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Some of the finest wildlife reserves

Some of the finest wildlife reserves lead.jpg

Rajasthan is an enormous state known for its diverse tribal cultures, the heritage of the royal families, colourful fabrics, numerous temples, palaces, forts and heritage hotels. The landscape is mainly arid, including the Thar Desert, but it also stretches east to the famous nature reserves at Bharatpur and Ranthambore

Keoladeo Ghana National Park, formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple that lies within its boundaries.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site spread over 29 sq. kms and has lakes and marshes, woodland and scrub offering a nesting place for over 375 species of birds and some are migrants from Siberia, Central Asia and Europe.

It is also a major tourist center, and scores of ornithologists visit the park in the hibernal season. The park is open throughout the year. The best time to view the resident birds is from August to November. If one wants to see the migrant birds, then the best time to visit is from October to February.

The park offers some great ways to indulge in bird-watching. You can opt for rickshaw, boat or tonga rides or go bicycling through the sanctuary as motor vehicles are allowed only to a certain point. What you see here will leave you spell-bound – bright pink and white painted storks nesting on the tree tops, shy owls, colourful red and green parrots, teals, ducks, cormorants and many more beautiful birds.

This aquatic habitat was originally artificially developed by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in 1890 and is very close to Fatehpur Sikri which is a superb red stone complex and the abandoned capital of Emperor Akbar which often fits in well with a trip to Rajasthan.

If you are looking for a wildlife sanctuary with a blend of rich history, Ranthambore is the national park for you! Located on the edge of a plateau in eastern Rajasthan, it is one of the most well-known parks in India and one of the best to see tiger.

The deciduous forests and man-made lakes were once the private hunting grounds of the maharajas of Jaipur. The landscape here is dominated by Ranthambore Fort on top of a large hill. Remnants of the old fortifications are dotted throughout the park which gives it a huge amount of character. The 400 square kilometer habitat is predominantly dry deciduous forest and there are a number of permanent lakes.

Tigers here are extremely accustomed to vehicles which make it possible to get very close without disturbing them. They are frequently seen although sometimes the sighting is a fleeting glance as they cross the road in front of your vehicle.

Apart from being home to tiger, wild boar, deer and antelope, monkey are also commonly seen while sightings of jackal, mongoose, sloth bear and leopard can remain more elusive. Ranthambore is accessible from Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and is still an amazing place to visit – particularly if you are lucky and have a sighting of that most majestic of beasts, the tiger.

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