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Keoladeo Ghana National Park - Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Just 176 km. from Delhi is a very special wilderness - the Keoladeo Ghana
National Park, one of the finest water-bird sanctuaries in the world. The
28.73 sq. km. lake and wetland was artificially created by the Maharaja
of Bharatpur in the 19th century. By building small dykes and dams and diverting
water from an irrigation canal, he converted this low lying area into a
fine wild fowl shooting preserve. In a few years, the new wetland surrounded
by marginal forests was able to support thousands of water birds.
Commonly referred to as Bharatpur, the Park is a delight for bird watchers.
Over 300 species of birds are found here and raised paths, camouflaged
by babul trees and undergrowth make viewing easy. A quiet ride by boat
in the early hours of the morning is also an unforgettable experience.
There are mixed heronries on the half submerged babul trees and the cacophony
is unbelievable as painted storks, open bills, spoon bills, egrets, cormorants,
white ibis and multitudes of others, tend their young. Jacanas with their
iridescent colors and elegant tail feathers and purple moorhen can be
seen delicately treading over the floating vegetation. While harriers
and fishing eagles circle overhead in search of prey, the pied kingfisher
hovers dramatically over the water in a flurry of wings.
There are varieties of storks and cranes and the local sarus crane is
elegant in a livery of grey and red. Every year Bharatpur waits with coated
breath for the arrival of the Siberian cranes.
There are only two wintering places for this rare species -one in Iran
and the other Bharatpur and these beautiful birds with their distinctive
red beaks and facial patches, fly over 6400 km from their summer retreats
in Siberia, to get to them. In 1996, there was great jubilation as a couple
of Siberian cranes with a young one made an appearance in Bharatpur after
a lapse of three years.
Bird, Keoladeo Ghana National ParkThe forests around the lake at Bharatpur
harbor the sambar, chital, nilgai, jackal, hyena, fox, mongoose and porcupine.
Occasionally, a fishing cat can be seen scooping its prey also commonly
seen sunning themselves along edge of the paths or at Python Point.
General Information :
Best Time to Visit :
Throughout the Year.
Nearest Town :
Bharatpur (2 km)
How to Get Here :
Air: Agra (50 km)
Rail: Bharatpur (2 km)