Bharatpur of Rajasthan is popular throughout India and even abroad for the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. It even has historical importance because of the Jat kingdom. Many migratory birds fly down to Bharatpur from across the world during the winter season, making it a perfect winter retreat.
The very famous Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur set up by Maharaja Suraj Mal is the main tourist attraction over here. This sanctuary got recognized as a national park in 1982 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Whether you are a birdwatcher or not, you are sure to have a memorable time over here. The water bodies, low lying trees and the marshes provide a natural habitat to the water birds that migrate from miles away. It can be the perfect “research venue” for people who are interested in studying the activities of Indian water birds or even migratory birds.
Exploring the national park
The best way to explore the national park is on foot or on bicycle or cycle rickshaw. You have to walk for 2 kilometers from the main entrance to reach an intersection where two roads diverge. You can choose either of the two for bird watching. The park is open from sunrise to sunset round the year but the best time for bird watching is early morning and early evening. You can spot birds like parrots, kingfishers, huge flocks of painted storks, Siberian Crane, Saras Crane, Waterhens and purple moorhen. You can even go for boating in the lake to have a closer look at the plants and aves.
Entry: Rs. 10 for Indian students, Rs.50 for Indians and Rs. 400 for foreigners (Around 7 dollars)
Cycle : Rs. 25 and Rs. 40/day
Cycle Rickshaw: Rs. 70/hour
Guide: Rs. 100/hour (up to 5 persons)
Video Camera: Rs. 400
Boat ride charges: Rs. 40 per person/hour
Minimum cost: Rs. 100 per visit/boat
Other sightseeing places
Lohagarh Fort is a magnificent fort that suffered 4 attacks from Britishers. You can visit some wonderful monuments like Kishori Mahal, MahalKhas, Moti Mahal as well as towers called Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj inside the fort. Government Museum inside the fort is also an interesting collection of sculptures, inscriptions and exhibits of the region.
The perfect amalgamation of Mughal and Rajput art awaits you at Bharatpur Palace. It has a museum showcasing artifacts from the second century A.D.
You can even plan a day trip to Fatehpur Sikri (22 kilometers) and Agra (45 kilometers) whenever you happen to be over here.
The nearest airport is in New Delhi at about 184 kms. Bharatpur has its own railhead. Buses are also available from Agra (57kms), Fatehpur Sikri, Deeg, Jaipur and Alwar. Tourists from Delhi and Jaipur can even travel by road.
Stay and Food
Many accommodation options are available at Bharatpur. You should get your booking done well in advance during the peak season. Several restaurants offering tasty multi-cuisine dishes are located over here.
Set off to Bharatpur this winter and do not forget your camera and binocular.