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Delhi to Agra > Rajasthan > Keoladeo Ghana National Park
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Keoladeo Ghana National Park

Jama Masjid - Delhi

Keoladeo National Park of Rajasthan

Introduction:
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was named as Keoladeo Ghana National Park after the name of an ancient Shiva temple, situated within the park and the word 'ghana' means dense. It was enlisted as a 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO in 1985, and is today considered as one of the best heavens for birds in the world. Spanning in an area of 29 sq km, the Park is home to almost 364 species of avian fauna, including migratory birds from Afghanistan, China and Siberia.

The Park has remained an attraction for the ornithologists since decades, but it has been observed that pressure on the park's eco system is mounting due to excessive tourism and activities of the nearby villages. Researchers also fear extinction of many Bird species like the Siberian crane(according to 1999 UN report). The area has witnesses scanty rainfall in recent years, creating problems for this world heritage site. The need of the hour is to divert water from other sources and of course, responsible tourism.

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Origin:
The marsh lands of the sanctuary were first used as a duck hunting ground for the Jat ruler and founder of Bharatpur, Maharaja Suraj Mahl in the 1850s. At the merging point of the two rivers Banganga and Gambhir, a low level swamp area was formed which was converted into a reservoir by Suraj Mahl. This was later filled up by floods caused by monsoons and resulted in perfect conditions for an astonishing variety of birds to flock here.
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Duration : 12 Nights / 13 Days
Attractions :-
  • Delhi Sightseeing - Jama Masjid, Red Fort,Chandni Chowk
  • Trip to Hawa Mahal in Jaipur
  • Wildlife Safari in Ranthambore National Park
  • Tiger Safari at Bandhavgarh National Park
  • Visit to Khajuraho Group of Temples
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Duration :14 Nights / 15 Days
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The King was tempted to the shooting and dining opportunities that this habitat could result in. The pages of history saw mass killing of ducks and other birds by the kings and later by the colonial rulers. 12th November, 1938 marks the bad day for ducks when 4273 of them were shot, of which the then Viceroy of India, Lord Linlithgo, killed around 2000.

Post Independence period saw the villagers diverting the water bodies contributing to the marsh lands, for agriculture purposes. Though it is still a cause of worry, but conservationists won in 1956 when it was declared a sanctuary and in 1982, it was declared a national park and a World Heritage Site.

Species:
If you are a novice at Bird Watching or a professional, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is the place to be. It would be an overwhelming experience to spot around 150 species of birds in a day on the marsh lands of the Sanctuary. Rare species of birds like Openbill Storks, Sarus, Greater Painted Snipe, Marshall's Lora , Siberian Ruby Throat, Brook's Leaf Warblers, Grey Nightjars, Dalmatian Pelicans, Sociable Lapwing, Waders, Raptors and around 20 species of Ducks makes it an idiol home to God's winged creations.

Visiting the Park:
One can visit the Park from dawn to dusk. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the winter months of October to February.

Entrance and camera fee are nominal and allows for one entrance per day. These are to be purchased from the entrance gate itself. Though a snack bar and canteen of the forest lodges are available in the National Park, its better you bring along packaged food and drinking water to keep you charges up for the exhaustive day.

You can either explore the sanctuary on foot or on cycle rickshaws. There are narrow pathways between the marsh lands and water bodies, offering plenty of opportunities to observe the exquisite variety of birds here.

Guides and Cycle-Rickshaws:
Rickshaw Ride in Keoladeo Ghana National Park Naturalist guides can also be hired from the counters at the entry gate. Experienced guides will charge you around Rs 70 for an hour, if you are a group of six or less and around Rs 120 for a group of more than six tourists. Registered guides are a good option, but you can also hire one from your hotel itself, specially when you need a guide who is fluent in foreign languages.

Cycle rickshaws are only allowed if they are government authorized, identified by yellow metal plates. Some rickshaw drivers are knowledgeable guides too. But rickshaws can take you only through wide pathways, it would be best to travel on foot in the rest of the sanctuary. Horse drawn tongas are also available here, they charge Rs 100 for a group of six or less.

Orientation and Information:
Lying within the Golden Triangle route, between the important historical cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, makes Bharatpur easily accessible from the three cities. Keoladeo Ghana National Park is located is locate within Bharatpur, in eastern Rajasthan and is just 3 km from its city centre. From Delhi, it just takes a three hour drive to Bharatpur and from here one can easily travel to the National Park using a cycle rickshaw.

Internet access is available at many places here, the charges are as high as Rs. 60 for an hour. Post Office is located near Gandhi Park while the Tourist Reception Centre is situated about 700 m from the park entrance. For foreign exchange, cash for traveler cheques or credit card advances, you can move to B6, Civil Lines.

Sleeping and Eating:
Many good budget, mid range and top end hotels are available within the range of 1 km from the National Park. From here you can also hire, binoculars, bikes as well as naturalist guides.

Some of the budget hotels situated in nearby locality of Rajesndra Nagar include the Jungle Lodge, Falcon Guest House, Hotel Nightingale, Hotel Park View and Green Valley Guest House. Some of the mid range and top end hotels include Hotel Sunbird, Monarch Farms, Hotel Pelican, Chandra Mahal Haveli, Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel, RTDC Hotel Saras, Park Hotel and Bharatpur Forest Lodge which is run by Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).


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Nearby Cities
Khajuraho, Varanasi, Haridwar, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Mathura

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