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KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK (BHARATPUR)

The property

OVERVIEW

The Keoladeo National Park, earlier known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is located in the Bharatpur region of Rajasthan, India. This avifauna sanctuary is famous for being home to thousands of birds (over 230 species), especially during summer.This park is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and attracts ornithologists during the hibernal season. Considered as a major tourist destination, this place is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. The park was declared in 1971 as a protected sanctuary. It is a wetland made and managed to protect the Bharatpur region from frequent floods. Formerly used as a place for waterfowl hunting, this park now serves as grazing ground for village cattle.

History

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 Bharatpur. 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 Bharatpur 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 Bharatpur. On 13 March 1976, the area was demarked as a bird sanctuary.

Travel Season

The Keoladeo National Park is open throughout the year. From August to November one can see resident breeding birds, while from October to February migratory birds populate the place. Rest of the months are relatively dry and bird-free.

Address:

Agra Fort, Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Visit Duration

If you are interested in enjoying yourself then give at least 1-2 hours of your time. Allowed the camera and video.

Open and Closing Time

During winter season, the park is open from 6:30 AM to 5:00 PM. During other seasons, the park is open from 6 am to 6 pm. Entry to the park is stopped an hour before the closing time.

General Information

The Bharatpur Forest Lodge, also called the Shanti Kutir, is the sole accommodation available inside the precincts of the reserve forest. It is a government property operated by the ITDC. The lodge in the vicinity of wilderness offers sixteen rooms for the visitors. The nearby dak bungalow and circuit house are also good options for accommodation. Bharatpur also provides accommodations in havelis, palaces and several other heritage properties that are converted into hotels, Three-star hotels are also available.
Entry Fee:The entrance fee for Indian citizens is Rs. 25 and that for foreign nationals is Rs. 200. Vehicles are allowed till Shanti Kutir, that is 1.7 km inside the park. Charges levied per vehicle are Rs. 50. Video camera is charged at Rs. 200.

Near By Attraction

Nearby places of interest are the Government Museum, Bharatpur which gives a glimpse of past splendour. Not far from the museum is the Bharatpur Palace which is an excellent blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture. There is the Lohagarh Fort which remained invincible despite several attacks by the British.

Transportation

If you are choosing to visit via bus or cab, you can easily find options from any major cities around Bharapur like Jaipur, Delhi, Agra, Alwar, Mathura and others. NH 11 connects many cities like Agra, Delhi, Jaipur and others with Bharatpur.The nearest airports are at New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Bharatpur has a railhead. The NH 11 connects Bharatpur to the major cities nearby. Being the central attraction of Bharatpur town, this bird sanctuary is easily accessible by road and quick to locate. Special rickshaws and cycles of different prices are available to go inside the sanctuary.

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Interesting facts about the Keoladeo National Park

Migration birds leave the region by the beginning of March. Spotting certain types of animals is easier during summer. The park is usually deserted during this season.Monsoon starts in July and ends in September. The land is marshy and thus, it become very sticky and slippery during monsoon season. The Keoladeo Park was a being a hunting ground in the times of Maharajas used to be host to a number of Duck shoots organized here by the Maharajas for the British dignitaries. In 1938, then Governor General of India, Lord Linlithgow killed over 4000 birds in one shoot.The Keoladeo National Park is the only National park in India that is completely covered with a 2 Meter high wall boundary that denies possibilities of any biotic disturbances or any Buffer Zone. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is popularly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It has been often referred to as 'Ornithologist's Paradise', as it attract thousands of indigenous as well as migratory birds annually which also includes the world-renowned Siberian cranes, given its favourable environmental conditions and easy availability of nutritious food. Spread over an area of 29 sq km, out of which 10 sq km comprises of fresh shallow lakes,water marshes and bogs, it plays host to the most amazing and unbelievable variety of feathered ambassadors across the globe. One of the finest bird sanctuaries in the country, it is located in the northwestern region of Rajasthan. The Keoladeo National Park is not very large being 29 sq km. There are well-defined treks which can easily covered on foot or on a cycle or you can hire a rickshaw (the best way). They are available on hire. Rickshaw pullers have been trained by the park management in bird watching and are quite knowledgeable. Boats are also available on hire. A boat trip early in the morning or late evening is quite a rewarding experience. Do not forget to carry a binocular for watching the birds.

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