The beautiful state of Rajasthan is best known for its sand dunes, colorful festivals, palaces and forts. However, the other major attractions of the state are the wildlife sanctuaries and the national parks in Rajasthan. It provides semi green forests of Mount Abu to dry grasslands of the desert, and from the dry deciduous thorn forest of Aravali to wetlands of Bharatpur.
These beautiful sanctuaries and parks are home to a variety of wildlife, some of which have been categorized as critically endangered. These wildlife destinations present a wonderful opportunity to experience nature at its best.
Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur
The Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and most important national parks in the country. It is one of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan to see animals (especially tigers) in their natural habitat. It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan. The tigers can be easily spotted in the park. The best time to visit the park is in the months of November and May as the foliage gives way to good sighting opportunities of these majestic animals in their natural habitat.
The majestic Ranthambore Fort is also situated within the limits of the Ranthambore National Park. The national park abounds in wildlife and is home to a large number of species including chitals, sloth bears, hyenas, sambars, wild boars, nilgai, leopards and tigers.
Safari Rides: There are two options of vehicles for the safari: 20 seater open top canter or 6 seater open top gypsy. The core park area has been divided into several zones and the safari vehicles go to one of those zones. Visitors often take multiple tours, as tiger spotting is rare. There are many resorts to stay in on the way from Sawai Madhopur to the national park.
How to Reach
By Air: Jaipur, 160 km away, is the nearest airport to Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary.
By Rail: Ranthambore National Park is around 11 km from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, which lies on the Delhi to Mumbai trunk route.
By Luxury trains: The Palace on Wheels, The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, and The Indian Maharaja make a scheduled stop at Sawai Madhopur on their eight-day round trips to tourist destinations.
By Roads: A network of buses connects Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town, to all the major cities within the state of Rajasthan. The frequency of direct services is not very great, however. A car or taxi must be hired from Kota to Ranthambore.
Sariska National Park, Alwar
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is situated in the Alwar district in the state of Rajasthan and is one of the important national parks in Rajasthan. This park is spread over 866 square kilometres and is situated at a distance of 107 km from Jaipur and 200 km from Delhi. It is surrounded by the Aravali ranges and it is rich in mineral resources such as copper. The most attractive feature of the reserve is the Royal Bengal tigers. The sanctuary was declared as a Wildlife Reserve in 1955 and was brought under the Project Tiger scheme in 1978.
The most attractive feature of the Sariska Tiger Reserve is its population of Royal Bengal Tigers. It is home to a large number of wild animals including Rhesus monkeys, Hanuman langurs, hares, wild boars, chousingha or the four horned antelope. Indian leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena and langur can also be sighted here. It will be true to say that the reserve is a heaven for bird lovers. It is a great destination to witness rare bird species such as grey patridge, white-throated kingfisher, Indian eagle-owl and many more.
The reserve also boasts of some great historical sites such as the Kankanwadi Fort, the Pandupol Hills, and the Hanuman Temple on the Pandupol Hill, among others.
Darrah National Park, Kota
Darrah national park is a fusion of three wildlife sanctuaries namely, the Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary, the Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary and the Jaswant Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary. It was officially declared as a protected zone in 1955. It is one of the most popular national parks in Rajasthan spread over an area of 250 sq km. It is home to a number of species including the wild boar, deer, nilgai, cheetah and wolves. It is at a distance of 50 km from the town of Kota. Kota is also the nearest major railway junction connecting this sanctuary with the rest of the country, many cities of the state are well connected with the reserve by road.
This sanctuary is famous for the jungle safari and trekking which takes the tourists through the history of this national park. The many varieties of creatures that inhabit the Durrah Sanctuary include spotted deer, wolves, wild boars, sloth bears, sambars, leopards, panthers and antelopes.The natural beauty of the region is beyond description. Furthermore, it also has a very rich cultural history. Before Darrah became a national park, it used to be the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Kota. The River Chandrabhaga flows very close to the national park and there are a number of ancient temples, dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries that are situated along the banks of the river.
Mount Abu Sanctuary, Mount Abu
Mount Abu, nestled in the laps of the oldest fold mountains Aravali ranges in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan, is the only hill station of Rajasthan. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1980 and is home to a large number of wild animals, birds, plants and trees. A variety of orchid species are also found in the sanctuary. A part of the sanctuary also has bamboo forests. As many as 250 species of birds are found here. The grey jungle fowl is the speciality of the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary.
The highest peak in Rajasthan, “Guru Shikhar Peak” falls within the sanctuary. The most interesting feature about the rocks in the region is that they are igneous rocks and due to the effect of wind and rain, large cavities have formed on most of them. This Wildlife Sanctuary is popular for the small Indian civet, jackal, common langur, jungle cat, wolf, Indian fox, hyaena and wild boar.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur
Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It is located at a distance of about 56 km from Agra and 6 km from the Bharatpur railway station which provides excellent rail connectivity between Bharatpur and the major rail junctions of India. This sanctuary is home to a large number of migratory birds during the hibernal season and is a very popular tourist place in Rajasthan.
The Keoladeo National Park houses about 364 varieties of birds and is one of the world’s primary avian breeding grounds. A number of migratory birds from colder lands such as Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia make Keoladeo their refuge during the winter months. You can easily spot mammals including the Golden Jackal, Fishing Cat, Striped Hyaena, Nilgai, wild Boar and Blackbuck.
Best Time to Visit: Keoladeo Ghana National Park can be visited from August-November for watching the resident breeding birds and from October- February for having a better glimpse of the migrant birds.
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