National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rajasthan: Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Darrah Sanctuary, Desert National Park, Jaisamand Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Mount Abu Sanctuary, Ranthambore National Park, Sariska National Park, Chambal Sanctuary, Sitamata Sanctuary, Talchappar Sanctuary

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National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rajasthan

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Rajasthan has a varied topography that ranges from the semi-arid barren desert, scrub-thorn forests, and rocks to wetlands, water-filled valleys and lush, green forests. The great Indian desert, also known as the Thar desert, the Aravali mountain range, Vindhyan or Deccan trap, and the wetlands of the Indo-Gangetic plains play a major role in the topography of Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is a home to a large variety of wildlife animals and birds like tigers, black bucks, chinkara, the rare desert fox, the endangered caracal, the great Indian bustard, wild boars, deers and bears. Migratory birds like the common crane, coots, pelicans, the rare Siberian cranes, imperial sand goose and falcons visit Rajasthan during the winters. Rajasthan boasts of two national parks, over a dozen sanctuaries and two closed areas. Most of these sanctuaries are open to visitors round the year but are closed during the monsoon. Some of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan are as follows:

Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Kota

Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary is a new sanctuary in Kota and about 53 kms from Kota. This sanctuary was established in 1983 and covers a total area of 229 square km of scrub and dry deciduous forest. Leopards, Chinkara, Sloth Bear are the main animals which are found here. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between October and May.

Darrah Sanctuary, Kota

Darrah Sanctuary was established in 1955 in Kota and covers an area of 266 square km. Earlier, Darrah sanctuary was the hunting ground of the Kota Maharajas. This sanctuary is surrounded by hills and thick forests. The animals which are found here include wolf, sloth bear, chinkara and leopard. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between February and May.

Desert National Park, Jaisalmer

The Desert National Park is located in the vast tracts of desert sands around Jaisalmer. The Desert National Park was established in 1980 in Jaisalmer and covers an area of 3162 square km. The vegetation in the park comprises of very few grasses, shrubs, and some indigenous trees on the rolling landscape of sand dunes. The Desert National Park is associated with the endangered great Indian bustard. This bird lives in small flocks and has strong legs which are meant for walking and feeds on everything from cereals and berries to grasshoppers, locusts and snakes. Other birds which are found in this park are sandgrouse, gray partridge, quails, peafowl, bee-eaters, shrikes, orioles, drongos, warblers and babblers. Houbara, the lesser bustard and the desert courser which breeds in the Thar on its migratory journey through the desert can also seen in this park. Thousands of bustards, falcons and eagles migrate here during the winter. This park supports a unique variety of wildlife species and reptiles like the desert hare, hedgehog, Indian wolf, desert cat, fox, spiny tailed lizard, sandfish, chameleons, and snakes that include the deadly saw-scaled viper and Sind krait. The best time to visit this park is during September to March.

Jaisamand Sanctuary, Udaipur

Jaisamand Sanctuary was established in 1957 in Udaipur. This sanctuary is located on the fringes of the Jaisamand lake, a vast man-made lake and covers a total area of 160 square km. This small picturesque sanctuary is the home of Sloth bear, Leopard, Deer, Chital, Chinkara, Wild boar and birds. Some crocodiles and fish can also be spotted here. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between November and January.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur

Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was established in 1956 in Bharatpur. This sanctuary is one of the world's best bird sanctuaries and the largest bird sanctuary in Asia. 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. During winters, this park is visited by over 400 species of migratory water birds including the rare Siberian crane, herons, ibis, pelicans, egrets, Brahminy ducks and geese from Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tibet, Siberia and Russia. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from November to February.  More.....

Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh

The majestic fort of Kumbhalgarh overlooks the 578 square km Kumbhalgarh sanctuary. The Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary is a very large sanctuary in the Aravallis, about 120 km from Udaipur. The Aravallis hills, which remain barren for most of the year, turn green during monsoon and thus provide shelter to Sloth bear, Leopard, Deer, Four-horned antelope and Flying squirrel. It is also the only sanctuary where the Indian wolf is breeding successfully. The best time to visit this sanctuary is from March to May and from September to November.

Mount Abu Sanctuary, Mount Abu

Mount Abu Sanctuary is situated at the highest point of Aravallis, the Guru Shikhar in Mount Abu. This sanctuary is located on the fringes of the town of Mount Abu and thickly forested. The slopes of the hills provide some of the state's most interesting topography, especially in the summers. This sanctuary covers an area of 289 square km. This sanctuary was established in 1960 and provides shelter to the common Langur, Chinkara, Wild boar, Sambhar, Leopard and the grey Jungle Fowl.

Ranthambore National Park, Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park in Ranthambore is a well known tiger reserve under Project Tiger. The landscape, with its lakes, vegetation, the second largest banyan tree, fort and temples, make it one of the most picturesque parks in the country. This park covers an area of 392 square km. This national park is the home of a vast variety of animals. The main attraction of this park is Tiger. In this park various other animals like Leopards, Caracals, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, Sloth bear, Deer, Antelopes, Nilgai, Sambhar, Chital, Chinkara, Wild Boar, Porcupines, Indian Hare, Mongoose and Marsh Crocodile can also be seen in this park. The best time to visit this park is from November to March.  More.....

Sariska National Park, Sariska

Sariska National Park is situated in the Aravalli hills in Alwar and spread over an area of 498 square km. Sariska was the hunting ground of the erstwhile rulers of Alwar and was brought under the Project Tiger in 1979. Today this park provides shelter to a large variety of wildlife animals including Tiger, Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Leopard, Jackal, Hyena, Wild dog, Four-horned Antelope, Wild Boar, Common Langur, Caracal, Jungle Cat, Porcupines and Crocodiles. Besides animals, various birds can also be seen in Sariska National Park. The ruins of 9th and 10th century AD temple and Kanakwari fort also exists in this park. The best time to visit the Sariska National Park is from November to June. More....

Chambal Sanctuary, Kota 

Chambal Sanctuary is located along the banks of the Chambal river all the way to its confluence with the river Jamuna, near Kota. The sanctuary is a breeding ground of the gharial crocodiles. Besides crocodiles, other wildlife animals like caracal, wolf, blackbuck and chinkara can also be seen in this sanctuary.

Sitamata Sanctuary, Udaipur

Sitamata Sanctuary is located about 108 kms from Udaipur. This sanctuary is surrounded by the forests of bamboo and dry deciduous vegetation. This forested sanctuary provides rich pastures for a variety of animals like Chousingha, Deer, Caracal, Wild Boar, Pangolin and Leopard.

Talchappar Sanctuary, Shekhawati

Talchappar Sanctuary is a very small sanctuary, located in the Shekhawati region. This sanctuary is a home of a large population of graceful blackbuck. Desert fox, desert cat, partridges and sandgrouse are also found in this sanctuary.

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