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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary


The Keoladeo Ghana National Park or as many people prefer to call it the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary lies between two of India’s most historic cities, Agra and Jaipur. This north Indian sanctuary is situated in the country’s northwestern state of Rajasthan, about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi. The name ‘Keoladeo’ is derived from the name of an ancient Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva in the sanctuary’s central zone while the Hindi term 'Ghana' implies dense, thick areas of forest cover.

This spectacular bird sanctuary is historical in its own way. The Maharaja of Bharatpur is credited for its creation in 1890, though conservation was the last thing on his mind. He got a large area enclosed with embankments and further divided it with earthen dams called ’bunds’ creating a large number of marshes and lakes. Thus, Bharatpur is mainly an artificial creation. The government banned the indiscriminate shooting of birds in 1965. Conservation efforts originally started by Dr. Salim Ali received a further impetus when the area was deemed a national park in March 1982. In 1985, Bharatpur was accepted as a World Heritage Site. 

Bharatpur hosts a variety of bird species from across the globe. Close to 380 species of birds are found in this 29 sq km stretch, approximately 10 sq km of which comprises of marshes and bogs. Rest of the area comprises of scrublands, grasslands and more than 44,000 trees that are used for nesting by birds each year. This rather intriguing blend of marshes, woodland and flora found here represents and, at the same time, substantiates the density and diversity of the region’s forest cover.

During summers (April–June), the temperature ranges from 38°C to 45°C. The onset of monsoon (July–August) lowers the temperature to about 27°C. Winter (October–March) season peaks after Christmas with temperatures falling below 10°C. Ground fog in the winter persists rather erratically on unspecified periods in January. 

How to Reach there
By Air : The nearest airport is that of Agra. One can easily reach Bharatpur by picking a bus from there or private vehicles.

By Rail : Bharatpur has its own railway stations with many major trains halting here.

By Road : Bharatpur is properly linked with the major destinations of India - Delhi, Agra, Jaipur by road. Regular bus services to Bharatpur is available both of the state transport and private operators.

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