Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Ghana Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur is one of the most important breeding and feeding
grounds for migratory birds in the world. More than 30 sq.km of shallow lakes
and scrubby woodland harbour over 350 bird species from as far away as Europe
and Siberia. It is possible to see 150 species in a day and as many as 10 species
nesting in a single tree. The main migratory season is from mid October to mid
February, but many residents nest and breed in the sanctuary during the hotter
months and monsoon.
Bharatpur was given National Park status in 1982 to
control visitors, and offer protection from illegal grazing. The sanctuary was
declared a World Heritage Site in 1985 and is widely held to be the best birding
site in India.
One of the most visually exciting sights is the Keoladeo
Heronry with six different species of herons and egrets. Nesting alongside are
Painted Storks, Ibises, Spoonbills, Jacanas and Cormorants, together with terrestrials
including a variety of Babblers, Warblers and Bee-Eaters. The most important visitors
are the Siberian Cranes, but since they raise only one chick their numbers are
dwindling, just one or two pairs have visited in recent years.
is refreshingly free of any motor vehicles. Walking and cycling along raised embankments
offers a unique opportunity to get closer to the rich birdlife. Many people choose
a cycle rickshaw, which has the added advantage of providing a local bird expert.
Boats are also available, depending on water levels. The park lies between Delhi
and Ranthambhore and is only 50km from Agra, the ancient Moghul city of Fatehpur
Sikri is also nearby. The Bund Bhareta Reservoir and National Chambal Sanctuary
offer further wildlife opportunities for those with an additional day to spend
in the area.
Best Time To Visit
The park is open throughout
the year although most visitors choose to come between October and February, when
wintering wildfowl assemble in thousands on the lakes. The breeding season is
between August and October.Park Population
The park supports
a population of 375 species of birds, numerous mammals and reptiles. With the
onset of winter, migratory birds from all over world come here. They arrive by
August and leave in February. Visitors include Coot Snipes, Spanish Sparrow, Red
Crested Porhard, Rosy Pelican and Flamingo. The special attraction, however, remains
the arrival of the rare Siberian Crane. The park is also rich in Pythons, Spotted
Deer, Sambhars, Blue Bull, Black Buck, Jackals, Otters, Fishing Cats, Monitor
Nearby places of interest are the
Government Museum, Bharatpur which gives a glimpse of past splendour. Not far
from the museum is the Bharatpur Palace which is an excellent blend of Mughal
and Rajput architecture. There is the Lohagarh Fort which remained invincible
despite several attacks by the British. Just 32 km from Bharatpur, is the Deeg
Palace. This strong and massive fort was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur
and has many palaces and gardens.How to reach
from Bharatpur is the nearest airport situated at Agra.
railway station is 6-kms from the park and regular rail services connect Bharatpur
with all the major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra.
fine network of roadway services links Bharatpur to all the major cities of the
Rajasthan and its neighbouring states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana. Bharatpur
is well connected by road from Agra (56-kms, 5 hours), Delhi (176-kms, 5 hours)
and Jaipur (176-kms, 6 hours), all of which have airport facilities too.