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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
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Bharatpur is one of the interesting destinations of Rajasthan. Quite unusual, as compared to the other tourist attractions in the state, Bharatpur is a blend of history, a delicious food specialty and an amazing bird sanctuary designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the Natural category.


An important colony of Rajasthan during the historical periods, Bharatpur was once an invulnerable, fortified town. Lohagarh Fort of Bharatpur, a sturdy structure surrounded by a moat, has been tested several times by enemies and most of the times stood tall. The British had to attack the fort four times and besiege it once only to withdraw later in failure before they could bring it down.


However, why Bharatpur is famous today is because of its exceptional bird sanctuary. Named as Keoladeo National Park, the Bharatpur bird sanctuary is situated within ten kilometers from the main town. For its modest spread of merely 29 square kilometers, the sanctuary is home to 365 bird species, of which nearly 130 breed inside the sanctuary. The number keeps growing every year. The park is visited every year by large numbers of migratory birds who arrive from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China, Tibet and Siberia.


The sanctuary started developing before 250 years when Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur constructed Arjun Bund, the water reservoir on the confluence of River Gambhir and Banganga. As a result of a large water body attracting birds, Bharatpur became the biggest duck hunting place during the British rule. The museum at the sanctuary displays a picture of the day when a record 4000 ducks were shot on one day. In 1956 it was declared to be a bird reserve and in 1971 updated to be a national park.


Bharatpur bird sanctuary is famous for Saras Cranes, the tallest flight birds, which nest in the exposed areas in a marshy land, where they can be easily spotted. The migration of Siberian cranes, however, has been growing less in number every year since 2001. The last pair that had been recorded seen here was a few years ago. Apart from a wide range of duck species, the birds of prey such as tawny eagle, spotted eagle, imperial eagle, marsh harrier and laggar falcon can be frequently spotted. Along with the birds, the animals such as different kinds of deer including sambhar and spotted deer, blue bucks, jackals and even pythons can be seen.


Bharatpur is also famous for sweets. There are a lot of sweet shops in the town and one should taste the sweets here before moving on.


If you are entering Rajasthan after visiting Agra, it is highly recommended that you take your night stay at Bharatpur after spending a day at Taj Mahal and spend the earlier half of your day visiting this small but fascinating destination. If you are a bird lover, you might as well stay here for a number of days, till your heart’s content.


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Quick Reference

Bharatpur is the place mainly for those interested in Bird Watching. It is famous for Koladeo National Park, which is a World Heritage Site falling in the natural category. It is famous for quick and easy sightings of Indian as well as exotic, migratory birds. It is one of the best bird watching places in the country. Another place of interest here is Lohagarh Fort.


Destination Grade: A (What is this?)
Rating: 7/10
Population: 306325
5 Star Hotels: The Bagh Resort
Luxury Hotels: Chandra Mahal Haveli,Birder's Inn
Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (154 km), Agra Air Force Station, Agra (48 km)
Railway Station: Bharatpur Railway Station
Nearest Major City(s): Mathura (37 km), Agra (53 km), Firozabad (93 km)
How to reach: Well connected by road with Agra, Mathura, Delhi and Jaipur
Major Tourist Attraction: Keoladeo Ghana National Park or the Bharatpur Bird Santuary, Lohagarh Fort
Speciality(Famous for): Keoladeo Ghana National Park or The Bharatpur birds Santuary
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208 votes
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Total Reviews : 8
Reviews by users : (8)
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Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, an Unforgettable Experience - by  Rajesh Nigam Dated : 2011-07-19
I am a very enthusiastic bird watcher and that is how I planned an exciting trip to Bharatpur. Since the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in India and also is a World Heritage Site in the natural category, I could not have chosen a better place to go.

I boarded a bus for Bharatpur from Delhi. It was a 5 hour journey. I reached Bharatpur in the evening and checked into my hotel. I readied my camera and other necessary stuff that would help me the next morning. The next morning, I took my breakfast and left for the Bird Sanctuary with an excited heart. I preferred to walk through the sanctuary than rather hiring a vehicle.

Early morning and evening are the best times to spot birds here and I advise that anyone interested in watching the best of birds must go to Bharatpur from October to February that is when the sanctuary is flanked by migratory birds.

I spotted many bulbuls, different ducks like the tufted ducks and the comb duck, eagles and storks. There are also some sambars here, but are spotted rarely. I photographed all the birds, taking noiseless steps towards the trees on which they were sitting and chirping, it was an unforgettable experience.
Bharatpur Trip - by Chetan Biswas Dated : 2011-07-19
Bharatpur is a city that is famous all over India for its amazing bird sanctuary, the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. When in Rajasthan, one must not miss a visit to this well conserved and maintained wildlife sanctuary.

I had a golden chance to visit this Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary when I had gone to visit my aunt who stays at Jaipur. I and my cousin boarded a bus from Jaipur for Bharatpur, it was not a long journey, it took us almost 5 hours to reach Bharatpur. We had pre booked a budget hotel at Bharatpur as we were to stay there just for a night. We reached Bharatpur in the noon and after a sumptuous lunch we decided to go and visit the much talked about Bird Sanctuary.

The Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary was not very far from our hotel. As we reached the gate of the sanctuary we could clearly hear the chirping of birds. It was very sweet. We hired a cycle rickshaw to explore the sanctuary, taking cars is not allowed since it scares the birds. All afternoon we moved through the sanctuary and spotted exotic birds, took pictures all the way. It was an amazing experience. We went back to our hotel, slept tight and came back early in the morning to visit the sanctuary. It was more exciting, the fresh air in the morning and cute birds made us very happy and relaxed. After a delicious lunch we boarded our bus to Jaipur. Bharatpur was an awesome experience.
Our Cycle Tour - by Mohan Nigam  Dated : 2011-05-02
We were on a bicycle tour of Rajasthan. On the fifth day of our tour, we reached the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It is known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. We were riding from Agra, and after a total ride of 57 kilometers we reached Bharatpur. We were really tired, we reached our hotel which we had booked already and put ourselves to rest and slept for a total 12 hours.

In the morning we visited the famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary-India's largest bird sanctuary and a paradise for bird lovers. It is located to enjoy bird watching. The sanctuary is open round the year. However, the best season to visit is August to October, when Indian birds are nesting. This sanctuary is spread on a low Marshland and has 375 species of birds of which 117 are Migratory. Keoladeo National Park is one of the best water bird sanctuaries in the world. In winter there are many migratory birds from the northern hemisphere including the rare Siberian crane.

We had a great time exploring the sanctuary; we had hired a cycle rickshaw so that we could roam inside the sanctuary. Our tour guide told us about many birds and also that the migration of the Siberian crane has become very rare these days. It is an irony; care must be taken about the bird migration so that no disturbance occurs in the arrival of the migratory birds.

It was one of the best days of my life because I came to know I was determined enough to explore Rajasthan on my bicycle along with my friend Rajiv. Bharatpur had given us a great boost. The next day we then moved towards Sariska, however Bharatpur was the starting point of our tour of Rajasthan so it has a very close place in my heart and that is why I was excited to write this review.
Memorable Bharatpur - by Radhika Pai  Dated : 2011-05-02
During our visit to Rajasthan, me and my husband decided to visit Bharatpur without any previous planning. We were on our honeymoon and had spent a day and a night at Sariska without much luck of spotting a tiger, or anything interesting apart from the blue bulls. We had a booking for next two days in Sariska, but we decided to check out early upon suggestion by a fellow tourist and went to Bharatpur. It's not a very long journey. We reached Bharatpur around 12 in the noon and checked in at the first hotel we found. It was a big mistake. There are many hotels in Bharatpur and mostly it is not hard to find a booking, but you can easily land in a bad hotel and be harassed by mosquitoes. We came to think that the resort where we had been staying at Sarkiska was much better and satisfying than this new hotel.

We went to the sanctuary at 3.30 after lunch and a little rest and had a great time spotting exotic birds and several animals. The best part about this sanctuary is that you cannot enter in a car or any vehicle that makes noise. You have to hire a cycle rickshaw which does not make much noise. I think this, as opposed to Sariska, was why it was not so hard sighting birdlife here.

When we came back to our hotel, the first thing we did was shift to a better one, which was the best decision. The stay at the new place soon made us forget the discomfort at the previous one. We woke up early and went to the sanctuary again in the morning as my husband told that if we spotted such nice birds during afternoon, we will definitely spot a lot more birds during early morning. And he was so right. Even though I do not remember names of all the species we spotted like my husband does, I remember what joy it was to watch the innocent activities of the birds.

The weather during the morning was very nice and we did spend a joyful morning at Bharatpur. I am very glad that we decided to go to Bharatpur despite of not having planned it. It made our honeymoon memorable.
IN Bharatpur With the Birds - by Nirmal Bhatia  Dated : 2011-03-15
When you drive from Sariska to Bharatpur it may or may not take too long. When I had gone to Bharatpur via Sariska, the roads were under construction and it took too long for me to reach Sariska. It was almost evening when I reached Bharatpur.

I made a wise deal by checking in into a hotel that was walking distance from the Keoladeo National Park. There are good and reasonable hotels in Bharatpur. The winters are known to be a peak time to visit the bird sanctuary but it was not so in the case of Bharatpur, because the bird sanctuary did not attract a lot of birds. However it was not as bad as my guide told me. Some 3 years ago, the monsoon in Bharatpur was very bad, there were no rains and the lakes inside the sanctuary got dry. No birds came into the sanctuary like they always did.

So it is my golden advice to do some homework before just dashing to Bharatpur. It is possible to call up the offices of the sanctuary and collect some information about the bird migration before planning your trip.

Next morning I went to visit the bird sanctuary along with my guide in a cycle rickshaw. I was very happy to spot a golden woodpecker and take a lot of pictures of it; it was really hard to capture the bird in my lens. I also managed to see common birds like the kingfisher, cranes and egrets. Amongst never seen before was the Mongolian war duck, it migrates from Mongolia, the famous Saras cranes, some duck species and eagles. The guide told me the names of the species and I simple captured them in my camera, not thinking too much.

I had a great time at Bharatpur, the Keoladeo Ghana national Park is worth a visit, no wonder it is a World Heritage Site.
Close Encounters With the Birds of Bharatpur - by Aditya Dhanwatay Dated : 2011-03-09
As I stood at the entrance of the Keoladeo National Park, I heard numerous birds chirping, and I knew what was in store of me. Even when I knew, I was amazed by what I saw. I had hired a registered tour guide; to understand and identify the birds correctly I needed the fellow. As we got inside, he told me there were numerous species of migratory birds in this sanctuary, and such was their trust in this place that they came every year. I was amused by his way of filling me up information. I had found the right guy! Sigh!

Many might not know, nor did I know that this place is a World Heritage Site, declared by UNESCO and it is also a protected sanctuary since 1971. I was happy that in this part of the country something was being conserved quite perfectly, something like the beautiful birds.

There is a very density of bird population here. You can have a good look at the birds as you walk through the small roads cut across the sanctuary. I chose to roam around the park in a cycle rickshaw, I and my guide sat comfortably in it and I kept moving my neck wherever he pointed. I think since then my neck has become more flexible.

I also spotted animals like spotted deer, nilgai or blue bulls grazing happily in the jungle. Guide fellow also told me that incidently a tiger had wandered into Bharatpur from Ranthambore and the authorities had had sleepless nights. The names of the birds that I remember are the laughing doves, rose ringes parakeets, owls, butterflies, kingfishers and some marshland birds of Indian origin.

I had a birdy day in the sanctuary, saw so many birds that I hallucinated of the sounds of the birds for the next few days.
Bharatpur - by Radha Pillay Dated : 2011-02-09
Bharatpur is a really nice place. I like the entire state of Rajasthan, it has great food, good hotels and nice warm people. I love birds so i went to this Bharatpur bird sanctuary. There are really beautiful birds and this sanctuary is a blessing for birdlovers like me. I had great time seeing eagles and falcons. I came to know that amazing migratory birds also come here. I really loved this Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. The Saras cranes are graceful birds and I took many pictures of them. It was astonishing to know that this is a world heritage site.
My Trip To Bharatpur - by Apurva Pathak Dated : 2011-01-20
In the truest of sense, Bharatpur can be called a multi faceted tourist attraction in Rajasthan. It has all that you can wish for – great food, luxurious hotels, a Fort with a history and an amazing bird sanctuary. Bharatpur bears a fort, the Lohagarh Fort which is surrounded by a moat. The Fort was invincible at times of war and even today it has an imposing presence.

Bharatpur is more famous for its bird sanctuary. The Bharatpur bird santuary now known as the Koladeo National Park was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the natural category . It is merely 29 square kilometers in area and is home to 365 bird species. The sanctuary is known to have developed around 250 years ago when Maharaj Suraj Mal of Bharatpur constructed Arjun Bund, a water reservoir on nearby rivers Gambhir and Banganga. It attracted many birds species and became the biggest duck hunting place during the British rule. A museum at the sanctuary exhibits a picture of the day when a whopping 4000 ducks were shot dead. Later in 1971 it was declared as National Park.

The Saras cranes the tallest flight birds are spotted in this national park apart from numerous duck species and prey birds like tawny eagles, marsh harrier and laggar falcons. Animals like jackals, sambhar, spotted deer, blue bucks and pythons can also be seen. This National Park is a nature lover’s delight. Moreover Bharatpur is famous for sweets. It is one great place to have a sweet and memorable stay.