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Rajasthan: Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
Bharatpur – A world heritage sites of WWF :
- Best time to visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: October-March.
- Best season to watch birds: December-February.
- Season: Winter, Time: Dawn and evening (6 a.m. to 17 p.m.)
Bharatpur is a historical city, the capital of which was spread at an elevation of 250 meters and name of the capital was also Bharatpur. The important city of Rajasthan was founded in 1730 by the Jat emperor Surajmal on the lingering banks of the Ruparali and Banganga Rivers.
The fort, erected during 1733, in central Bharatpur is believed to be the prime and sought after tourists’ destination. Covering a rambling 11 km of terrain, the fort of Bharatpur, is well protected with a surrounding fortification. 45 meters wide and 15 meters deep moat is adding an additional layer of security to the fort. The absorbing fort is accessed through two doorways, namely Ashtapathi and Lohia, located respectively at the northern and southern sides of the Bharatpur fort. The well shaped Lohia gate was carved out of mahogany woods. The grand gateway was brought all the way from Delhi in 1765. It was a winning commemorative. The decoration with astonishing silver and gold on the splendid gateway makes the Lohia gate even more special. Two circular bulwarks are placed at both the sides of the entrance.
The beguiling fort is delimited by 8 fences. The security of the fort was praiseworthy. It was even hard for the invaders to find ways to go inside the fort. It is due to the security and planning, the fort was really difficult to access by the people who didn’t know much about it. Hence, the fort was named as Lohagarh. The Mughal architectural splendor is now entertaining huge number of visitors. Jawar Burj and Fateh Burj are other special attractions of Bharatpur. The first one was the historical memorial, built by Jawahar Singh and was built to recall the victory of the battle against Mughal dynasty. The Fateh Burj was built in 1805 after successfully restricting the huge British force. It was destroyed by the British as well in 1825. The British force was astonished when they came across the structure of the fort. They aptly had named it as “The fort of victory” where as the city of Bharatpur was named as the “City of victory”.
The fortification, which once was renowned and was compared with that of the city of Bundi, has now lost its old sumptuousness. The architectural flair has also diminished a lot. Each and every appealing corner of the fort is not accessible now, as a number of Government offices have been set up in various dotted rooms of the fort. Located at a distance of 4 km away from the Bharatpur railway station, Bharatpur fort is open to all during 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Jat dynasty had ruled the city for a long time and had got enough time to decorate the fort with Jafri architecture. The well ornamented walls and captivating Hammam are laudable as well. The carvings on the marbles deserve praise. There is a museum at the western corner of the palace. The impressive assortment of items, kept in the museum, should be looked at. Various sculptures of Jain architectures, weapons, ancient articles of Kushan Empire, Arabia and Sanskrit graphical inscriptions recall the historical fame. Climb up the roof top to enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding cosmos. Buy a ticket spending 3 rupees to gaze at the collection of the museum during 10-17 hours.
The spiritual crowds should not miss the opportunity to feel the divinity of the holy Lachman Ji Ka temple. The sanctified Ganga temple, divine Jami mosque, pretty Nehru Park and astounding Gandhi Park in the fort are the other coveted tourists’ spots of Bharatpur. About 1 ½ km away from the city, built in 1905, the Golbagh palace, has a historical value as well.
Bharatpur has proudly included its name in the list of the world heritage sites of WWF for its enthralling bird sanctuary. Birds from faraway spots fly in to enjoy the nature of the sanctuary all throughout the year. The Bird Sanctuary is named as Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. The name had been derived from holy Keoladeo Shiva.
It was a hunting paradise for the primeval emperors for more than 200 years. Later on, the fascinating green manor was crowned with the honor of a sanctuary in 1956. After few years, the sanctuary was coroneted with the title of the National Park of Rajasthan in 1981 as well.
The artificial Lake, covering a straggling 29 km of land, was excavated to attract countless numbers of indigenous and migratory birds. 400 species of animated birds fly in and around the lush green sanctuary. 117 kinds of itinerant birds play on the branches of more than 227 species of foliage. Besides Kohinoor of Bharatpur, red faced Siberian succulent, Kingfisher, Egret, Gallinule, white crow, red crow, pelican, various sea birds and 80 species of ducks, innumerable vivacious and colorful migratory birds also fly in from various countries of Asia, Afghanistan, Siberia, Tibet and China in winters. They form their small nests on the branches of the trees to enjoy the serenity.
Holiday makers and nature lovers assemble here primarily for watching the animated and colorful birds. But, this National Park also is known to be the homeland of Antelope, Chital deer, Nilgais, Shambars, beer, panthers and innumerable slithery python. Plenty of lions, tigers, elephants and wolfs used to stroll around the forest previously as Kishan Singh, the father of the emperor Brajendra, had a hobby of buying them spending the money of the treasury. Tourists, however, are unable to watch the spectacle now. They are not there in the Park anymore.
It is recommended to avoid holidays. If you visit the sanctuary in holidays, then you won’t be able to witness the agreeable sight of flying birds because most of the birds leave the Park due to huge gatherings. It’s a favorite spot for picnic and outing lovers. To gaze at the colorful birds, you should carry a binocular alongside. You can use a rented binocular as well.
Stay inside the sanctuary during sunset to watch the reflection of the sunlight on the lucent water of the Lake. You can’t access the core area of the sanctuary by car. It’s not allowed. But, to enjoy the nature to the fullest, take a walk. It is mandatory to buy a ticket spending 50 rupees. The ticket price is not the same for foreigners though.
Boating on the water surface of the Lake would be a fascinating experience for one and all. The tiny nests of unknown birds on the acacia trees would prominently be visible from your boat. It’s truly an enticing experience. If you are a bird lover, then don’t forget to hire a guide who would walk along with you and would assist you to know the names and identify those birds at the same time. A mini bus starts its journey for the jungle safari from the tourist bungalow but only if sufficient numbers of travelers are available and are interested to watch the splendor of the forest. Engrossed and interested tourists can hire a bicycle as well. Be prepared to purchase a ticket for carrying your camera inside the forest area.
All the tourists’ spots of the city of Bharatpur are well connected by bus. For a comfortable tour, it’s not a bad idea to hire a car or an auto.
How to reach: Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Madhopur, Indore, Amritsar and Agra fort are well connected to Bharatpur by railway networks. Buses also ply from Bharatpur to Agra fort, Delhi, Mathura, Alwar and Jaipur.
Where to stay: Bharatpur Forest Lodge, Shanti Kutir Forest Rest House, Hotel Saras, Hotel Sun Bird, Hotel Cren Crib, Eagles nest, Chandra Mhala Haveli, Hotel Pratap Palace, Golbagh Palace Hotel, Bambino Guest House, Hotel Paradise and Faleon Guest House.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.