Established in 1733 by Maharaja Suraj Mal, Bharatpur, named after Bharat - brother of Lord Ram, is famous for Keoladeo National Park and its sweets. It used to be a well fortified, impregnable and well planned city.
This region has played an important role in the history of Rajasthan. Keoladeo National Park is not a very large park, just a mere 29 km²! It packs a big punch for its size, if your interest is bird watching.
It is about 80 kms from Agra and about 35 Kms from Mathura. The state enjoyed a 17 gun salute during British Empire.
A world heritage site, this duck hunting reserve is a mjaor wintering area for many aquatic birds from China, Siberia, Turkmnistan and Afganisthan. A comprehensive tour of Bharatpur National Park can be done using the nonpolluting Electra Vans. Other vehicles have restricted access limited to Shanti Kutir.
- Apart from the rare Siberian crane, about 364 bird species have been recorded here. - 42 species of raptors and nine species of owls are found in this park.
- 57 species of fishes, 30 species of spiders, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of reptiles, 34 species of mammals.
- 372 species of plant, including 96 aquatic plants.
Some migratory birds are:
Some of the animals are:
Bharatpur Bird sanctuary is considered to be the richest sanctuary in the world, in terms of its avian population.
From October to March. This is after monsoons which makes it lush green, fills in the lake, thus attracting migratory birds such as the celebrated endangered Siberian cranes. For the Siberian cranes, in Bharatpur national Park is the only known wintering area. January and December months are foggy and can hit your bird watching pleasure. The siberian crane has not been sighted in the recent past.
The name Bharatpur is derived from the ancient temple inside the park.