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Bharatpur (Keoladeo Ghana) Bird Sanctuary

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Bharatpur Sanctuary or to give it its full name, Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary, is one of the most important breeding and feeding grounds for migratory birds in India. Nearly every keen birder coming to India for the first time will have Bharatpur at the top of their list; and with both the Chambal River Sanctuary and Ranthambhore National Park - both excellent location for birds - just short drives or train journeys away; you can enjoy some stunning birding without having to travel all over India. The best months are during the winter from November - February, when migratory birds swell the resident population and add a dash of colour.

No vehicle safaris allowed in Bharatpur! Just your own two feet or you can hire a charming cycle rickshaw and start scanning those shallow pools for birdlife; you make get lucky with the odd reptile or two, or even tiger - but that is another story. With a bird count of around 230 species in the winter and a chance to tick off more than 100 birds in one day; you can easily see why a few nights at this bird sanctuary is included in most wildlife itineraries to India.Paddy Bird

Wildlife Trails first visited Bhratpur way back in 1997 and again in 99 when we had our last chance to enjoy viewing the one remaining pair of Siberian Cranes; which at that time were still visiting the park. Sadly this is no longer the case, but the park is on a more stable footing now. With the fighting and agitation by farmers and politicians which deprived the park of the water which was its and the local birders life blood, a distant memory and the hope for a better and brighter future rekindled by the passion of foreign and local birders alike.

The park is famous for the large heronries; as well as the chance to see several different species of herons and egrets, you can see Painted Storks, Ibises, Spoonbills, Jacanas and Cormorants. There is an area of the park called Python Corner, where I think you can guess what you have the chance to see? Seberal birding forums mention regular python sightings in the winter months; which is rare in other National Parks, where snake activity is low until the monsoon - when the parks are closed. Other wildlife highlights in Bharatpur are the Smooth Indian Otter, Jungle Cat and the rare Fishing Cat.

Although the park is in its prime during the winter months, we feel it is still worth a visit in the summer - possible en route to the Chambal - as there are some interesting dry-zone species to be seen; as well as several species of Owls and Nightjars. There is also the possibility of a side trip to Barethra Dam, where you have a chance to see the rare and much sought after Indian Skimmer.

Wildlife Trails has been offering bespoke wildlife tours to India since 1999. We have local guides with over 20 years of experience of leading birding tours. You might want more of a balance for your trip between birding, mammals viewing and culture; we can make it happen. We listen to our clients needs and then organise a tour that will exceed their expectations.

Over the years many unique accommodation options have arrived at Bharatpur and our personal favourites are Laxmi Vilas, The Bagh and Udai Vilas.







 Sasan Gir



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