Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India. It is also a declared World Heritage Site owing to its vast collection of Avi-Fauna and wildlife. Keoladeo National Park (KNP), formerly known as the Bharatpur Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Locally, it is still known as ‘Ghana’ which means a dense forest. It acquired its name, ‘Keoladeo’ due to the presence of the Lord Shiva temple at the centre of the Park. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971.
The park is home to over 370 species of birds and animals such as the basking python, painted storks, deer, nilgai and more. It is a man-made and man-managed wetland and one of the national parks of India. The reserve protects Bharatpur from frequent floods, provides grazing grounds for village cattle, and earlier was primarily used as a waterfowl hunting ground. This ‘Bird Paradise’ was developed in a natural depression wetland that was managed as a duck shooting reserve at the end of the 19th century.
The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. It was a being a hunting ground in the times of Maharajas used to be host to a number of Duck shoots organised here by the Maharajas for the British dignitaries. And duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India. The park was established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850. In 1985, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site under the world Heritage Convention. It is a reserve forest under the Rajasthan Forest Act, 1953 and therefore, is the property of the State of Rajasthan of the Indian Union.
Flora And Fauna:
The park is the only area with significant vegetation, hence the term ‘Ghana’ meaning ‘thicket’. The principal vegetation types are tropical dry deciduous forest, intermixed with dry grassland in areas where forest has been degraded. Rich of natural flora and fauna, spread in over 29Km2 of area. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary contains a wide variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera and 227 subspecies. Its unique mosaic of habitat types ranges from temporary swamps and potholes, which hold water for a few weeks only, to floodplains where water flows over for several months.
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary as the name suggest is a haven for the birdwatchers and avifauna . Over 370 bird species have been recorded in the park. also home to around 50 species of fishes, 13 species of snakes, 7 species of turtles and many more wild animals. The land insects found here in great numbers are good for the breeding of land birds. It is the only wintering ground for the central population of the rare and highly endangered Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in India. A large number of breeding colonies of fish-eating birds occur in the monsoon and autumn months. That is why this park is regarded as the hub of ornithologist for their research works on the various species of birds. During its evolution, it was declared as a protected sanctuary in 1971 and was declared as World Heritage Site in 1985! For ornithologists, the park has 2 important aspects- one important aspect is its location that is a favourite of the migratory waterfowl that comes here in the Indian subcontinent before it goes to the different places.
The summers are too hot in Keoladeo as the temperatures can reach soaring heights making it a really unbearable place for tourism, the temperature ranges from 38 ° C to 45°C. winter the temperatures reach a maximum of 350C and a minimum of 50C The monsoon precipitation is about 69 cm. November to March is the best time, for the migratory birds are there as well as the residents. But the park is a treat all year round.
How To Reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Agra (55 km), Which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail: Bharatpur Railway station is 5 km away from the national park, Which is well connected to major city of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Kolkata etc.
By Road: Buses are available for Bharatpur from most cities and towns in Rajasthan and taxi services are available from major cities like Agra, Jaipur and Delhi. Alwar, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura and Sariska are also in close proximity to Bharatpur.
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