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Indian Wildlife Tours : Wildlife Sanctuaries in India
Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also popularly known as "Keoladeo Ghana National Park", is rated as one of the finest Bharatpur Wildlife sanctuary,wildlife in indiawaterfowl reserves in the world. This sanctuary gets its name from the ancient Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva which has a residing deity called Keoladeo, while Ghana in local parlance implies 'dense' which refers to the thick forests covering the area.

The area formed a slight depression, which, during the monsoon season, collected rain water and attracted a few migratory ducks and wildfowl. The then Maharaja of Bharatpur recognized the area's potential and developed it into a beautiful sanctuary. He augmented the water supply by diverting water from a nearby irrigation canal and also constructed small dams, dykes and shooting butts, thus converting the area into one of the finest wildfowl hunting preserves in North India. In just a few years, the new ecosystem flourished to such an extent that it was able to support thousands of water birds. In 1956, the hunting preserve was converted into a sanctuary and then upgraded to a National Park in 1981.

The world renowned Bird Sanctuary of Bharatpur, now a national park, is located about 175 kms from New Delhi and 50 kms west of Agra, and in fact, very close to the popular golden tourist triangle of 'Delhi, Jaipur and Agra'. Over 350 species of birds find refuge in this 29 square kilometers wetland habitat comprising shallow lakes and woodland. Almost one third of the birds seen at Bharatpur are migrants from as far away as Siberia and Central Asia. Approximately 120 species nest in the park itself and the heronry at Keoladeo Ghana is said to be one of the finest in the world.

Apart from its marvellous stock of birds, Keoladeo Ghana has a bewildering variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera and 227 subspecies. Besides the Babul tree, there are several other native species of trees. Several species of grass and reeds cover the rich landscape, providing abundant grazing for the ungulates, and a rich source of food for the birds. The variety of trees and expansive grassy parks make Bharatpur a wonderful grassland and woodland, besides the grand wetland that it in fact is. Consequently, visitors to Bharatpur can see the flora and fauna of a wetland, grassland and a woodland all at once.

Migrants (Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary)
Among the most sought bird species are the gorgeous Siberian Cranes. These impressive, pure-white birds, with their black primaries, crimson bills and facial patches, are one of four types of cranes in the sanctuary. The Demoiselle and Common Cranes are also winter visitors, the Sarus being the only resident species. Among other notable migrants are the Steppe Eagle, Pale and Marsh Harriers, Osprey and Peregrine Falcon. Even the resident Indian species are no less striking! Some of these are the Tawny Eagle, Pallas Ring-Tailed Fishing Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Brahminy and Black-Winged Kites. Four species of vultures can also be seen. The stately Sarus (Cranes), the multi-hued Kingfishers, White-Breasted Waterhens, Red-Wattled Lapwings, the grey and purple Herons, the elegant Darters, snow-white Egrets and a few smaller species of Herons comprise some of the most delightful sights in the marshes of Bharatpur.

How to Get there
  • Air
    The nearest airport is situated at Agra, which is 56-kms from Bharatpur.
  • Rail
    Regular rail services connect Bharatpur with all the major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra. The Bharatpur railway station is 6-kms from the park.
  • Road
    An excellent network of roadway services connects Bharatpur to all the major cities of the Rajasthan and its neighbouring states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana. Bharatpur is well connected by road from Agra (56-kms, 5 hours), Delhi (176-kms, 5 hours) and Jaipur (176-kms, 6 hours), all of which have airport facilities too.

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