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Keoladeo National Park

© Aditya Singh

Keoladeo National Park

West India

This man-made swamp is one of the world’s best-known and yet most-threatened birding havens. Bharatpur, as it was earlier known, was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 when he ordered the building of the Ajan Dam that flooded the natural depression behind it. The park derives its present name from a Shiva temple here and the word ‘ghana’ that was added to its name means ‘dense’ in Hindi. Occupying an area of roughly 29 square kilometres, the park features man-made wetlands and microhabitats like low-lying lands completely submerged in water, grasslands and dense tree growth. Lord Curzon and Lord Kitchener inaugurated the first duck shoot here in 1902. The party of 17 killed 540 birds on that one day. In 1956 the area was declared a Bird Sanctuary but the hunting was only stopped in 1964. It was declared a Ramsar site in 1981, a National Park in 1982 and a World Heritage Site in 1985. The park is home to 375 bird species and the number grows exponentially when the mig...ratory birds arrive. The park was one of the favoured nesting grounds for the Siberian cranes during their yearly migration. Sadly their numbers have all but died over the years due to poaching and wars on their migratory route.
Cycles, rickshaws and boats are available for excursions into the park. Longer walks and rides are also available.
Keoladeo receives thousands of waterfowl including cotton teal, tufted duck, comb duck, Indian shag, Asian open-billed stork, Oriental ibis and the sarus crane. The park is also a breeding ground for the painted stork, herons and cormorants. You can also see non-feathered friends including deer, wild boar, jackals and the rarely spotted Asian and Indian civets.
Visit the famous Keoladeo temple or enjoy a rickshaw ride to Python Point where you are likely to see pythons. An interesting walk is along the Brijendra Bund trail that extends six kilometres from the Keoladeo temple to Kadam Kunj. The many bunds, on which you will see babul trees growing, are excellent places to spot birds.
The park is often starved of water from the Ajan Dam so that it can be diverted to neighbouring farmers and this has a real effect on the sheer bird numbers visiting the park when it happens. There is no buffer zone to restrict human intervention from the villages located around it. This has led to serious problems with encroachment and cattle grazing. Your visit is crucial to support the local economy, but please also report abuse or poor practice at admin@toftindia.org

Destination Information

How To Book

Your lodge or tour operator can book a safari for you, or buy on the gate.

Park Timings

Open from sunrise to sunset all year round.

Getting Around the Park

Vehicles are permitted up to the main parking area inside the park with fees of R 50 per vehicle. Walking, cycling and rickshaws are common ways of getting around. Bicycles and boats are also available for hire

Entry Fees

R 75 for Indian Nationals R 500 for Foreign Nationals Guide Fees: R 900 for half day R 1,600 for full day.
By Air: Agra (56 km), Delhi (184 km). By Rail / Road: Bharatpur railway station (5 km). Transport can be hired to drive to the park, or you can bring your own vehicle.
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Wildlife Travel Guide

Eco-friendly properties in the area

The Birder’s Inn

The Birder’s Inn is run by Tirath Singh, an avid bird watcher and naturalist. Located a mere stone’s throw from the entrance to the park, the lodge offers 24 spacious rooms that overlook lush gardens.

Other Destinations To Combine

Sariska Tiger Reserve

West India

Sariska Tiger Reserve lays nestled in the lap of the Aravalli hills, stretching over a majestic

National Chambal Sanctuary

Uttar Pradesh

National Chambal Sanctuary, named after one of India’s cleanest and longest rivers Chambal,

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve

West India

Ranthambhore National Park is part of the much large 1333sq km Ranthambhore Tiger reserve,

Travel Here with the Best Travel Companies & Agents

Plan you Indian holiday, Nepal adventure, or Bhutan visit using one of a large number of the world’s best known travel companies, or Indian based agents to put your very own itinerary together. Every travel company here has committed to drive their own sustainable travel practices, seek PUG certified accommodation providers wherever possible and support our conservation efforts.

Now you can enjoy a flawless and carefree travel itinerary to many of Indian subcontinent’s greatest wilderness destinations and combine this with its rich cultural and historic heritage.


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