Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is located between Agra and Jaipur- the famous
tourist destinations in the country. It is also called the Keoladeo Ghana
National Park taking its name from the God Keoladeo, an aspect of Lord
Shiva, enshrined in a small temple located in the heart of the sanctuary.
'Ghana' means dense, referring to the thick forest, which used to cover the
area. The sanctuary is located at the confluence of Gambhir and Banganga
rivers and spread over shallow lakes and woodlands. This north Indian
sanctuary is situated in the country's northwestern state of Rajasthan,
about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi. The park covers an area of
29 sq km of which 11 sq km is marshy land and the rest of the land is
covered by grasses and shrubs.
The indiscriminate shooting of birds was banned by the Indian government in
1965. It was with the successful efforts of Dr. Salim Ali towards the
conservation of birds, that this area was declared a national park in 1982.
The spectacular park is a reserve of birds and also a breeding and feeding
grounds for migratory birds in the world.
The park nests indigenous birds, migratory water birds and waterside birds,
land migratory birds and domestic land species. Migratory birds at the bird
sanctuary include: several species of Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks,
Eagles, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Flycatchers,
Corcomorants, Egrets, Darters, Herons, Storks,Spoonbills, Kingfishers, Owls,
Buntings, Larks, Pipits etc. These migratory birds come from as far as
Siberia and Central Asia and spend their winters in Bharatpur, before
returning to their breeding grounds.
The exotic sanctuary is also inhabited by Sambar, Chital, Nilgai and Wild
Boar, Mongoose, Otter, Wild cats, Civets, Jackals and the Rock Pythons etc.
Ideal Time to Visit
Though this Bird Sanctuary is open throughout the year, the best time to
visit are from August-November( period of resident breeding birds) and
October- February( period of migrant birds)
How to reach
Bharatpur is between Agra and Jaipur highway.
It is just two-hour journey by bus from Agra (55 km) and an
hour from Fatehpur Sikri. Also are available buses that link Bharatpur with
other parts of Rajasthan.
Rail junction of Bharatpur is nearest and is well connected to Delhi,
Bombay, and many other cities of India.
The nearest airport is that of Agra, from where one has to
travel by road.