Nestled in the heart of India, Keoladeo National Park, formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and history. This ecological gem, located in the state of Rajasthan, offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of India’s natural beauty and historical significance. In this blog, we will explore the wonders of Keoladeo National Park and delve into some historical facts that have shaped its legacy.
Royal Past: Keoladeo National Park has a royal history that dates back to the 18th century. It was initially created as a waterfowl hunting ground for the Maharajas of Bharatpur. The rulers of Bharatpur, particularly Maharaja Suraj Mal, recognized the importance of preserving the park’s biodiversity, which eventually led to its declaration as a protected area.
World Heritage Status: In 1982, Keoladeo National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its immense ecological and historical value. This accolade brought international attention to the park and furthered its conservation efforts.
Name Comes From: The park was originally named after the Keoladeo temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which stands at its center. The temple, built in the early 18th century, adds a spiritual dimension to the park and serves as a reminder of the region’s cultural heritage.
Avian Paradise: Keoladeo National Park is a haven for birdwatchers, boasting over 370 species of birds. During the winter months, the park becomes a temporary home to migratory birds such as Siberian cranes, pelicans, and various species of ducks. The sight of these winged visitors is a spectacle to behold.
Varied Flora: The park’s landscape comprises wetlands, woodlands, and grasslands, creating a diverse habitat for both resident and migratory wildlife. The park is also home to numerous plant species, including water lilies and lotus, adding to its visual appeal.
Endangered Species: Keoladeo National Park is not only a birdwatcher’s paradise but also a refuge for endangered species. It provides critical habitat for the highly endangered Pygmy hog, and the park’s conservation efforts have helped increase their population.
Wetland Conservation: The park’s wetlands play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of the region. Efforts to conserve these wetlands have been ongoing, including habitat restoration and invasive species management.
Birdwatching: Keoladeo National Park offers some of the best birdwatching opportunities in India. The park’s well-maintained trails and observation points allow visitors to get up close to a wide array of avian species.
Nature Walks: Apart from birdwatching, visitors can also enjoy nature walks and cycling within the park. The tranquil atmosphere and lush greenery make it an ideal place for nature enthusiasts.
Boat Rides: Exploring the park’s waterways by boat is another popular activity. It allows visitors to witness the park’s aquatic life and birds from a unique vantage point.
Hotels And Resorts
While visiting Keoladeo National Park, you’ll find a range of accommodation options in the nearby town of Bharatpur. These hotels and resorts cater to various budgets and offer comfortable stays for tourists exploring the park. Here are some options:
The Bagh: This luxury resort is located close to Keoladeo National Park and offers well-appointed rooms, a beautiful garden, and a swimming pool. It’s a great choice for travelers seeking a luxurious and tranquil experience.
Laxmi Vilas Palace: This heritage hotel is known for its elegant architecture and historic charm. It provides a glimpse into the royal past of Bharatpur and offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and lush gardens.
Bharatpur Ashok Hotel: Situated just a short distance from the park, this government-run hotel offers comfortable rooms at reasonable rates.
The Birder’s Inn: This eco-friendly hotel is popular among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. It offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant with local cuisine, and guides for birdwatching tours.
Hotel Sunbird: Located within walking distance of Keoladeo National Park, this budget-friendly hotel provides basic yet clean and comfortable accommodations.
Chandra Mahal Haveli: This charming heritage hotel is a bit farther from the park but offers an authentic Rajasthan experience.
Hotel Pratap Palace: This mid-range hotel offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant serving a variety of cuisines, and a convenient location for visiting the national park.
Iora Guest House: A guesthouse option for budget travelers, Iora offers simple and clean rooms and is within easy reach of Keoladeo National Park.
Near By Places To Visit
Here are a few notable options:
Deeg Palace (Deeg): Located about 32 kilometers from Bharatpur, Deeg Palace is a historical marvel known for its impressive architecture, colorful fountains, and well-maintained gardens.
Government Museum Bharatpur: If you’re interested in the history and culture of the region, a visit to the Government Museum in Bharatpur can be enlightening.
Lohagarh Fort (Iron Fort): Located in Bharatpur itself, this fort is known for its robust structure and historical significance.
Ganga Mandir: Situated in Bharatpur, the Ganga Mandir is an exquisite temple made of white marble dedicated to Goddess Ganga.
Mathura: Approximately 40 kilometers from Bharatpur, Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and holds immense religious and cultural importance for Hindus. You can explore temples, ghats, and the vibrant atmosphere of this sacred city.
Fatehpur Sikri: About 23 kilometers from Bharatpur, Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural masterpiece.
Agra: Agra is about 55 kilometers from Bharatpur and is famous for the iconic Taj Mahal.
Guest House Scheme