The Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also known as Bharatpur Sanctuary, was built in the late 19th century as a private hunting reserve for the maharajas of Bharatpur. Keoladeo Ghana means the temple of lord Shiva in a dense forest. The wet ecosystem of the area makes it an ideal environment for a large variety of birds, including the Siberian crane which is on the verge of extinction. The park which witnessed thousands of ducks and geese being killed during the British Raj, is now home to over 370 species of birds. The bird population in the area began to increase rapidly since Ghana was given the status of a sanctuary in 1956 and a national park in 1981. The park, a paradise for bird watchers, wildlife photographers, researchers and nature lovers has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park with its natural ecosystem and climatic conditions acts as a perfect dwelling place for numerous species of trees, birds and animals. There are over 50,000 trees in the park which act as a house to the sizable variety of birds including cormorants, darters, spoonbills, ibises, herons, egrets, cranes, pelicans, flamingos, geese, ducks, larks, chats, kites, buntings, eagles, harriers, owls, vultures and kingfishers just to name a few. Two-thirds of the park is covered with water while the rest one-third area is covered with acacia, ber, kadam and khajur trees. Some animals including jackal, mongoose, sambar, wild boar, turtles and monitor lizards are also found.
Some Important Information & Tips
* Entrance charges and camera charges are to be paid at the gate.
* The park is open throughout the year while the best time to visit are the months from August to March. Entry to the park is free on Republic Day (26th January)
* Cycle-rickshaws and guides are available.
* The park can be best explored on foot or bicycle, which is available on hire at the park gate.
* Be sure to take along a local guide if travelling on foot or bicycle.
Birds - Keoladeo Ghana National ParkGovernment Museum :
It is a place worth visiting. It contains a wide collection of artifacts giving an insight into the history of the place.
Bharatpur Palace :
The palace is an excellent example of the Mughal and the Rajput forms of architecture.
Lohagarh Fort :
The Lohagarh Fort, situated near Keoladeo, was the target of many attacks by the British.
Deeg Palace :
The Deeg Palace is situated at a distance of about 32 km from Keoladeo. The fort with many gardens and palaces was the summer capital of the Bharatpur rulers.
How to Reach
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is situated in the state of Rajasthan in the northwestern part of India on National Highway No.11. It is easily accessible from all the neighboring cities.
- State transport and private buses connect Bharatpur with other parts of the state. The park is situated on the Agra-Jaipur highway, about 55 km from Agra.
By Rail - The nearest railway station is the Bharatpur Bird Park station which connects the place with major cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.