The Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that sees (or saw) thousands of rare and highly endangered birds such as the Siberian Crane come here during the winter season.
Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.
Bharatpur is located on the fringes of the Thar Desert. This marshy land has very warm climate. Summers are invariably hot and winters are not very cold. The temperature ranges from a maximum of 48°C in summers (May and June) to around 5°C in winters (December to February).Carry light cottons during summers and woolens during winters. Rainfall is less but sufficient.
Wildlife Attractions at Bharatpur
Flora : The sanctuary covers around 29-sq-kms of which 11-sq-kms are marshes and the rest is scrubland and grasslands.
Fauna : The other animals found in the park are Pythons, Spotted Deer, Sambhars, Blue Bull, Black Buck, Jackals, Otters, Fishing Cats and Monitor Lizards.
Birds : Migratory birds come to the sanctuary from all over world from the beginning of winters. The birds come here by the month of August and leave in February. Visitors include Coot Snipes, Spanish Sparrow, Red Crested Porhard, Rosy Pelican and Flamingo but the main attraction is the arrival of the rare Siberian Crane. Migratory birds from Siberia and Central Asia spend their winters in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, before going back to their breeding grounds. Migratory birds found in the sanctuary are the various species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers, Buntings, Larks and Pipits.
How to reach
Bharatpur is easily reached by bus or train, also private cabs from New Delhi or Agra can be hired. The Park is pretty close to the bus stand and railway station.
Visitors are advised to reach the gate half an hour in advance to complete the formalities for entry into the park.
Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year; still the ideal visiting months are from August-November for resident breeding birds and October- February for migrant birds.