Keoladeo Ghana National Park, in Rajasthan, is known for its high population of non-migratory permanent breeding birds. Especially, it is a major wintering habitat for Palaearctic migratory waterfowl. Large flocks of ducks, geese, coots, pelicans, and waders arrive in the winter due to its strategic location in the centre of the Central Asian migratory flyway. Chiefly, the existence of water bodies surrounding it makes it even more suitable for migratory birds.
Facts about Keoladeo Ghana National Park:
Suraj Mal, the maharaja of Bharatpur princely state, established the park as a hunting preserve in the late 1800s, and it became a bird sanctuary in 1956. It was renamed ‘Keoladeo’ after the ancient temple devoted to the Hindu deity Shiva in the park.
The establishment of the Keoladev as a national park in 1982. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1985. The park is home to the only known wintering habitat of the critically endangered Siberian Crane’s primary population, as well as other internationally vulnerable species including the Greater Spotted Eagle and Imperial Eagle. Keoladeo National Park, in Rajasthan, is a major wintering grounds for Palaearctic migratory waterfowl and its high population of non-migratory permanent breeding birds popularise it.
There is a reduction in the cattle grazing inside the park because of eco-development initiatives in the neighbouring villages. Although local people are actively involved in participatory resource protection, which includes the eradication of invasive alien species. Many people come to Keoladeo to go bird viewing on bicycle ,rickshaws driven by qualified local guides from the nearby villages. As a result, it offers an additional income and decreases unnecessary noise pollution.
Local people are actively interested in participatory resource protection, which includes the elimination of invasive alien species and eco-development activities in neighbouring communities. Many visitors travel to Keoladeo to go bird watching in bicycle rickshaws. Significantly, the qualified local guides from adjacent villages guide the bicycle rickshaws. Also, it generates additional revenue while also reducing noise pollution. Natural Flora and Fauna at Keoladeo Ghana National Park:
Woodlands, wetlands and wet grasslands cover a substantial portion of the 29 square kilometers park . In a sparsely vegetated area, the park is the only site with lush vegetation and trees. The primary vegetation types are tropical dry deciduous woodlands and arid grasslands. Shrubs and medium-sized trees cover the majority of the territory where the forest has deteriorated. Babul dominates the open woods, with a few kandi and ber plants tossed in for good measure.
Things To Remember While Planning A Trip To Keoladeo Ghana National Park:
- Best time to visit:
The Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, is open all year; however, the ideal time to come is from October to March, perfect time to see migratory birds.
- Climate in Bharatpur:
Bharatpur’s climate varies from hot in the summer to frigid in the winter. The temperature fluctuates from 38°C to 45°C throughout the summer months (April-June). The arrival of the monsoon season (July-August) brings a drop in temperature to around 27°C. After Christmas, the winter season (October-March) peaks, with temperatures dropping below 10°C. Ground fog occurs irregularly throughout the winter on certain dates in January.
- How to reach Keoladeo Ghana National Park
The nearest airport is at Agra, which is 56 kilometres away from Bharatpur. Bharatpur is 184 kilometres from Delhi. The railway line of India connects all of India’s major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Agra. The Bharatpur railway station is about 5 kilometres from the national park and bird sanctuary.
- Entry Cost:
Entry fees to the Keoladeo National Park are Rs 200 for foreign tourists and Rs 75 for Indian visitors. There is a restriction on taking the vehicles inside the park. You may park them for Rs 50 at the authorised parking lot.
Protection and Management Requirements:
The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and the Indian Forest Act of 1927 provide strong legal protection for the national park. The Rajasthan Forest Department manages the site with the help of local people, national and international conservation organisations. Additionally, management plan has been prepared for the property’s protection and management.
This management plan keeps important topics in mind. To point out: water supply, invasive natural vegetation and inappropriate usage of the property by neighboring villages. These are the main threats to the conservation of this bird watching haven. Also there is a major eradication of the invasive alien species, thanks to man- made and man-managed efforts of the local community. Additionally, due to India’s strict legislative environmental rules, all proposed development operations must go through a rigorous environmental assessment procedure.
In a nutshell:
If you’re on a trip to Keoladeo Ghana National Park and especially want to get a glimpse of the beautiful birds, make sure to enter by 7-7.30 am. Make sure to get a licensed rickshaw as it is the best way to tour this park as the rickshaw pullers also double up as guides and assist in bird sighting. Markedly, this park is a treat for bird watchers and makes for an adventure you’ll cherish forever!
Also follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Aryaki M.