rajasthan

 BHARATPUR

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Bharatpur

Say Bharatpur and one immediately conjures up an image of colourful birds feeding, nesting and chirping. If you are a bird lover you already know about Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, if you are not one you must visit Bharatpur in Rajasthan, you will become one. It makes for a perfect weekend getaway around Delhi.

General Info, Bharatpur

Altitude : 100m

Climate : Cool in winter , very hot  in summers.

Rainfall : Low to moderate, 2003 has been a good year for the rains.

How to reach Bharatpur

Distance: 180 km

Road

Take  the NH2 out of Delhi till Mathura and the turn right for Bharatpur which is situated on NH 11. One can easily reach Bharatpur in about 4 hours from Delhi

Train

Has a direct train from Delhi to Bharatpur jn.

What to see

Keoladeo 'Ghana' Bird Sanctuary - A park that inspires migrants the world over. Named after a Shiv temple situated in this natural park, this World heritage site is known for it's migratory bird population the world over. The low lying marshes is home for many birds all the year around, but it is special in the winter months when it is made a home by over 100 species of birds from as far as Siberia, Central Asia and China.

Over 350 species of birds have been reported in Bharatpur and the residents vary between different months of the year. In Summer terrestrial birds like red wattled lapwing, grey partridge, black partridge, common quail, bush quail, pea fowl, jungle fowl, etc., nest on the ground along with the resident bird like the Sarus cranes.

   During Monsoon water is released from the Ajan bundh thru the Ghana canal bringing with it life forms and the park reverberates with activity. The water makes small vegetation grow, attracting the fishes and thus the birds who feed on them. This time of the year the park is turned into one of the finest Heronry of the world with seventeen species of herons like grey heron, purple heron, night heron, egret, large cormorant, Indian shag, darter, painted stork, open-billed stork, blacknecked stork, whitenecked stork etc. are know to breed at Keoladeo.

 Come September and the migratory birds begin to arrive in Bharatpur's Keoladeo for breeding. More than 20 ducks including Northern pintail, Gargagney, Ruddy shellduck and Gadwalls are seen here. Of all the migrants, the most sought after is the Siberian Crane or the great white crane, which migrates to this site every year, covering a distance of more than half 

 the globe, it's numbers are decreasing every year and the bird may be close to extiction. The trees are over flowed with nests, one can observe a tree housing 50-60 nests  belonging to different species of birds looking afterand feeding their loving young ones. The park is full of cries of the young uns and their parents.

Apart from the avian population, there is also nilgai, cheetal, wild boar, sambhar which can be spotted. A large number of pythons are seen at the Sapan Mori.

Lohagarh Fort Some time can be spent at this 18th century fort built by Raja Suraj Mal which stood many attacks of the Moghuls and the British. Some interesting monuments in the fort are Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. Moti Mahal and towers like Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj were erected to commemorate the victory over the Mughals and the British. A Govt. Museum is also housed in the fort.

Deeg 34km from Bharatpur is a charming little rajasthani agricultural town is home to

 some very beautiful an intricately laid gardens and Raja Suraj Mal palace. Gpoal Bhawan an imaginatively designed building complex with beautifully laid gardens at its entrance and the rear overlooks the Gopal Sagar which is flanked with smaller pavilions Sawan and Bhadon. The impressive Deeg fort is also worth a look.

 

What to do

The best time for bird watching is early morning when the birds are feeding their young ones or around sunset when the birds return from their trips  to  the surrounding fields etc. The park is open from 6am to 6pm. Vehicles are allowed only till Shanti Kutir in the park, after which only cycles and cycle rickshaws are allowed or one can go on foot. The best way to see the park is either on bicycle or rickshaw, opt for the bicycle if you are an avid birder or are planning to take along a guide. TIP Hire a rickshaw from outside the park or better still  tell your hotel manager to arrange for one who picks you up from the hotel in the morning. Insist on a registered  rickshaw puller, as they also serve as trained bird watching guides and will help you identify the various birds with their english names.TIP  Carry a good binocular and you can hire one at the entrance. To help you identify the birds and make the whole thing more enjoyable a bird book like the one by the great ornithologist Salim Ali will be very useful. TIP Don't waste too much too much time before Shanti Kutir searching for birds as you will find most of them beyond that.

Travelogue on  Bharatpur

When to go  

The best time to go is September to February for the migratory birds, although for an avid bird watcher most months of the year hold some promise.

Where to stay   Bharatpur Hotels & Resorts    

 

 

 
         
 
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