A Complete Guide on Bharatpur National Park, Rajasthan
Bharatpur National Park or Keoladeo National Park or Bharatpur bird sanctuary is a historic national park, which is famous for its collection of more than 270 bird species. Declared as a protected sanctuary in 1971, this world heritage site attracts ornithologists from all over the world. The national park is a very famous tourist destination that pulls thousands of tourists every day, during the tourism season.
Know here the complete guide on Bharatpur National Park.
History of Bharatpur National Park
Bharatpur National Park is an artificial wetland which was used as a hunting ground by the royals. The park gets its name, Keoladeo from Keoladeo Temple located inside the boundary. It comprises of woodlands, swamps, wetlands, dry grasslands and others. Apart from the 350+ local species, you can find thousands of migration birds that visit during winter.
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How to Reach Bharatpur National Park
The park is located in Rajasthan, which can be easily scaled from any state of the country. The nearest airport to Bharatpur is located in Jaipur and Delhi. You can hire cab, train or bus from Jaipur or Delhi to Bharatpur. Jaipur is 3 hours away from Bharatpur and Delhi is 5 hours away from Bharatpur (car drive).
Bharatpur train station receives frequent train from surrounding areas. You can also find luxury trains halting at the station. If you are looking for luxury travel option, you ought to choose any luxury train that covers Bharatpur like Heritage Palace on Wheels, Palace on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express and others.
Delhi and Bharatpur – 180 km
Agra and Bharatpur – 55 km
Mathura and Bharatpur – 35 km
Jaipur and Bharatpur – 178 km
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Best Time to Visit Bharatpur National Park
The best time to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is during winter. Winter starts in October and ends in March. The winter provides pleasing climatic condition. During the day, the temperature varies between 23 degree and 26 degree C. Warm clothing will be handy and wear caps covering up to your ear if you are visiting in the morning. Winter also attracts many migration birds to this region for breeding and escaping cold climate.
If you are visiting the park solely for photography, the best time to visit is from December to February. During this period, the region has light mist, which provides a moody background for the photos. January mornings will be too foggy and the mist will clear only by afternoon. Choose your timings with regards to the climate.
November and March will have good climatic condition but spotting a migration bird will be rare.
Rainy season starts in July and ends in September. This is the worst time to visit the park. Spotting animals or birds during this season is very rare. You can find many fishes, reptiles and amphibians during this season.
Summer starts in March and ends in June. Although spotting birds is easier in this season, migration birds will not be found in the park during summer. During summer, it is easier to spot birds near the water bodies.
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Things to do in Bharatpur National Park
There are lots of things to do in Bharatpur National Park. You can scale the park on a cycle, cycle rickshaw or a horse carriage. You can also choose to scale the place on foot.
The Park has a paved path for walking tourists. The path stretches for 11 km. During the first five kilometer, you will spot almost all birds (during tourism season). You will find a canteen a little beyond five kilometer. If you choose walking, remember that it is not easy to scale the place on foot for amateur trekkers.
You can rent a cycle for INR 100 per cycle per day. You can enjoy the park at your own pace. Photographers who want lone time to shoot perfect shots usually seek this option.
3. Cycle Rickshaw
If you are carrying heavy equipment, cycle rickshaw is a good option. You can hire a rickshaw for INR 100 per hour. The rickshaw pullers are as knowledgeable as the best guide, the park could provide. However, the puller will be versed in local language only. If you are visiting the park in groups more than 10, you ought to hire a guide. Cost a guide is INR 250 per hour.
4. Horse Carriage
If you are travelling with your family, it is better to consider the carriage. It costs INR 150 per hour and it is the best for those who want to cover the park as soon as possible.
5. Sunrise Point
Sunrise point is a viewpoint found near the entrance of the park. This is the best place to click pictures of birds against the rising sun. Sunset point is the most crowded spot in the park. You can find many birds here and if lucky, you might spot the Indian Darter here during sunset.
Gift center is located at the entrance of the park. You can find many books related to wildlife, theme tees, postcards, magnets and other simple souvenirs.
Caveat in the park is open from 10 in the morning until 5 in the evening. This is a must-visit place for photographers.
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Top Animals and Birds to Spot in Bharatpur National Park
Top water birds to spot in this park are endangered Siberian Crane, Indian Darter, Indian Saurus crane, heron, cormorants, storks, migrant ducks, common teal, gadwall, shoveler, knob billed duck, Indian shag, white spoonbill, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, oriental ibis and others. If you visit during the tourism season, you can watch the courtship dance of sarus crane in the park.
Top land birds to spot are babblers, bee-eaters, buntings, guails, warblers, osprey, short-toed eagle, greater spotted eagle, crested serpent eagle, sea eagle and others.
There are only 27 mammals found in the park. Top mammals to spot are Nilgai, chital deer, white sambar, Indian porcupine, small Indian mongoose, jungle cat, fishing cat, Asian palm civet, smooth coated otter and others.
If you visit during the peak rainy season, you can spot many fishes in the water bodies. You can also spot snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and other species near the water bodies.
Accommodation in the Bharatpur National Park
You can find Ashoka Forest Lodge and Shanti Kutir inside the park, which are open to tourists. It is better to pre-book accommodations if you are choosing the accommodation inside the park. Bird Watching tour, bonfire, guided tour and other facilities are made by hotels outside the park too. You can find a range of accommodation options in Bharatpur, near the park.
Popular Tour Packages Covering Bharatpur: