Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – The Complete Guide To A Birding Extravaganza!

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Housing thousands of species of birds, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan, India is an avifauna sanctuary and a delight for both nature lovers as well as photographers. Now known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, it is the home to over 230 species of birds. During the hibernal season, the bird sanctuary is flooded with ornithologists and tourists. Also a World Heritage Site, the sanctuary was declared a protected zone in 1971. 

One of the many national parks in India, the sanctuary is a man made and managed wetland. It is an absolutely blissful amalgamation of 29 square kilometers of wetlands, woodland swamps, woodlands and dry glasslands. The diverse habitat houses birds, invertebrates, turtles, lizards, snakes, fish and floral species. Migrating waterfowl visit the sanctuary every year for breeding. It is among the most renowned bird sanctuaries in the world famous for its resident nesting birds as well as migratory birds.

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Why Visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Putting the facts aside, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary’s beauty can neither be read nor be seen in pictures alone. It can only be experienced. There’s something magical about this place. Whether it’s the mesmerizing sunset, the enormous bird colonies, the magnificent sunrise, the soothing chirping of the birds or the light mist – the place leaves you awestruck. The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary makes you want more. More of the natural beauty, proximity to nature, the clean air scented with a woody fragrance, and peace as far as the eye can see!

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary for the Nature Lover

For nature loves and casual tourists, Bharatpur has a lot in store. It is not all about birds, but plenty of flora and fauna too. Spend time with your loved ones amidst the serenity and calm of nature. You can relax and leave the city’s hustle and bustle behind. Rejuvenate your mind and soul with short walks along the nature trails. You can also take a bicycle to spend some time alone in the woods. Off road explorations at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary often delight wanderers with unique sights such as spotted little owlets basking in the sun or the dancing Sarus Cranes. 

Bharatpur for the Photographers

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

If you’re a nature or bird photographer, we can’t come up with any more reasons to convince you. Hundreds of bird species, nature’s extraordinary creations and rare sights; photos from the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary will be a gem in your collection. The best part is that you can even approach the birds as they are fairly accustomed to human visitors. With a moderate focal length of 400mm, you can achieve splendid results. The cherry on the cake are the excellent viewpoints in the park. Witness the sunrise and sunset as the Indian Darters fight amongst each other –  and capture it all. Not to mention, it’s a chance to meet fellow professional and enthusiastic photographers! Still got reasons to not include it in your bucket list? 

Things to Do at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

1. Short Walks are Underrated

The park features an 11 km long paved path. Yet, most of the birds can be spotted within the first 5 km that lead to the canteen. Enjoy a walk and reconnect with nature. 

2. Grab a Bicycle and Ride Along!

At reasonable prices ranging from INR 50-100 per day, you can rent a bicycle at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. If you wish to explore the park, this offers an enjoyable as well as reasonable way. If you’re also carrying some light equipment, it is also the most suitable option for photographers. 

3. Ride in a Cycle Rickshaw and Embrace Nature

For tourists visiting in groups and photographers with heavy equipment, the best choice is probably the cycle rickshaw. Though slightly expensive at INR 100 per hour, the fun makes it well worth it. A few rickshaw pullers are knowledgeable about the birds in the park and can act as the guides by taking you through the best spots. A guide is compulsory if you’re a group of 10 or more people. 

4. Take Your Family for a Tonga Ride

Charged at INR 150 per hour, tonga or the horse carriage is another option. It’s perfect for bigger groups and families. Riding in a tonga, you can cover the park in a short time, in case you’re on a tight schedule. 

5. Visit the Best Spots to Watch Mammals and Birds

Several spots at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary offer interesting opportunities and sights, especially for photographers. You can find the Sunrise point at the very start of the park. There’s also the Painted Stork Colony to witness. Watch the birds nest, feed their young ones and breed here. Another challenge for photographers is capturing the Indian Darters fighting. With nothing under control, never knowing when they might begin the fight, you wait in anticipation for the perfect shot. But that’s the beauty of it, right? Tourist can spot a variety of ducks in the region. Sarus Cranes are also a delight to watch. They have a synchronized call which reaches miles by tearing through the forest. Their synchronized flight and famous dance are also rare sights that you should see at least once in your life. 

Additionally, there’s the sunset point, which is the most crowded of all the places in the park. The Indian Darters can be seen relaxing around this place till the sun sets. Yet, as we said at the beginning, we cannot define the beauty of this place in words. You can only experience it and the best way to do so is to plan a vacation to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. 

6. Purchase Souvenirs from the Gift Center

The gift center at the beginning of the park is stocked with books, cute t-shirts, postcards, magnets and much more. The shop opens at 10AM and closes by 5PM. 

Best Time to Visit the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Winters offer the best time to visit the region. The weather is extremely pleasant and allows you to wander in the park throughout the day. Additionally, witnessing the migratory birds makes it a pleasure to visit during these months. Make sure you carry warm clothes. Also, if you wish to take an early morning stroll, it’s better to have something warm to cover your ears. 

Tourists can visit the sanctuary any time between the months of October and March. For bird enthusiasts and photographers, the best time might be between December and February. With a clear view and great light, you’ll end up with some splendid shots. Also, the migratory birds will be a treasure to add to your clicks. January is usually a foggy month. Make sure you check the weather before planning a visit. March and November are great if you wish to visit during the relatively offseason months and enjoy some peaceful time. 

Where to Stay in Bharatpur? 

Budget Accommodation

  1. Sanctuary Tourist Lodge – The food and hospitality here is delightful. Customers are taken care of with the utmost attention. The pakoras here are delightful. Pair them with a cup of hot tea in the evenings and there’s nothing better you can ask for. 
  2. Iora Guest House – A birder’s haven, this is the best accommodation for bird enthusiasts and photographers. You can also meet a lot of fellow photographers here. The proprietor is quite knowledgeable and can provide valuable guidance about the park and nearby attractions. 

Luxury Accommodation

  1. Birder’s Inn – On the more luxurious side of things, the Birder’s Inn is just as good as it can get in Bharatpur. Enjoy your time here by interacting with fellow tourists and photographers. Also, the staff is very helpful and polite. 
  2. Hotel Sunbird – Probably the most lavish hotel in the region, Hotel Sunbird offers well decorated rooms and enormous spaces coupled with beautifully landscaped lawns. The lighting is good and so is the food. 

How to Reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary?

Once you’ve made your plans, you’ll want to know more about how to reach this magical park. New Delhi and Jaipur have the nearest airports. Roadways connect Bharatpur to both the cities. It is a rough 3 hour and 5 hour drive from Jaipur and Delhi respectively. You can hire a taxi at a price of INR 4000-5000. 

Bharatpur also has a train station. It offers a good and economical option for tourists. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Delhi or Jaipur. 

The entry fee for the park is INR 75 for Indians and INR 500 per person for foreign tourists. You can rent video cameras (handy cams as well as movie cameras). While visiting the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, enjoy a birding extravaganza. Add to the wealth of your experiences and embrace nature in its most serene form. We assure you; you’ll come back loaded with memories and more relaxed than ever.

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