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Keoladeo Ghana National Park at Bharatpur Rajasthan near Agra

by Nilutpal Gogoi
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Famous for the one-of-its-kind Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur has lots to offer to the discerning eternal natural researcher. It is actually the eastern gateway to the Indian Rajput desert state of Rajasthan in the west bordering Pakistan. Bharatpur was carved out of the region now known as Mewat. It was then a well-fortified impregnable urban hub. Rajput Maharaja Suraj Mal founded it in AD 1733.

Keoladeo-National-Park
Image Source Wikipedia

The place is just 55 km from Agra and you can hire a pre-paid taxi if you are short of time. Better! If you really want to feel the adventure, go in any bus – a cheaper mode of transport – plying that way from the Agra ISBT (Inter-State Bus Terminal). The best leisurely means of going there is by hiring a cycle rickshaw. En route you can take a whiff of the ideal Agra-Rajasthan feel! You can also take another detour schedule while you complete the Park trip. This itinerary includes the Deeg Palace, the Government Museum, and obviously the Lohagarh Fort.

The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is India’s best water-bird resort. It draws in hordes of tourist avian of various genus and species from across the globe: Tibet, China, Siberia and also Europe as well as from across India just before the onset of the monsoons. They nest and roost there. The largest of their population are the cormorants, egrets, herons, and storks. These species make more than 10,000 nests in the Park annually. The trees overloaded with various types of nests are photographers’ delight. The nest of each species is unique in its size, shape, and design. They are engineering marvels of these birds. The manner in which they ensure the security and protection of their eggs and young ones by creating impregnable fortresses of leaves and twigs using their beaks is a matter of research. A single tree plays host to not less than about 50-60 nests at that point of time. Their stay in this Park is also beneficial for the Park as their wastes transform the soil there into highly organic fertilizers. The sprawling open and exposed areas of the Keoldeo Ghana National Park is also the yearly exotic nesting and roosting place for the world’s tallest flight birds — the Saras cranes. Depending on the water conditions, you can also take pleasure of boating in the water body within the National Park.

Accommodation: There are numerous hotels in Agra to suit your budget. They range from the economical ones starting from Rs. 800 for a night stay; and also another range of hotels in the Rs. 801-Rs.1200 bracket; yet another group of hotels in the Rs.1200-Rs 2500 range besides the ones where you need to cough up Rs. 2501 and above. If you are of the adventurous type, you can also opt for the dharamshalas. Many of these lodges owned by charitable institutions or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), offer both food and accommodation at market prices.

Following are the “Must See” detours arranged alphabetically are: Bateshwar, Bharatpur, Fatehpur Sikri, and Sikandara.

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