Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary
Aravalli range, which cuts across Rajasthan, a few pockets of forest still survive;
one such area is the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve, once the
shikargah (hunting ground) of the princely state of Alwar. Under the guidance
of Maharaja Jai Singh, many waterholes and watchtowers were constructed within
the jungles, which have been a boon for the wildlife. Sariska became a Sanctuary
in 1958 and was brought under Project Tiger in 1979.
Sariska lies within
the Golden Tourist Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, and is an important halt
for the traveller. It is one of the last surviving densely forested tracts along
the Aravalli mountain range and the 800km2 dry deciduous jungles are interspersed
with forest, scrubland and water-bodies, which provide fruit, fodder and water
for its birds, mammals and reptiles.
The Park is rich in avifauna as well;
besides the omnipresent Peafowl other birds such as woodpeckers, partridges, quails,
owls, treepies and several species of raptors may be spotted with patience and
bit of luck. As a Ranathambhore National Park, also in Rajasthan, this park contains
ruined temples as well as a fort, pavilions and a palace (now a hotel) built by
the maharajas of Alwar, the former owners of this area. The sanctuary can be visited
year-round, except during July/ August when the animals move to higher ground,
but the best time is between November and June. You will see most wildlife in
the evening, though tiger sightings are becoming more common during the day.
tiger reigns supreme in the forests of Sariska, but other animals cohabit with
the "Great Cat" and herds of Chital (spotted deer), solitary Nilgai
(Blue Bull) and Sambar (largest Asiatic deer), Wild Boar, Indian Porcupine, Wild
Dog and Hare may be seen on a safari through the Park. Hides have been constructed
at strategic locations (e.g. near a waterhole) to enable visitors to photograph
animals (special permission needed).Best time to visit
time to visit this beautiful countryside is between November and June. One can
see the most of the animals in the eveningHow to reach
is 35 km from Alwar, which is a convenient town to approach the sanctuary. Frequent
buses ply between Sariska and Alwar. From Jaipur, Sariska is 120 km away and it
takes three hours by road. Jaipur is well connected by air, rail and road to most
of the important cities in India.
The best way to visit the park is by
jeep and these can be arranged at the Forest Reception Office on the Jaipur Road.