The Keoladeo Ghana National Park at Bharatpur is truly a bird kingdom, where time takes wing. Welcome to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park at Bharatpur in Rajasthan. Spread over an area of little over 232 sq km, Keoladeo derives its name from the Shiva Temple in the heart of the sanctuary. Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, ornithologist Salim Ali is credited for bringing this park to public notice.
Prince Bhamji of Morvi state in Gujarat converted this area into a
world famous wildlife reserve. Duck shoots were organized in the area
every year by the rulers of Bharatpur, in honor of Viceroy Lord Curzon
and his party on 1st December 1902. The exploits of all visiting
dignitaries since 1902 have been engraved on stone plaques standing near
the Keoladeo temple. After independence, this reserve was notified as a
bird sanctuary but the former rulers of Bharatpur continued to enjoy
their shooting rights over the area till 1972. The area was notified as
a National Park in 1981 but made effective only in Novemeber, 1982.
The Keoladeo Ghana national park supports a population of 375 species
of birds, numerous mammals and reptiles. With the onset of winter,
migratory birds from all over world come here. They arrive by August and
leave in February. Visitors include Coot Snipes, Spanish Sparrow, Red
Crested Porhard, Rosy Pelican and Flamingo. The special attraction,
however, remains the arrival of the rare Siberian Crane. The park is
also rich in Pythons, Spotted Deer, Sambhars, Blue Bull, Black Buck,
Jackals, Otters, Fishing Cats and Monitor Lizards.
Nearby places of interest is the Government Museum, Bharatpur, which
gives a glimpse of historical splendor. Not far from the museum is the
Bharatpur Palace, which is an excellent blend of Mughal and Rajput
architecture. There is the Lohagarh Fort, which remained invincible
despite several attacks by the British. Just 32 km from Bharatpur, is
the Deeg Palace. This strong and massive fort was the summer resort of
the rulers of Bharatpur and has many palaces and gardens. birds.