Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary and a national park located in the Alwar district of the Indian state of Rajasthan. The reserve is spread over an area of about 866 square kilometers and is situated in the Aravalli Range.
The reserve was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and a national park in 1982. Sariska is home to a variety of wildlife species, including tigers, leopards, sambar deer, chital, wild boar, and langurs. It is also home to several species of birds, such as the peafowl, grey partridge, and sand grouse.
In the early 2000s, Sariska faced a crisis when all of its tigers were believed to have been poached. However, the reserve was repopulated with tigers from other areas of India and now has a thriving tiger population.
Tourists can visit the reserve and go on wildlife safaris to spot the various animals that call Sariska home. The best time to visit is between October and June, and the reserve is closed during the monsoon season.
What is it famous for?
Sariska is famous for its tigers and a large population of Rhesus monkeys. It was included under the Project Tiger in the year 1979.
How to reach
Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, and is well connected by road and rail.
By Road: The reserve is situated on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, and can be reached by car or bus. It is about 107 kilometers from Jaipur and 200 kilometers from Delhi. Private taxis, buses, and rental cars are available from both cities.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Sariska is Alwar Junction, which is about 37 kilometers away from the reserve. Alwar Junction is well connected to major cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur, among others. From the railway station, taxis and buses are available to reach the reserve.
By Air: The nearest airport to Sariska is Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, which is about 160 kilometers away from the reserve. From the airport, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the reserve. Another option is to fly to Jaipur International Airport, which is about 135 kilometers away from the reserve.
Once you reach the reserve, you can hire a local guide or take a wildlife safari to explore the park.
What is the best time?
The Sariska Tiger Reserve can be visited throughout the year. However, the ideal time to visit is between the months of October and June.
What constitutes the flora, fauna, and avifauna?
Dry and deciduous forests dominate the landscape of Sariska. The animal inmates of the park include leopard, tiger, wild dog, jungle cat, hyena, jackal, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai (Blue Bull), Chausingha, Wild Boar, and Langur. The park is well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys that can be found in huge numbers around Talvriksh.
The avian world of the park is no less rich and varied. These include peafowl, grey partridge, bush quail, sand grouse, tree pie, crested serpent eagle, Great Indian horned owl, golden-backed woodpecker, etc.
What are the other attractions?
The Kankwari Fort is a major attraction for travelers and visitors. Located within the park, the fort was once used by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to imprison his brother Darashikoh.
Yet another attraction for the visitors is the ancient Shiva temples, known as the Neelkanth temples. The history of these temples dates back between the 6th and 13th centuries. There are remains of around 300 Jain and Hindu temples in the park. Though now in ruins, these temples make an engaging sight to the onlookers.
The Palace was erected by the Maharaja of Alwar. It is also a fabulous attraction to visitors. Now it has been converted into a hotel. Tribal Communities
There are a number of tribal communities in and around the park. Observing their lifestyle can prove to be all the more interesting.
Where to Stay
There are several accommodation options available for visitors to Sariska Tiger Reserve, ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly lodges. Some of the popular options include:
- Sariska Tiger Camp Resort: This is a luxury resort located near the reserve, offering comfortable tents and cottages, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Indian and international cuisine.
- Alwar Bagh Sariska by Aamod: This is a heritage resort located near the reserve, offering spacious rooms and suites, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Rajasthani and North Indian cuisine.
- Tiger Den Resort: This is a budget-friendly resort located near the reserve, offering comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Indian and continental cuisine.
- Sterling Sariska: This is a mid-range resort located near the reserve, offering comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving Indian and international cuisine.
- Hotel Hill View: This is a budget-friendly hotel located in the town of Alwar, about 37 kilometers from the reserve. It offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and easy access to the reserve.
There are several other options available in and around the reserve, catering to different budgets and preferences. It is advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.
Sariska Tiger Reserve offers both jeep and canter safaris for visitors to explore the park and spot its wildlife. Here are some details about the safaris:
- Jeep Safari: Jeep safaris are the most popular way to explore the reserve. The safari vehicles can accommodate up to six passengers and are driven by trained guides. The safaris are available in two shifts, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The morning safari starts at around 6:30 am and lasts for about three hours, while the afternoon safari starts at around 2:30 pm and lasts for about three hours as well.
- Canter Safari: Canter safaris are larger vehicles that can accommodate up to 20 passengers. The canter safaris are conducted only in the morning shift, and the safari starts at around 6:30 am and lasts for about three hours.
The safari routes are pre-determined by the park authorities, and visitors are not allowed to go off the designated paths. The park authorities also impose strict rules and regulations to ensure the safety of the visitors and wildlife. Some of the rules include not getting down from the safari vehicle, not making loud noises, and not feeding the animals.
It is advisable to book the safari in advance, especially during the peak tourist season. Visitors should also carry binoculars, cameras, and warm clothing during the winter months.