Keoladeo or Keoladeo Ghana national park is the revision of name of Bharatpur Bird sanctuary. The world heritage site was declared as a sanctuary in 1971. Located in the Bharatpur district of the West Indian state of Rajasthan, the sanctuary has a major tourist centre within its confines where ornithologists from around the world flock in the season of hibernal. Only about 230 species of birds are there at Keoladeo Ghana; however it is their population density that’s important here. The sanctuary is home to thousands of birds, both endemic and migratory.
How to Reach.?
The nearest airports are Jaipur and Delhi. Both airports have daily flights to major Indian cities. The nearest railway head is Bharatpur Junction, which is just 5 km away from the sanctuary. The roads in Rajasthan are major road trip destinations. The roads are motorable and very picturesque. Delhi is 180km away, Agra 55 Mathura 35 and Jaipur 178 km away from the sanctuary.
The park lies very near to the equator. This makes the climate lean towards the warmer side. The sun is out all year round and is shining. The summers see temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. This is combined with very low humidity. Hence, the summers are very hostile for an average human and it is advisable to avoid Desert national park during the months of April to June. However, the winters see a drop in temperature to as low as 4 degrees Celsius. Appropriate arrangements for cold resistance are necessary while staying here, but otherwise the park is a delight to be in during winters. The park has little to no rainfall even in peak monsoon months of August and September. The problem here is the humidity, which averages up to about 62-83%.
Tropical dry deciduous forest, intermixed with dry grassland is the dominant forest species. The principal species are kalam or kadam, jamun and babul. In open woodland there are babul trees with a small amount of kandi and ber. There is a diversity of aquatic vegetation here at Keoladeo. The one dominant species is Salvadora oleoides and Salvadora persica. This provides as fodder for water fowl.
Since this sanctuary is aimed towards preservation, protection and protection of avi fauna. The avifauna includes landbirds as well as water birds. Gadwall, shoveler, common teal, cotton teal, tufted duck, knob-billed duck, little cormorant, great cormorant, Indian shag, ruff and painted stork are some predominant waterfowl species. Warblers, babblers, bee-eaters, bulbuls, buntings, chats, Painted francolins and quails are some of the Land bird species. Other than birds some species of mongoose, porcupine, rats and civets are some mammal species that reside at Keoladeo. Keoladeo is also home to some species of reptiles that can survive the hot and humid climate; these include five lizard species, thirteen snake species and seven species of amphibians.
Since this is a bird sanctuary the forest department has special arrangements for bird watchers. Observation towers have been setup at strategic places to spot birds without alerting them. These towers are having equipments like night vision and powerful binoculars. There are even arrangements within the sanctuary for overnight stay, which may be availed with the permission of the forest warden!