Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Where is the Keoladeo Ghana National Park?
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is located at a distance of just 2 km from Bharatpur on the border between the states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It was given the status of a bird sanctuary in 1956. In the year 1982, it was upgraded to a national park and today ranks among the best water-bird reserves in the world. It’s a World Heritage Site as well, attracting hordes of visitors, travellers, nature writers, and bird-watchers from far and wide.
What is it famous for?
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the best water-bird preserves in the world. It has also been declared as a World Heritage Site. Bharatpur is the Siberian crane’s only known wintering ground in India.
How will you gain access?
Keoladeo Ghana is located at a distance of 2 km from Bharatpur, which is well-connected to Delhi (176 km ) and Agra (50 km). There are regular bus services from Delhi, Agra, and the other cities. One can also hire taxies or other private vehicles. Taxies and private vehicles are allowed in the park.
What are the entry charges?
Visitors need to obtain a permit from the Warden or the Ranger at the entrance to the park. The entry charge for Indians is Rs 25, while for the foreign national it is Rs 200 each. Extra charges are to be paid for taking the cameras and other photographic equipment along.
What is the best time?
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is open throughout the year for visiting. However, the ideal time is during the winters, between the months of October and February. During this period, the weather is good and it is also the time for the arrival of migratory birds.
What constitutes the flora, fauna, and avifauna?
The word ‘Ghana’, in Keoladeo Ghana, means thick forest. The park has a high density of vegetation, containing a wide variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera, and 227 subspecies. Kadam (Mitragynaparvifolia), Babul (Acacia nilotica), and Jamun (Syzygiumcuminii) dominate the forests at Bharatpur. The scrublands are dominated by the species of Capparis decidua. Aquatic vegetation comprises lilies, lotus, duckweeds, and water fern.
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is home to a very rich bird-life including the pink-tinted stork, numerous species of cormorants, egrets, pelicans, spoonbills, flamingos, vultures, kingfishers, ibises, cranes, ducks, and geese. There are 350 bird species to be watched, both native and migratory. Among the migratory birds is the highly dangered species of the Siberian Crane which comes to nest here in winters.
Apart from the various species of native and migratory birds, the park is also home to a fabulous number of mammal and reptile species. The animal inmates of the park include deer, jackals, blackbuck, fishing cats, otters, blue bulls, etc.
What are the nearby attractions?
1. Bharatpur Palace
Close to the museum is yet another attraction for the visitors. The palace is a wonderful fusion of the Mughal and the Rajput architecture. It is a must-see site for one and all.
2. Government Museum
The Government Museum nearby is worth a visit. The museum provides glimpses of glories of the past.
3. Lohargarh fort
The Lohargarh Fort which withstood a number of attacks by the British, existing even today to tell its story to the world.