Keoladeo or Bharatpur National Park is
situated in eastern Rajasthan, about 176 kms away from
Delhi, and 50 km west of Agra, is the Keoladeo Ghana or
Bharatpur National Park, one of the most spectacular
bird sanctuaries in India
Bharatpur National park, the former duck-hunting reserve
of the Maharajas is one of the major wintering areas for
large numbers of aquatic birds from Afghanistan,
Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Some 364 species of
birds, including the rare Siberian crane, have been
recorded in the park.
Keoladeo, the name derives from an ancient Hindu temple, devoted to
Lord Shiva, which stands at the centre of the park. 'Ghana' means
dense, referring to the thick forest, which used to cover the area.
While many of India's parks have been developed from the hunting
preserves of princely India, Keoladeo Ghana is perhaps the only case
where the habitat has been created by a maharaja.
In earlier times, Bharatpur town used to be flooded regularly every
monsoon. In 1760, an earthern dam (Ajan Dam) was constructed, to
save the town, from this annual vagary of nature. The depression
created by extraction of soil for the dam was cleared and this
became the Keoladeo lake. At the beginning of this century, this
lake was developed, and was divided into several portions. A system
of small dams, dykes, sluice gates, etc., was created to control
water level in different sections. This became the hunting preserve
of the Bharatpur royalty, and one of the best duck - shooting
wetlands in the world. Hunting was prohibited by mid-60s. The area
was declared a national park on 10 March 1982, and accepted as a
World Heritage Site in December 1985.
The Siberian Crane or the great white crane, which migrates to
Bharatpur National Park every year, covering a distance of more than
half the globe. These birds, numbering only a few hundred, are on
the verge of extinction. It is birds from the western race of the
species, that visit Keoladeo, migrating from the Ob river basin
region, in the Aral mountains, in Siberia via Afghanistan and
Pakistan. There are only two wintering places, left for this
extremely rare species.One is in Feredunkenar in Iran, and the other
is Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The journey to Bharatpur takes them
6,400 kms from their breeding grounds, in Siberia. They arrive in
December and stay till early March. Unlike Indian cranes, the
Siberian crane is entirely vegetarian. It feeds on underground
aquatic roots and tubers in loose flocks of five or six.
Climate (Bharatpur National Park)
During summers (April. June), the temperature of the national park
varies from 38°C to 45°C. In The Month of monsoon the temperature to
about 27°C. In Winter season the temperature of the park falls below
How to Reach There
Bharatpur is on the Agra. Jaipur highway, just a two-hour journey by
bus from Agra (55 km) and an hour from Fatehpur Sikri. The nearest
rail junction is Bharatpur, which is well connected to Delhi,
Bombay, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and many other parts of India.
Best Season to Visit:
The park is open throughout the year. Best months are
August-November for resident breeding birds and November-March for
Light cotton clothing for summers and woolens for the winters would
be suitable. Vehicles are prohibited within park confines.