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Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Keoladeo Ghana National Park was formerly a vast semi-arid region, filling with water during the monsoon Keoladeo Ghana National Parkseason only to rapidly dry up afterwards. To prevent this, the Maharaja of Bharatpur diverted water from a nearby irrigation canal and, within a few years, birds began to settle in vast numbers. The Maharaja was compelled not by conservationist motives, but by the desire to have a ready supply of waterfowl, affording fine shooting (and dining) possibilities. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to late February when many migratory birds can be seen, including the highly endangered Siberian crane.

Keoladeo continued to supply the Maharajas' tables until as late as 1965. An inscription on a pillar near the small temple in the park bears testimony to the Maharajas' penchant for hunting. It reveals that on one day alone, over 5000 ducks were shot! A small display of photos, stuffed birds, nests and aquatic species found in the park's lakes is at the main entrance to the park (free entry). According to recent reports, around 354 species of birds have been identified at the beautiful Keoladeo sanctuary.

Amongst India’s premier wildlife sanctuaries is the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, situated at the border between the states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It’s a marshy area, stretching over 29 sq km of kadam forests, grasslands and shallow lakes. Upgraded to a national park in 1982, the area today ranks as one of the best waterbird preserves in the world- and it’s a World Heritage Site. Keoladeo Ghana, Bharatpur harbours some of India’s richest birdlife, including the gorgeous shocking-pink tinted painted stork, several species of cormorants, egrets, pelicans, ibises, cranes, ducks and geese. One can see over 350 species of birds, both native as well as migratory. Among the latter, the highly endangered Siberian Cranes, which come to nest in winter, are the rarest. Bharatpur is the Siberian Crane’s only known wintering ground in India; at last count, only 2 cranes nested at the park, definitely a cause for worry. In addition to the birds, Keoladeo is home to a wide range of mammal and reptile species, including deer, jackals, blackbuck, fishing cats, otters and blue bulls.

Entry Requirements
All visitors to Keoladeo Ghana, Bharatpur need to obtain an entry permit from the Warden or Ranger at the entrance to the park. Foreigners need to pay an entry fee of Rs 200; Indians pay Rs 25. Extra charges are levied for cameras and photographic equipment.

How to get there
Keoladeo Ghana is situated just two km from the town of Bharatpur, which is connected by train and road to Delhi (176 km away) and Agra (50 km away). There are regular buses plying to Bharatpur from Delhi, Agra, and other cities, and taxis can also be hired to do the trip. Within the park, walking or cycling is easily the best way of seeing Keoladeo’s fabulous range of avian life. Taxis or private vehicles, however, are allowed into the park and can be used. The forest department also operates mini buses and boats within the park. If you decide to pedal through the sanctuary, cycles can be hired at the entrance to Keoladeo; a map of the park’s walking trails can be obtained from the reception counter at the entrance.

Best time to visit
Keoladeo Ghana Bharatpur is open throughout the year for visitors, although winter is definitely the best time to visit. Summers are too hot and monsoons too wet for comfort, but the months between October and February are very suitable for a trip. Besides the fact that the weather’s good at this time, the park’s migratory birds arrive during the winter.

Accommodation and other facilities
Fortunately for tourists, accommodation is not a problem in Bharatpur. The town (not the park) has a number of guest houses, forest lodges and hotels, including some luxurious heritage properties. Besides the accommodation in the town, there are two forest lodges and two restaurants within the park. The restaurants are however, extremely basic and it’s advisable to bring your own food if you plan to spend the entire day within the park.

  • Heritage hotels
    • Bharat Forest lodges
    • Hotel laxmi Vilas palace
    • Chandra mahal haveli
  • Budget hotels
    • Hotel srars
    • Hotel pratap palace
    • Hotel Eagle 's Nest
    • Hotel Park Palace
    • Hotel Pelican


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