Each year before the arrival of winter, thousands of birds migrate from the frozen waters of Siberia, Tibet, Mongolia and eastern Europe to India. One of the best destinations for these birds is the marsh of Bharatpur lying between Agra and Jaipur in the north-western part of India. The protected area of about 29 square kms is now the famous Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The reserve derives its name (Keoladeo) from a temple devoted to Lord Shiva which is situated in the park. The reserve was established in 1890 by the Maharaja of Bharatpur is purely for the creation of an exclusive royal game. A large area of the forests is enclosed with earthen embankments called bunds. These bund led to the creation numerous lakes and marshes. Large-scale conservation efforts initiated by famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali led to the reserve being declared as a National Park in March 1982. In 1985 the sanctuary was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
• Area 29 sq. km
• Altitude 250 m above sea level
• Best time to visit October to March
• STD code 05644
Tourist Attractions in Bharatpur
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park offer shelter to an astonishing range of flora and fauna. Birds come in waves to this national park in waves. From August till November, it is indigenous water birds. October sees the first lot of migrants arriving from Central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia. The most eagerly awaited lot is the gravely threatened Siberian crane. By march most of these leave the national park. the park is also the adobe to several animals like the sambar, nilgai (blue bull), jungle cat and mongoose especially during summer. A bike or rickshaw ride through this sanctuary is an unforgettable experience. Most parts of the sanctuary is accessible on a bicycles or rickshaws that is available for hiring with the wildlife authorities at the main gate.
Tourist Attractions around Bharatpur
While on a trip to Bharatpur, the nearby places like Alwar,Deeg, Barsana, Dholpur, Mahaban, and Nandgaon are also worth a visit. The Bharatpur-Deeg-Dholpur circuit, once host to royalty or bearing witness to major battles, now mainly comprise of backward villages. Mahwa, halfway house between Bharatpur and Jaipur, is situated at around 60 km on National Highway 11. Alwar, the gateway to the colourful state of Rajasthan, is also a must visit. Deeg was princely town and summer resort of Maharaja of Bharatpur in yesteryears . The famous pilgrimage centre, Govardhan, is along the narrow spur of hills on east of Deeg. On the south-eastern side of Bharatpur lies Dholpur, capital of the princely state by the same name. Mahaban, Barsana, Nandgaon, and Baldeo are all villages related to childhood of Lord Krishna.