Every year a number of bird watchers take the Agra-Jaipur Highway and head to one of the most popular bird sanctuaries in India. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is home to about 400 species of birds. The sanctuary is located about 175 kilometers from Delhi. Since the sanctuary lies between Agra and Jaipur, most tourists visiting the city of the Taj Mahal and Jaipur include Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in their itinerary. Bharatpur is about 55 kilometers from Agra.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur also known as Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary derives its name from God Keoladeo, a part of Lord Shiva, who is worshipped in a temple within the premises of the sanctuary. The word-Ghana must evoke in you the image of a dense thick forest in the sanctuary. This bird sanctuary in Rajasthan's Bharatpur, spread across 29 square kilometers, houses more than 380 species of birds. Though an artificial location created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in 1890, this land of marshes and grasslands sustains a rich variety of birds in the Bharatput Bird Sanctuary.
Do you know how Bharatpur Lake was created? Bharatpur used to be flooded every monsoon till an earthen dam was constructed in 1760. Later the depression created by extraction of the soil used for the dam, was cleared and converted into a lake. This lake, a hunting preserve of the Bharatpur royalty, was declared a national park in 1982 and classified as a World Heritage Site in 985. So if you are a bird-watcher, just come down to this place to drown yourself in the chirping and nesting of the birds homegrown in the waters and trees or even the colored ones, who migrate from Siberia, Central Asia and China in the winters. Besides, the exotic collection of birds, you will also be able to spot Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai and Boar in this sanctuary.
Well, if you want to visit a few more tourist sites near Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, you can go to Bharatpur Palace displaying a splendid structural blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture or to Deeg Palace, a fortress of the rulers of Bharatpur. Don't miss out on the Bharatpur Government Museum, which carries remnants of the past glory of Bharatpur royalty or the Lohagarh Fort, which bears testimony of the several attacks by the British regime but in vain.
The sanctuary also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a bird watcher's paradise. The park has been declared as a world heritage site.
A ride on cycle is an exciting way of traveling inside the park. The sanctuary is popular for its avian guests that come from Siberia and it is a treat to watch these birds. But Bharatpur teems with a large number of birds throughout the year and you can watch at least 150 species of birds in a single day. Some of the birds that you may see in the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary include Greater and Indian spotted Eagles, Indian Courser, Imperial, Dalmatian Pelicans, Solitary Lapwing, Dusky Eagle Owls, Demoiselle Cranes and Sarus. October to February is considered to be the best season for visiting the sanctuary.
Jaipur and Agra are the two most popular tourist destinations around Bharatpur. Most people touring Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also visit Agra. Taj Mahal is the most famous tourist attraction in Agra and precisely this is what attracts many tourists to Agra. Jaipur is another tourist destination that you can visit. Besides, there are many tourist attractions in Bharatpur that you can visit. Some of the important landmarks in Bharatpur that you can tour include Lohagarh Fort, Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas, Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj.
Light cotton clothing in summer and light woolen garments are essential during winter. Private vehicles are prohibited inside the park.
The temperature ranges from 38-45 °C during April-June. During winters from October to March temperature can drop below 10 °C.
Bharatpur is located on the Agra-Jaipur highway and is just about two hours journey from Agra. The nearest railhead is Bharatpur, which is well connected with Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai and other parts of the country.
Bharatpur has a number of hotels and lodges where you can stay on your tour to Bharatpur. ITDC runs a forest lodge-Saras, whereas RTDC has a tourist bungalow-Shanti Kutir.