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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is regarded as one of the best sanctuaries of the world by leading ornithologists and they are all spot on in their assessment. This is one of the most-visited bird sanctuaries in India, primarily because bird lovers are unlikely to see such a wide variety of common and exotic birds from various parts of the world at one place anywhere else but here.


Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is situated in Bharatpur, Rajasthan in the north-west part of India and covers a large area of 29 square kilometers. It is a reserve that protects hundreds of species of birds and provides them the environment to thrive and flourish. The sanctuary is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park as there is an ancient Shiva temple in the center of the park. Keoladeo refers to Lord Shiva and Ghana denotes dense; a metaphor for the thick forestation of the park.


This world-famous sanctuary was initially a huge natural depression that was filled with water after the then ruler of the state of Bharatpur, Maharaja Suraj Mal ordered construction of the Ajan Bund at the confluence of rivers Banganga and Gambhir during the period 1726-63. The park was the favorite hunting ground of the royalty ruling the princely state of Bharatpur during this era. The development and segregation of lake in the sanctuary was done a few hundred years ago. There is an amazingly efficient system of small dams, sluice gates and dykes here that was created to control water level in various parts leading to creation of a wonderful wetland that ranks among the best in the world.

Hunting at the sanctuary was banned in the early 60s. On 10th March 1982, the region was declared a national park. It gained the status of a World Heritage Site in December 1985.

The Flora and Fauna of the Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is home to thousands of birds. More than 230 plus species of birds visit here, especially during summer months. Migratory birds come to the sanctuary from as far as Central Asia and Siberia and Central Asia to spend the winter in Bharatpur before returning to their respective procreating environs. The birds that can be spotted at the sanctuary include species of Pelicans, Cranes, Ducks, Geese, Hawks, Eagles, Stints, Shanks, Warblers, Wagtails, Flycatchers, Wheatears, Larks, Buntings, and lots more. Sāmbhar, Boar and Nilgai are some of the animals that inhibit the sanctuary.

The sanctuary has a thick forest cover that offers comprehensive protection to the diverse flora of the area. The dense trees and large varieties of flowers and shrubs provide a highly natural habitat to the migratory birds and are keep attracting them year after year. One of the amazing facts of the sanctuary is that the diverse plant species and the thick vegetation are in complete contrast to the rather sparse vegetation growth of other areas of the region.

Best Time to Visit

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is open right through the year. However, the best time to visit the place is from August through November for watching the best of local birds and from October through February for migrant birds.

How to Reach

By Road

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is located near the city bus station and can be reached by any local transport including bus and taxi. It is 176 km from Delhi, 60 km from Agra and 24 km from Fatehpur Sikri.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Bharatpur Railway Junction at 5 kilometers from the sanctuary.

By Air

The nearest airport is Agra at 56 kilometers from the sanctuary.

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