Say Bharatpur and one immediately conjures up an
image of colourful birds feeding, nesting and chirping. If you are a bird lover you already know about
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, if you are not one you must visit Bharatpur in
Rajasthan, you will
become one. It makes for a perfect weekend getaway around Delhi.
General Info, Bharatpur
Altitude : 100m
Climate : Cool in
winter , very hot in summers.
Rainfall : Low to
moderate, 2003 has been a good year for the rains.
How to reach Bharatpur
Distance: 180 km
Take the NH2
out of Delhi till Mathura and the turn right for Bharatpur which is situated on
NH 11. One can easily reach Bharatpur in about 4 hours from Delhi
Has a direct train from
Delhi to Bharatpur jn.
What to see
Bird Sanctuary - A park that inspires migrants the world over. Named after a Shiv
temple situated in this natural park, this World heritage site is known for it's
migratory bird population the world over. The low lying marshes is home for
many birds all the year around, but it is special in the winter months when it
is made a home by over 100 species of birds from as far as Siberia, Central Asia
Over 350 species of
birds have been reported in Bharatpur and the residents vary between different months of
the year. In Summer
terrestrial birds like red wattled lapwing, grey partridge, black partridge,
common quail, bush quail, pea fowl, jungle fowl, etc., nest on the ground along
with the resident bird like the Sarus cranes.
water is released from the Ajan bundh thru the Ghana canal bringing with it life forms
and the park reverberates with activity. The water makes small
vegetation grow, attracting the fishes and thus the birds who feed on them. This
time of the year the park is turned into one of the finest Heronry of the world
with seventeen species of herons like grey heron, purple heron, night heron,
egret, large cormorant, Indian shag, darter, painted stork, open-billed stork,
blacknecked stork, whitenecked stork etc. are know to breed at Keoladeo.
Come September and the migratory
birds begin to arrive in Bharatpur's
Keoladeo for breeding. More than 20 ducks
including Northern pintail, Gargagney, Ruddy shellduck and Gadwalls are seen
here. Of all the migrants, the most sought after is the Siberian Crane or the great
white crane, which migrates to this site every year, covering a distance of more
the globe, it's numbers are decreasing every year and the bird may be
close to extiction. The trees are over flowed with nests, one can observe a tree
housing 50-60 nests belonging to different species of birds looking
afterand feeding their loving young ones. The park is full of cries of the young
uns and their parents.
Apart from the avian
population, there is also nilgai, cheetal, wild boar, sambhar which can be
spotted. A large number of pythons are seen at the Sapan Mori.
Lohagarh Fort Some
time can be spent at this 18th century fort built by Raja Suraj Mal which stood
many attacks of the Moghuls and the British. Some interesting
monuments in the fort are Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. Moti Mahal
and towers like Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj were erected to commemorate the
victory over the Mughals and the British. A Govt. Museum is also housed in the
Deeg 34km from
Bharatpur is a charming little rajasthani agricultural town is home to
beautiful an intricately laid gardens and Raja Suraj Mal palace. Gpoal Bhawan an
imaginatively designed building complex with beautifully laid gardens at its
entrance and the rear overlooks the Gopal Sagar which is flanked with smaller
pavilions Sawan and Bhadon. The impressive Deeg fort is also worth a look.
What to do
The best time for
bird watching is early morning when the birds are feeding their young ones or
around sunset when the birds return from their trips to the
surrounding fields etc. The park is open from 6am to 6pm. Vehicles are allowed
only till Shanti Kutir in the park, after which only cycles and cycle rickshaws
are allowed or one can go on foot. The best way to see the park is either on
bicycle or rickshaw, opt for the bicycle if you are an avid birder or are
planning to take along a guide. TIP
Hire a rickshaw from outside the park or better still tell your hotel
manager to arrange for one who picks you up from the hotel in the morning.
Insist on a registered rickshaw puller, as they also serve as trained bird
watching guides and will help you identify the various birds with their english
Carry a good binocular and you can hire one at the entrance. To help you
identify the birds and make the whole thing more enjoyable a bird book like the
one by the great ornithologist Salim Ali will be very useful. TIP
Don't waste too much too
much time before Shanti Kutir searching for birds as you will find most of them
When to go
The best time to go
is September to February for the migratory birds, although for an avid bird
watcher most months of the year hold some promise.
Where to stay
Bharatpur Hotels & Resorts