Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also renowned as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary, is located in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan and is considered a haven for bird watchers or wildlife enthusiasts. The national park is home to a diverse range of birds and was established over 250 years ago. The park got its name from a nearby Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva and welcomes a multitude of migratory birds such as Demoiselle and the rare Siberian Cranes.
The main highlights of the national park for the visitors are the vibrant variety of migratory birds which come from places like Siberia and Central Asia and make this area their habitat during the winter season before moving back to their breeding place. The park also inhabits other mammalian species along with other attractions to see like Bharatpur Government Museum, Lohagarh Fort, and Deeg Palace which makes the visit to this national park worth your while. The diverse habitat of the park comprising of wetlands, woodland, and swamps is abode to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 fish species, 13 species of snakes, 5 lizard species, 7 amphibian species, 7 species of turtles, and a multitude of other vertebrates as well. Visitors can explore the park either on foot or on a bicycle or cycle rickshaw that is the most preferred way.
Keoladeo was announced as a Bird Sanctuary in the year 1971 and was later declared a National Park in 1981 covering an area of 28.7sq. kilometers. The park was also declared as a Ramsar Site under the Wetland Convention in October 1981 and was given the status of the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. Used by the erstwhile Maharaja of Bharatpur as his hunting grounds, the area was unofficially established as a Bird Sanctuary by him in 1956. During the British Raj, the park was also used as a site for hunting Ducks to welcome the British Viceroys which were then retained by the Maharaja until 1972.
Locally known as Ghana National Park, the area comprises of wetlands, dry grass woods, woodlands, and woodland swamps. The principal vegetation type are tropical dry deciduous forests intermixed with dry grasslands with some of the major found trees such as Kadam, Jamun, Babul, Kandi, Kair, Piloo, etc.
Migrant Birds: Siberian Crane, Steppe Eagle, Pale and Marsh Harriers, Osprey, Common teal, Indian Little Ringed Plover, etc.
Mammals: Jackals, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Wild Cats, Hyenas, Wild Boar, Indian Porcupine, Mongoose, Fishing Cats, etc. Many species of rats, mice, gerbils, and bats are also found.
Reptiles: Indian Rock Python, Common Cobras, Russell’s Viper, Common Kraits, Common Wolf-Snakes, Blind Snakes, Checkered Keel Backs, Sand Boas, Common Monitor Lizard, Calotes, Skinks, Turtles, etc.
Keoladeo National Park Safari
No vehicles are allowed inside Keoladeo National Park and safari is only done through cycle, elephant, cycle rickshaw, and golf carts. Walking is also allowed inside the park and all the other means of travel are available at the entrance of the gate on per hour hire basis.
Elephant Safari – Elephant safari at Keoladeo park is an adventurous experience to have and to explore the area. Through elephant safari you can explore the parts where a vehicle can’t go without disturbing the wildlife along with having fun sitting on top of the giant animal.
Rickshaw Safari – Another way to explore the national park is via a cycle-rickshaw safari which is noiseless and lets you traverse through the narrow paths in the entire area.
Apart from this, you can also hire a bicycle from the entrance gate and explore the park on your own or you can also take a boat ride in the sanctuary to add some unique experience.
Safari Fee (Indian tourists): INR 25
Safari Fee (Foreign tourists): INR 200
Rickshaw Safari Fee: INR 800-1000 per rickshaw for the entire day
Video Camera: INR 200
Timings and Entry Fees of Keoladeo National Park
Summer – The park opens for safari at 6:30am to 6:30pm
Winter – The park opens for safari from 7am to 5:30pm.
Entry Fees – The ticket is Rs. 75 for Indian tourists and Rs. 500 for foreign visitors.
Best Time to Visit
Although the park remains open throughout the year, the best time for to visit is from November to March as the weather remains pleasant and it is the ideal time to witness the migratory species of birds.
The weather is hot in summers with the temperature rising to 50 degrees Celsius in June while the winters are very cold with the temperature as low as 4 degrees at night in January. Monsoon is the major source of precipitation which start in July to mid-September with an average rainfall of 300-5—mm.
The best time to visit the place is from October to March when the weather is bearable and pleasant to explore the park and spot various wildlife.
Places to Visit Near Keoladeo
Bharatpur Palace – Dating back to the 2nd century, the grand and opulent Bharatpur Palace is a specimen of the Rajput-Mughal style of architecture made with white marble which has now been converted into a heritage hotel along with a small section of it as a museum known as KamraKhase.
Lohagarh Fort – It is one of the forts which is known as the invincible fort of India. Literally meaning the Iron Fort, Lohagarh Fort has withstood several Mughal attacks as well as the attacks during the British Raj.
Bharatpur Government Museum – Located in the premises of the Lohagarh Palace, the government museum was established in 1944 AD and exhibits many valuable relics including sculptures, wooden carvings, inscriptions, terracotta products, etc. It also has a gallery displaying paintings on peepal leaves, mica, and lithopapers.
Deeg – Deeg is a small town dotted with many palaces, forts, gardens, and fountains. It was once the summer capital of the rulers of Bharatpur and is now known for its historical heritage, religious significance, and festivals.
Hotel Sunbird Restaurant – Located on the ground floor of Hotel Sunbird, this is a famous restaurant and an ideal place for trying spicy Indian cuisines with paranthas and meat soups being their highlight.
Shahi Rasoi Restaurant & Café – The restaurant is known for serving combos of international cuisine and local dishes. Dal dishes are a must try here and most of the food items are spicy.
Atithi Restaurant – It is a small restaurant serving local and spicy dishes made freshly every day.
Celebration’s – The restaurant is known for its fusion cuisine with Indian and Chinese cuisine being the hightlight along with Gujarati and Punjabi dishes available as well.
MaharoThikano – It is a themed restaurant where you can enjoy your food like you would enjoy cultural performances like puppet shows, Ghoomar dance, Kalbeliya dance, etc. You can also find fun activities like camel riding, horse riding, etc. in the restaurant.
Hotel Sonar Haveli
The Birder's Inn
Hotel Park Regency
Sanctuary Tourist Lodge
How to reach
By Air – The nearest airport from the park is in Agra about 54km from Bharatpur and in New Delhi at about 184km away. From the airport you can either take a private vehicle or take a public bus to Bharatpur which is well-connected by a road network.
By Train – The nearest railhead is Bharatpur Junction at about 5km from the national park. You can board a train from Delhi which takes you directly to Bharatpur junction and from there take a rickshaw or taxi to the national park.
By Road – Bharatpur is well-connected to other cities and places through a well-maintained road network. You can easily reach Keoladeo National Park by road through a public or private transport.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Where is Keoladeo Ghana National Park located?
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, also called Bharatpur National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, is in the state of Rajasthan.
What is Keoladeo National Park famous for?
Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo National Park is known as one of the world’s most significant bird breeding and feeding grounds and is a heaven for nature and bird lovers.
Which airport is near to Keoladeo National Park?
The nearest airport to Keoladeo National Park is Agra Airport at 44km away. Other nearby airports include Delhi (160km) and Jaipur (172km).
What is the entry fee for Keoladeo National Park?
The entry fee for Indian visitors is INR75 and for foreigners is INR500. Entry of any kind of vehicle is not allowed inside the park.