over an area of 232 sq km, the Keoladeo National Park was
formerly known as the Bhartapur Bird Sanctuary. The marshes
of Keoladeo, was the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas
of Bharatpur. It was
in the late 19th century by creating small dams and bunds
(ponds) in an area of natural depression to collect rainwater
and by feeding it with an irrigation canal. Over the years,
the lakes attracted great numbers of waterfowl and the Maharajas
held grand shoots with family, friends and visiting dignitaries.
Two-thirds of the park lies under water, the extent and
volume depending on the intensity of the rains.
Sightseeing at Corbett National Park -
The Flora :
The park derives its name from the temple
of Keoladeo (Shiva) and ‘ghana’ which locally
means dense, implying the nature of the vegetation. The
one-third of the park is covered by dry deciduous forests
(with Acacia, Ber, Kadam and Khajur trees) and extensive
grasslands. On the raised ground outlining the wetlands
grow a profusion of Acacia trees, where the resident water
birds nest, often in large mixed colonies, a spectacular
sight during the monsoon.
The Avifauna :
Keoladeo is famous as one of Asia’s
finest birding areas, with over
resident and migrant species, including the Common, Demoiselle
and the rare Siberian Cranes. The park supports a population
of 375 species of birds, numerous mammals and reptiles.
With the onset of winter, migratory birds from all over
world come here. They arrive by August and leave in February.
Visitors include Coot Snipes, Spanish Sparrow, Red Crested
Porhard, Rosy Pelican and Flamingo. The special attraction,
however, remains the arrival of the rare Siberian Crane.
The Fauna :
It is also an excellent place to observe
mammals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, Fishing Cat,
Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar. The
park is also rich in Pythons, Spotted Deer, Otters, Monitor
Other 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. Just
32 km from Bharatpur, is the Deeg Palace. This strong and
massive fort was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur
and has many palaces and gardens.
Park Trips :
about 29 sq km, the park has well-defined treks which can
be easily covered on foot or on a cycle or you can also
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.
Best Season to Visit :
Best months are August-November
for resident breeding birds and November-March for migrant
Reaching Corbett National Park-
By Air :
Agra (56 km, 5 hours), Delhi (176 km, 5 hours)
and Jaipur (176 km , 6 hours), all of which have airports.
By Rail :
The Bharatpur railway station is 6 km
from the park.
By Road :
Bharatpur is well connected by road from
all the major destinations of Rajasthan and neighbouring