The Keoladeo Ghana National Park was formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to a large number of migratory birds during the hibernal season and is a very popular tourist place in Rajasthan. The bird sanctuary, which attracts a large number of ornithologists from all over the country and the world during the migratory season, plays home to as many as 230 avian species.
In 1971, the park was declared as a protected zone and was later included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The bird sanctuary is a man-made wetland and an important national park of Rajasthan. The national park is of much importance, geographically, as it protects the town of Bharatpur from flooding during flash floods and also provides grazing grounds for the village cattle. In earlier days, the place served as waterfowl hunting grounds.
The bird sanctuary is home to 379 floral species, 366 bird species and several animals. The sanctuary is one of the richest areas of avian habitation in the world. The sanctuary came into existence about 250 years ago and is named after the Keoladeo Temple situated within its premises. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the best birding areas in the world and receives as many as 1,00,000 visitors every year. Out of these, about 45,000 are foreigners. It is a very popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and for this reason, accommodation facilities have also been arranged in and around the sanctuary.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset every day and can easily be reached by road. Inside the park, tourists can seek accommodation at the Forest Lodge and a Government run Guest House called Shanti Kutir.
Best time to visit : October to February
Opening and closing hours : 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Type of Wildlife Safari : Camel and Jeep
Highlights of the park :
- One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
- Home to more than 370 species of exotic birds
- Once a hunting ground of the Maharajas, now an important centre for ornithologists
- Enjoy bicycle and rickshaw safari in the park
- During rainy seasons, one can enjoy boat safari
- Paradise for the bird watchers