Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park, formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan , India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that harbors thousands of birds, especially during the winter season.
More than 230 bird species are known to be resident. It is also an important tourist center, with dozens of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971 . It is also a World Heritage Site .
The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is a man-made wetland administered by man and one of the national parks of India . The 29 km2 (11 sq. Mi) reserve is locally known as Ghana and is a patchwork of dry meadows, forests, forest swamps and wetlands.
These diverse habitats house 366 species of birds , 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards , 7 species of amphibians , 7 species of turtles and a variety of other invertebrates.
Every year the thousands of migratory water birds visit the park for wintering and breeding. The sanctuary is one of the richest bird areas in the world and is known for nesting resident birds and visiting migratory birds including waterfowl.
Activities in Bharatpur Bird sanctuary
1. Jungle Safari
There are three options to take the Safari, namely, elephant back safari, jeep rides or safari rickshaw. To get the best views of the birds, Elephant Safari and Safari rickshaw is recommended. However, if you want to penetrate deep into the jungles, Jeep Safari is the best option. Jeeps can book in the resorts outside the main entrance of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
Safari Times: Safari times in the jungle start at 6 AM and ends at night around 6 PM
Safari cost: the Safari fee for the Indians is 25 RS . and for foreigners it is 200 RS. If you want to take your own vehicle, you are allowed up to Shanti Kutir only, which is about 2 km from the main entrance of the park. The charges for the vechicle are 50 RS. Also, if you want to take your video camera, the charges for it are 200 RS.
Safari of the bird
The bird safari makes for the most surreal experience in the Keoladeo National Park. In fact, it is one of the best things to do in Rajasthan for nature lovers. Grab the live action of some rarer birds in the punctual world permanence and plan a visit when the birds of neighboring countries migrate to spend the winter there. As mentioned above, the best months to visit the sanctuary are from August to November and from October to March.
The Sanctuary extends over 29 square kilometers with well-established forest roads and can be easily covered on foot, a rickshaw, or a cycle. However, motorized vehicles are not allowed inside the facilities of the Sanctuary. Add a lot of excitement to your birding tour by going to an early morning or afternoon boat ride. Get the most out of your photography skills by taking pictures of birds that fly around.
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm every day; To get the best value for your time, plan an early morning departure or immediately after sunset.
Enjoy a short walk
The entire paved road inside the park is around 11 km. It is exceptionally tiring if you consider walking. However, the first 5 km in the park , to the canteen, is where you can see most of the birds. So, you can consider walking if you’re used to doing it. But, remember, 5 km one way .
Enjoy a bike ride
Another option is to rent a bicycle, which is quite cheap, around INR 50 – 100 per day. It is probably the most reasonable and pleasant way to explore the park if you are a lonely tourist. It would be quite nice if you have a partner. This is the most convenient option for bird photographers with shorter / lighter equipment.
Enjoy the boating
Boating in the Bharatpur Lake at dawn or in the afternoon is a beautiful and satisfying experience so as not to be lost at any cost. Boats gives in rent the forest department.
Center for gift items is located at the entrance to the park. You can find many books related to wildlife, theme t-shirts, postcards, magnets and other simple souvenirs.
The best time to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
While you can plan a trip anytime you want, the best time to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is August-November to see resident birds and October-March to spot migratory birds.
Opening hours – 6 am – 6 pm (summers) | 6:30 AM – 5:00 PM (winters)
Opening hours of the Bharatpur National Park – open every day
Entrance fee to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Entrance fees for the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary are mentioned below. We have listed the entrance fees for the Indians, the entry fees for foreigners, the fees of the chamber and other charges if applicable.
- Domestic Adult – 25 per person
- Foreigner – 200 per person
- From the video camera – 200
How to get to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Once an impregnable city, Bharatpur is located in the east of Rajasthan . The city is well connected to Delhi , Agra , Gwalior and other major cities in the country, so the planning trip should not be difficult at all.
- By plane – the nearest airport is Agra at a distance of 56 km .
- By train – the Bharatpur train station is at a distance of 6 km from the park.
- By road – NH-11 connects Bharatpur with Agra (56 km, 5 hours). Delhi (176 km, 5 hours) and Jaipur (176 km, 6 hours) are the other two places from which tourists prefer to drive.
Places to visit near the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
1. Fortress Lohagarh
Lohagarh or Iron Fort remained unconquered despite several attacks by the British. Unlike fortresses in Rajasthan , it is not extravagant, but it generates an aura of strength and magnificence. It is worth visiting Kishori Mahal , Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. Moti Mahal, Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj were erected to commemorate the victory over Mughals and British.
2. Palace of Bharatpur
Displaying the right blend of Mughal and Rajputana architecture, Bharatpur Palace is a fine piece of architecture that was built over a period of different Kings. The Palace is adorned with intricate design patterns towards its main entrance. There is a museum located in the center of the palace that exhibits the art of the 2nd century and labor.
3. Ganga Mandir
The Ganga Mandir, which resides in the heart of the city of Bharatpur is one of the most beautiful temples of Rajasthan. In it stands the magnificent deity of Ganga Maharaj made of pristine white marble. Maharaja Balwant Singh began the construction of this temple in the mid- nineteenth century . However, he had a very unique request that required all the rich inhabitants of the city to donate a month’s salary to help towards the temple of creation.
4. Deeg Palace
Deeg is a beautiful garden city located north of Bharatpur. It has many embellished palaces that add to the beauty of the place. Known for its forts, palaces, gardens and fountains, Deeg’s highlight is an impressive fortress surrounded by pits and entrances. It was built by Raja Suraj Mal and stands on a slightly elevated point. Although the interiors are almost in ruins, the clock tower containing a weapon still keeps watch over the city.
Tips for visitors to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
- Bring your own water, hat, umbrellas, and mosquito repellent. Sunscreen will save you from tanning and a pair of binoculars to take a look at the beautiful birds.
- Only traveling by carriages is authorized inside Bharatpur National Park; however, tongas and boats are also available. Motor vehicles are strictly prohibited inside the facilities park.
- Damaging all the flora and fauna in the park is a serious crime. See and appreciate from a distance.
- To avoid any difficulty, arrive at the Sanctuary at least one hour before schedule. You have to go through the basic form of filing formalities before entering.
• A boat trip is suggested early in the morning or in the afternoon. It is considered as the best time to discover the beautiful birds in the park.