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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary | The Birding Paradise of the World

A UNESCO Recognised World Heritage Site, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, renamed as Keoladeo National Park is truly a birding paradise on the Earth. Sprawled in a vast expanse of topographically-diverse land, this bird sanctuary in India welcomes migratory birds from all over the world. Located close to the National Capital, Bharatpur has become one of the best places for a weekend getaway for people from Delhi NCR and surrounding states. It is fun watching vibrantly coloured birds flocking together in the wetlands of the park posing perfectly for the photographers.

The park boasts 366 bird species, 379 plant species, 30 mammals, and a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Migratory birds arrive at the park from countries like Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Siberia, and China. Every winter, the park comes alive with these birds. The chirping sounds of these birds reverberate through the park and create a lovely ambiance. The park is truly a paradise for wildlife photographers and bird watchers.

Best Time to Visit The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Although Bharatpur is an all-weather and season destination, the best time to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is from August to November when visitors can spot resident birds. Plan a trip to the park from October to March to spot migratory birds. The park stays open from 6 am to 6 pm in summers and 6:30 am to 5 pm in winters.

History of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Keoladeo National Park came into existence with the consistent efforts of the ruler of Bharatpur, Maharaja Ramsingh. Between 1893 to 1900, the park became a reality and became a birding haven. On his visit to England, Maharaja Ram Singh ji was inspired by duck shooting spots and this resulted in creating a park on similar lines in Bharatpur. Bharatpur National Park was later renamed Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The park houses a Lord Shiva shrine which attracts a lot of devotees. Today, the park covers a vast area of 29 sq km. It has been divided into several blocks where water in earthen dykes has created a perfect system of freshwater marshes. Every monsoon, these blocks get flooded with water through Jatoli and Ghana canals. The water is sourced from the Goverdhan drain, Ajan Bund, and Chambal Dholpur drinking water project. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The government banned grazing in the park and today it is a safe, green haven for the wildlife species.

Major Attractions of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary provides a natural place filled with peace and tranquility, which is usually missing at popular tourist destinations. The semi-arid forest of the park is replete with diverse vegetation. The dry deciduous forest is peppered with unique flora. Have a look at some of the major attractions of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

1. Unique Flora

The park is known for its amazing flora and fauna. The forest is filled with Babool, Jamun, Ber, Kandi, and Kadam trees, typical of this area. Another plant that grows and flourishes in the forest is Pilu. It is a hardwood plant and is found in abundance. The park also boasts unique aquatic vegetation. Waterfowls have a good time gorging on these plants.

2. Unique Fauna

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the best feeding and breeding grounds for unique resident and migratory birds. An erstwhile duck-hunting reserve of the royalties, the park now houses a variety of birds like pelicans, cranes, ducks, geese, hawks, eagles, stints, shanks, warblers, wagtails, flycatchers, wheatears, larks, buntings, and pipits.

3. Bird Safari

Enjoy a stunning experience visiting the bird sanctuary at Bharatpur. Embark on a bird sanctuary and discover the unique vegetation, flora, and fauna that make the park come alive with its sheer beauty. The sanctuary has three safari options. These are Jeep Safari, Elephant Back Safari, and Rickshaw Safari. Choose any one of them and enjoy exploring the natural brilliance of this park. A rickshaw safari is the best way to spot birds at close quarters. Eco-friendly visitors can also hire a bicycle on rent available right outside the park and explore it at a leisurely pace.

Safari Timings. 6 AM to 6 PM

Safari Fee. INR 50 for Indian tourists and INR 400 for foreign tourists.

Video Camera. INR 200

Rickshaw Safari. INR 800-1000 per rickshaw for the whole day.

*Fee subject to change

Things to Take Care of When Visiting Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

When planning a trip to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, an oasis of tranquility, here are a few things that you should keep in mind. Have a look.

  • Carry a hat and wear shades to stay protected against sunlight.
  • Carry a bottle of water as the day may get warmer leaving you dehydrated.
  • Use a mosquito repellant to stay prevented from mosquito attacks common in jungles.
  • Wear sunscreen to stay safe from tanning.
  • Carry a pair of binoculars to spot amazing birds in the park.
  • Travel in rickshaws available at the gates of the park. Boats and tongas are also available to take passengers into the park.
  • Traveling in motor vehicles inside the park is strictly prohibited.
  • Damaging any flora or harming fauna is a serious offense.
  • It is recommended to arrive at the park an hour earlier than the fixed time as a lot of time goes into filling up forms and completing basic formalities.
  • Enjoy boating in the evenings and mornings as it is the perfect time to spot birds in the park.

Nearby Attractions of Bharatpur

Bharatpur is one of the major cities in the state of Rajasthan. A part of the Brij region, the city was considered to be impregnable and undefeated in the bygone era. Also referred to as the Eastern Gateway of India, there is no dearth of magnificent places to visit in Bharatpur. These hidden gems are waiting to be discovered and explored by discerning tourists. Have a look at some of the best Bharatpur tourist places apart from Keoladeo National Park.

1. Lohagarh Fort

One of the strongest and most impregnable forts of Rajasthan, Lohagarh Fort is one of the major attractions in the city. The fort is visible from all directions and has a Government Museum within its premises. Visit the museum to know more about the city and its rich heritage and historical past.

2. The Government Museum Bharatpur

The Government Museum in Bharatpur houses a variety of artefacts that speaks volumes about art, history, culture, architecture, and other facets of the city in the erstwhile times. You can check out terracotta items, stone sculptures, coins, metallic items, inscriptions, weapons, and more which have been carefully preserved for viewing.

3. Bankey Bihari Temple

It is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Krishna or Banke Bihari. The sounds of gongs reverberating inside the temple help calm frayed nerves and bring a sense of calm and peace in mind. A large number of devotees visit this magnificent temple to seek the blessings of the Lord.

4. Bharatpur Palace

A truly elegant structure, Bharatpur Palace is another attraction worth visiting in the city. Built with an eclectic blend of Rajpuri and Mughal architectural styles, this palace gives a glimpse into the lifestyle of royals. The rich flooring pattern of the palace makes it look grander and more opulent.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Q 1. Is it worth visiting Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

A 1. Yes, visiting Bharatpur bird sanctuary is totally worth it as this park is home to some of the rarest and unique resident and migratory bird species. It is a perfect place to visit for wildlife lovers, photography enthusiasts, and nature lovers.

Q 2. Which is the most famous bird species in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

A 2. The most famous bird species in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is the Palaearctic migratory waterfowl. The park has numerous other migratory birds that are worth spotting.

Q 3. What is the other name of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

A 3. Another name of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is Keoladeo National Park. It is named after Keoladeo or Lord Shiva. The park has a Lord Shiva shrine that attracts a large number of devotees.

Q 4. Where is Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary located?

A 4. The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is located in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It is 189.3 km away from the state capital, Jaipur.

Q 5. What is the best time to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

A 5. The best time to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is from August to November when visitors can spot resident birds. Plan a trip to the park from October to March to spot migratory birds.

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--- Published By  Arpita Mathur