available on hire and are the best ways for bird watching. An early morning or a late evening boat trip on the lake inside the park also offers good chance to explore its rich bird life.
There are a number of guest houses, tourist lodges, forest rest houses and some luxurious hotels in the town of Bharatpur that provides good accommodation options for its tourists. The government run Bharatpur Forest Lodge and the Hotel Laxmi Vilas Palace of Bharatpur offer excellent accommodation with all kinds of modern facilities.
Getting to the Sanctuary :
The Bharatpur Town is only at a distance of 2km from the sanctuary and is well connected to Delhi and Agra by rail and road.
By Air - Agra Airport is the nearest one and is at a distance of 56 km from Bharatpur.
By Rail - The Bharatpur Railway Station is 6km from the Park and has rail services to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Mumbai.
By Road - An excellent road network links the sanctuary with all major towns and cities of Rajasthan and neighboring states.