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This abode is popular for its bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park Or Bharatpur bird sanctuary.Ironically this is the only Jat Kingdom in the Rajput State. Founded in 1733, by Maharaja Suraj Mal, Bharatpur is a fortified city named after Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama. Formerly known as Mewat, this place also houses the famous Bharatpur fort that was built in early 15th centuary.
- Location: 178 KMs from Jaipur (East)
- AIRWAYS: The nearest airport, Agra is 54 kms. However, convenient airports from Mumbai are Jaipur (174 km) and Delhi (182 km) since there are no direct flights to Agra from Mumbai.
- RAILWAYS: Bharatpur is well connected to all part of India and lies on Bombay-Delhi sector of Western Rly.
- ROADWAYS: Bharatpur is well connected to Agra (54 km), Delhi (182 km), Fatehpur Sikri (20 km), Jaipur (174 km), Mathura (36 km) and Sariska (130 km).
- AREA: 5066 sq. km
- BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to February
- LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Marwari, Hindi, English
- MAJOR ATTRACTIONS: Lohagarh fort, Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
PLACES TO VISIT
Built in 18th Centuary, this massive iron structure was built to defend the British attack. The lay out of the fort was designed by the founder of Bharatpur, Maharaja Suraj Mal. The fort has three palaces within its complex- Kishori Mal, Mahal Khas, Kothi Khas.
The museum showcases artifacts, exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions. The museum is good place for those who love cultural heritage.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctury
Best Time to Visit: August to November (Residing Birds) and October to February (Migratory Birds)
Highlights: Egrets, Grey Herons, Black-headed Ibis, Cormorants, Pipits, Larks, Bar-headed Geese, Pie-creasted Cuckoo, Garganery, Nilgai, Sambar, Spooted Deer, Jackals, Wild Boars, Otters.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a bird lover’s paradise. Rated as one of the finest bird park in India, it is the only wildlife sanctuary in the country that was artificially made by Maharaja of Bharatpur in 1760. The park is a gem in India’s ecological crown. It was declared as world heritage site in 1985. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was created around 250 years ago on the name of Keoladeo (Shiva) temple located at the centre of the sanctuary. Hence it was known by the name of Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.
Fauna: The visitors can spot wide spectrum of wildlife in the dense forest covering an area of 26 sq-kms. The park is a natural habitat to varied fauna species such as Nilgai, Sambar, Spooted Deer, Jackals, Wild Boars, Otters, Hares, Civets, Jungle Cats, Porcupines, Blackbucks and many,
Avifauna: Bharatpur wildlife sanctuary is haven to more than 350 avifauna species including migratory birds and breeding birds within the forest. Enjoy spotting several bird species including open-bill storks, Egrets, Grey Herons, Black-headed Ibis, Cormorants, Pipits, Larks, Waterfowl, Ground-thrushes, Rubythroats, Sleeping Nightjars, Eagles, Harriers, Owls and many more. The bird enthusiasts can also spot fascinating species of migratory bird such as Bar-headed Geese, Pie-creasted Cuckoo, Garganery, Baikal Teals, Grebe, Northern Shovellers, Greying Geese and many more.
Flora The Bird Sanctuary boasts of an amazing variety of flora, a habitat to several wildlife. It has the tropical dry deciduous forest and is dominated by Acacia Nilotica and dry grassland. One can find 181 genera including Babul, Kadam, Date Palm, Khejri and varied species of grasses and reeds.
Bird Watching: Bird’s paradise is a dwelling place to exotic species of avifauna. You can opt for various routes, but the best option is to choose area near the swamps, for the maximum number of sightings. Travel towards the Sapan Mori and then to the Keoladeo Temple to have a close encounter with pythons. The Mansarover and Hansarover marshes and the lakes and swamps of Bharatpur is a favorite residing place for heronries. The winter season is the best time to spot over 100 species of birds in a short period of time. During this time one can experience the thrilling sight of water surface full of birds. In the dry season, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is haven for the desert bird species like Pipits and Larks. Other then breeding birds,delight yourself by spotting several migratory species that comes from Central Asia, Siberia and East Africa.
Boat Riding: Boat riding is one of the interesting way to get close to the bird life. Visitors can hire a boat at Tourist Reception Centre. Book your boat during the boating season and sail through the marshy lands of Keoloadeo Ghana Park to have a glimpse of varied avifauna species.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park:
3 km from the city, Bharatpur is one of the popular wildlife sanctuaries in India. It has around 400 species of water birds and is quite famous for migratory birds specially Siberian cranes. These cranes come here in July/Aug to spend winters in warmer climate and breeds till Oct/Nov.