Sariska Sanctuary

Location:

Alwar District, Rajasthan

Famous For:

Tiger and Leopard.

Best Time To Visit:

October to June

Main Attraction:

Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to several wildlife species such as leopard, jackal, wild boar, nilgai, sambar, hyena, langur, jungle cat, four-horned dear and chital. Several bird species are also observed in the park. Birds like Peafowl, Sand Grouse, Golden backed Wood Pecker, Grey Partridge, Crested Serpent Eagle, Bush Quail and the Great Indian Horned Owl.

Entry Requirements:

All visitors have to pay rupees 25 at the entry gate before entering the park. Extra charges are tagged for carrying in cameras and vehicles.

Getting There:

Jaipur is the nearest airport from Sariska National Park. Alwar is the nearest railhead which is at a distance of 37 kilometres from Sariska. The national park is located on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, very close to Jaipur. Buses and private taxis are available from Jaipur as well as Alwar that will help you to reach the Sariska National Park.

Must See:

Located within the premises of the Sanctuary, the Kanakwari Fort holds sheer historic importance. Years ago in the 17th century the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb consumed by a selfish desire of the Throne, put his own brother, Dara Shikho, into prison. Huge Sariska Palace built by the Maharaja of Alwar, Jai Singh, is another palace of interest for the tourists. It has now been converted into a hotel.

 

Sariska was formerly the private hunting reserve of the royal family of Alwar. Tigers were once abundant here, supported by a self sufficient eco system. However, indiscriminate killing brought down the tiger population on the verge of extinction. The first protection came from the maharaja himself. Maharaja Jai Singh, the ruler of Alwar brought the forest under protection in the late 19th century. After independence the forest was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955. National park status came much later, in 1982, although a core area was identified and declared a tiger reserve in 1979, as part of project tiger. The tiger population in Sariska has improved ever since, although poaching and limited area remain major concerns. Tigers are not sighted commonly here, though pug marks and other signs can be picked up by experienced guides.

Panther, jungle cat, hyena, jackal, caracal and wild dogs are the other important carnivores of the forest. The last two species named have been sighted but are very elusive and accurate data about their population or behavior is lacking. Crocodiles can be seen at the Siliserh Lake, besides other reptiles like the monitor, snakes, and chameleons. The herbivores include cheetal, sambar, nilgai, chinkara, porcupines, and hares.


The park is home to a large number of birds. These include the commonly found species in this region, like gray partridges, pea fowl, quail, white breasted king fisher, sand grouse, crested serpent eagle, tree pie, wood peckers and the great Indian horned owl.


A wonderful feature of the park is the strategically placed and comfortable hides that enable the tourists to observe wild animals from up close. These are placed near the water holes that are frequented by animals. The other way to explore the wildlife is by jeep safaris. One should start at dawn, or alternatively, before dusk. The surfaced roads and trails are convenient to travel by forest vehicles, and experienced guides will guide you as you go deep into the jungle.


Sariska is also home to many historic sites, among which the Neelkanth temples located nearby, the medieval Kankwari fort and the palace that has been turned into a hotel are the chief ones.

 
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