Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park is situated in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, about 110 miles from the National capital, Delhi. Famously called an 'Ornithologist's Paradise', this watery habitat was created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in 1890 as a wildfowl hunting preserve. Accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1985, the sanctuary is home to over 350 species of birds, making it one of the most inviting destinations in the world for ornithologists and nature lovers. Spread in an area of 29 sq km of shallow lakes and woodland, about one third of the total birds here are migrants many of whom come in winter before returning to their breeding grounds as far away as Siberia and Central Asia.
A part of the vast Indo-Gangetic plain, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary hosts a variety of bird species including indigenous water birds and land migratory birds from across the globe. It is said that some 120 species nests in more than 44,000 trees in the Sanctuary each year. As many as eight or nine species of birds may nest in one tree. Crisscrossed by a network of acacia lined walkways and dykes and surrounded by Kadam Forest to the northeast and thorn forest to the southwest, the main attraction of the sanctuary used to be the world famous Siberian Cranes. Birds like Pelicans, Cranes, Painted storks, Pipits, Warblers, Wheatears, Wagtails, Flycatchers, White Ibis, Buntings, Cormorants, Larks, Shanks, Pale and Marsh Harriers are in abundance while thousands of Moorhens and Jacanas can be found in the floating vegetation on the water surface.
The best way to experience the wonder of this natural world is through the famous rickshaw ride or the boat trip.
Famous as a home to different families of birds, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is also known for containing a variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera and 227 subspecies. Three types of wildcat, the jungle cat, the leopard cat and fishing cat are also found among the many wild animals like Sambar, Chital, Chinkara, Blackbuck, Nilgai and wild boar. The Sanctuary is also famous for large Rock Pythons found at the python point beyond the Keoladeo Temple. The sanctuary is open throughout the year.