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Rajasthan The Heritage State- Bharatpur

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Bharatpur Sights

Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Lohagarh

Keoladeo Ghana National Park

The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to late February when many migratory birds can be seen, including the highly endangered Siberian crane. According to recent reports, of birds have been identified at the beautiful Keoladeo sanctuary. The sanctuary was formerly a vast semi-arid region, filling with water during the monsoon season only to rapidly dry up afterwards. To prevent this, the maharaja of Bharatpur diverted water from a nearby irrigation canal and, within a few years, birds began to sattle in vast numbers. The maharaja was compelled not by conservationist motives, but by the desire to have a ready supply of waterfowl, affording fine shooting (and dining) possibilities. Indeed, Keoladeo continued to supply the maharajas’ tables until as late. An inscription on a pilllar near the small temple in the park bears testimony to the maharajas’ penchant for hunting. It reveals that on one day alone ducks were shot!

The park is open daily. For Indian/foreigners, which entitles you to enter the park as many times as you wish in one day. A still camera is free but there’s whopping video charge. There’s also an entry fee for bicycles and cycle-rickshaws. A horse- drawn tonga per hour (maximum six people). Motorised vehicles are prohibited beyond the checkpoint, so the only way of the getting around is by foot, bicycle or cycle-rickshaw.

Only those cycle-rickshaws authorized by the government (recognizable by the yellow plate bottled onto the front) are allowed inside the park – beware of anyone who tells you otherwise! Although you don’t pay entry fee for the drivers of these cycle rickshaws, if you take one and they’ll expect a tip on top of that. Some of the drivers actually know a lot about the birds you will see and can be very helpful. If you wish to hire and experienced ornithologist guide. Guides can be hired at the park entrance.

An excellent way to see the park is to hire a bicycle. There are bikes for the hire at the bicycle on the park entrance. Some hotels rent bicycles as well. This allows you to easily avoid the bottlenecks which inevitably occur at the nesting sites of the larger birds. It’s just about the only way you’ll be able to watch the numerous kingfishers at close quarters – noise or human activity frightens then away. A bicycle also enables you to avoid clocking up a large bill with a rickshaw driver. If you plan to visit the sanctuary at dawn (one of the best times to see the birds ), you should hire your bicycle the day before. The southern reaches of the park are virtually devoid the humanus touristcus, and so are much better than the northern part for serious bird-watching. They are a very good way of getting close to the wildlife.

A small display of photos, stuffed birds, nests and aquaticspecies found in the park’s lakes is at the main entrance to the park, next to the Keoladeo temple.

Lohagarh

Lohagarh, or Iron fort, was built in the early and took its name from supposedly impregnable defences. Maharaja Suraj Mahl, the fort’s constructor and founder of Bharatpur, built two towers within the ramparts, the Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and the British.

The fort occupies the entire small artificial island in the center of the town, and the three palaces within its pre precincts are in an advanced state of decay. One of the palaces houses a museum exhibiting sculptures, paintings, weapons and dusty animal trophies. The museum is open daily.