declared as a
national park on 10 March 1982. More than 300 species of birds
are found in this small national park of 29 square kms out of
which 11 square km area is covered by marshes and the rest are
scrubland and grassland.
Every year this sanctuary is visited by
over 400 species of water birds including the exotic migratory
birds from Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Tibet and the rare
Siberian cranes from Siberia. During the winters, various
migratory birds come here all the way from Siberia and Russia,
including the rare Siberian crane, herons, ibis, pelicans,
egrets, Brahminy ducks and geese.
History of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The name Keoladeo is derived from an ancient Hindu temple,
devoted to Lord Shiva, which stands at the centre of the park.
'Ghana' means dense, referring to the thick forest, which used
to cover the area. Keoladeo is the only place where the
habitat has been created by a Maharaja. In earlier times,
Bharatpur town used to be flooded regularly every monsoon. In
1760, an earthen dam (Ajan Dam) was constructed, to save the
town, from the floods. Later the depression created by
extraction of soil for the dam was cleared and this became the
Bharatpur Lake. The Keoladeo Ghana National park was the royal
hunting preserve of the royal Bharatpur family and one of the
best duck shooting wetlands in the world. In 1956, this
reserve was turned into a sanctuary, though the Maharaja was
allowed to hunt in this reserve till 1972. The hunting was
prohibited by mid 60s. In 1981, the sanctuary was designated
as a national park.
Birds in the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The major attraction in the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary are the
numerous migratory birds, which come from as far away as
Siberia, Russia and Central Asia and spend their winters in
Bharatpur, before returning to their breeding grounds. Some of
these migratory birds are Siberian crane, herons, ibis,
pelicans, egrets, painted storks, darters, Brahminy ducks and
geese. Besides the migratory birds, some local birds like
Spoonbills, Cranes, Herons, Egrets, Storks, Flamingoes,
Cormorants, Kingfishers, Blue Jays, Shrikes, Orioles, Paradise
Flycatchers, Parakeets, Eagles, Hawks, Harriers, Stints,
Wagtails, Warblers, Wheatears, Buntings, Larks and Pipits,
etc. can also be seen in this sanctuary. Various animals like
Wild Boar, Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Mongoose, Otter, Jackal,
Fox, Hyena, Porcupine, Rock Python, Leopard, Jungle Cat and
Fishing Cat can also be seen in the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
Best Time to Visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is open throughout the year, but the
ideal visiting months are from August to November for resident
breeding birds and October to February for migratory birds.
The best time to visit this sanctuary is from November to
The tourists can visit this sanctuary either on foot or on
Rickshaws or hire a Bicycle. The rickshaw pullers have been
trained by the park management in bird watching and are quite
How to reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The nearest airport is Agra which is about 55 km.
Regular rail services connect Bharatpur with several cities on
Delhi-Mumbai trunk route. Rail services also connects
Bharatpur with Jaipur and Agra.
A network of bus services links Bharatpur with several cities
within and outside Rajasthan.