Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park, formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is located in Bharatpur sity of Rajasthan, India. It is famous worldwide for its avifaunal species. Lots of visitors come here especially in winters as many migratory birds come here and make this sanctuary their breeding and resting ground. It spreads over an area of 2,783 hectares. Earlier, it was a duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Bharatpur. It was later declared a bird sanctuary in 1956. In 1985, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park is named after the temple of Lord Shiva (Keoladeo), which is located inside the forest (go here to see the temple image). This national park is famous for its 364 species of winter birds that flock here in large numbers during the winter season. They arrive from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Many ornithologists arrive here for the studies related to birds. This national park is a man-made wetland. This reserve also protects Bharatpur from frequent floods, provides grazing grounds for village cattle and thus, serves many purposes.
The 29 Km of the land is locally known as Ghana and contains dry grassland, woodlands, wetlands and woodland swamps. This diverse habitat supports 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species, 7 turtle species and a variety of other invertebrates. The sanctuary is one of the richest bird sanctuaries in the world. The best time to spot the birds is either early morning or evening. Floral species of the national park are dominated by the trees & plants of kadam, jamun, babul, kandi, ber, shrubland, salvadora oleoides, salvadora persica, aquatic vegetation, etc. Forest area spreads in a large area.
Fauna of the park divide in many parts like waterfowl which includes Gadwall, Shoveler, common teal, cotton teal, tufted duck, comb duck, little cormorant, great cormorant, Indian shag, ruff, wood sandpiper, Asian open-billed stork, etc. Land birds include bulbuls, buntings, partridges, quails, grey hornbill, marshall’s iora, short-toed eagle, tawny eagle, spotted eagle, crested serpent eagle, etc. So, basically it’s a bird paradise.
Mammals include feral cattle, spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, porcupine, Indian gray mongoose, jungle cat, leopard, rhesus macaque, fishing cat, small Indian civet, smooth-coated otter, jackals, hyena, gerbils, bats, etc. Herpetofauna (reptile species) includes python, monitor lizard, Krait, cobra, tortoise, Russell’s viper, etc.
The climate of the area is warm as the sanctuary is located in Bharatpur. Summers are too warm and winters are not very cold. Many bird species need this climate. Rainfall is also less. Due to which lots of migratory birds like the Siberian crane move here at the time of peak seasons of their country and reside there for some time.
To visit the sanctuary, the best time is from August-November for resident breeding birds and October –February for migrant birds. At this sanctuary, nature is at its best and it can be admired by any visitor.
I recently found about an interesting blogging community called the ABC Wednesday and luckily my this post looks good to be submitted in their weekly post. So I thought, why not give it a try. K is for Keoladeo.