To observe the wild animals in the natural settings one have to become wild to achieve specific goal-Muhammad Awais
Number of Person: 4
Total expenses: 4000 INR, Number of days: 1
Route: Delhi (Noida) – Mathura-Bharatpur- Keoladeo
Total distance travelled: 370 Kms.
Road condition: Apart from expressway rest is just average. Full of bumps and trenches.
How to reach
- By Road(Own car): Take Yamuna express way or NH-2 till Mathura which is around 45 kms from Bharatpur.From Mathura you have to go via state highway.
- By Train: The FZR BCT Janata express (Train no 19024) leaves New delhi at 1:30 PM and arives in Bharatpur at 5:33 PM(2nd class sleeper Rs140) which runs everyday to and fro.
Ticket price: INR 50 (For Indian), INR 10 (Students)
Guide: INR 150 per hour (group less than 5 people) otherwise INR 250 per hour (Make sure you guide has binocular and Telescope, at least a telescope)
Bicycle rent: INR 25 for 6 hours. There is hardly any eating point or good restaurant in route. Arrange everything including water.
Just before going to bed on Friday night (31st Jan 2015), I don’t know how the trekking of Nag Tibba came in my mind. I asked some of my friends at the same time I was collecting the information related to Nag Tibba. As I have already travelled to Dehradun, Massooorie, Kanatal… .Nag Tibba is located in that route only. The only thing was I have not trekked to the forest. So I postponed the trek for future. In the mean time one of my friend suggested Bharatpur Birds sanctuary or Keoladeo National Park, which is an UNESCO heritage site. It is located at a perfect location from Delhi.
The park occupies an area of 29 square kilometers. 11 square kilometers are wetland, marshy land or simply lake area. Rest 18 square kilometer area is either dry-land or scrubs or tropical forest or grass land. It has very high flora and fauna diversity. In fact while traveling on national park road you can frequently see spotted deer, jackal, migratory birds, hyena, Neel gai,… etc roaming together.
We started our Journey at 9:30 AM from Noida and reached Mathura by 11 AM, crossed Bharatpur by 12:00 and by 12:30 we were on the gate of Keoladeo National park. Road condition from Mathura to Bharatpur is average and an average speed of 40 km can be achieved. There are lot of bumps and broken stretches. Just before Bharatpur the condition of road is pathetic. Because of construction work of a bridge near railway track, you have to take a side rout. Only local people can help. GPS will just confuse you. City roads of Bharatpur are also very congested like any other old city of India. The facilities at Sanctuary are quite good. There is a parking place, tourist information centre, refreshing room, bicycle and tricycle stand.
I had a bad experience with guide when I traveled to Taj Mahan. But this time we got a really good guide. His name is Deepak and he himself is a naturalist. He has very sound knowledge of flora and fauna and especially birds. Guides are available on number basis so you can’t choose. All of them are professionals and trained by Government of India. But make sure the guide has a telescope and binocular. Telescope is must. We rented six bicycles as it was convenient at the same time you have the freedom to explore more. Although most of us were riding bicycle at least after 3-5 years, it was fun. Other alternatives like tricycle, electric vehicle and Tanga are also available. If you can ride bicycle go for bicycle.
Pictures and names of some of the birds both domestic and migratory are included in the end of the blog. One more thing about bird watching is silence and patience. In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. The migratory birds which are coming to Keoladeo are from Siberia, Mongolia, China and Laddakh area. One of these birds can fly up to a height of 30000 feet, much above the Mount Everest and at a height at which most of the commercial aircrafts fly. Just imagine the amount of distance they travel. Apart from birds there are a number of animal including spotted deer, wild boar, hyena, Neel Gai, Barah Singha, jackal… Initially the area was just forested one. This was a hunting site of King and British officers. The lake inside the park is an artificial lake. It was created during the period of 1888-1901. These were the Britishers who suggested the king to do so. The best time to visit the park is between October and February. I would recommend you to visit during month of October. The sanctuary is full of birds. Keoladeo is not only a national park or bird sanctuary but an UNESCO site. Just imagine more than 500 species residing in an area of 29 square kilometers.
We came back to the main gate by 6 PM. Initially we were thinking to stay there at Night. There is a hotel in the buffer zone of national park but it is expensive (4200 per day). You can get a room near the park between INR 700-INR 5000. As such there is no lack of hotels. We left Keoladeo at 6 PM and reached Noida by 9:30 PM. If you are planning a one day trip, I would suggest this place.
As exercise nourishes your body, reading nourishes you mind, travelling nourishes your soul. Traveling a place full of birds and animals will make you think the meaning of true development. Can’t we live in a harmonious relation with nature? The voice of Birds is much more melodious than any of the instrument. Live like a bird, play like a bird and try to be a bird. Life is not all about working and solving the problems.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song- Chinese Proverb
- Reach national park as early as possible.
- Arrange food and water
- Have something for animal and birds there. Make sure these edibles do not contain salt or sugar. Rice flakes are probably the best thing. Birds and squirrel will be more than happy.
- It is not related to trip. Please never throw any medicine in open, sometimes birds eat those
medicines and they die. Their death after eating these medicines is very painful.
- As water bodies are drying, especially in urban areas provide them water.
- If you can arrange have telescopic lenses (at least more than 400mm)
- Make sure your bicycle are in good condition (Specially the seats)
Flora and fauna that we manage to watch Sarus Crane, Serpent Eagle, Coot, Purple Swamp Hen (migratory bird from Kashmir), Northern Shoveler, Spotted Bill Duck, Red Start, Spotted Owlet, Collar Scops Owl, Dusky Eagle Owl, White Cheeked Bulbul (migratory bird from Himalayas), White Breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Ibis, Great Egret, Bar Headed Geese, Grey Heron, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Moor Hen. White Breasted Water Hen, Brahminy Mynah – Starling, Painted Stork, Honey Buzzard, Ruddy Shell Duck, Indian Roller, Black Neck Stork, Partridge, Magpie Robin and Green footed Yellow Pigeon,Jackals , Spotted Deer, Sambar Deer and Nilgai.
Where to eat
Not every road side dhabas are good.There are very few good restaurants in Bharatpur,so ask the locals where to eat.Saras Hotel (phone no-6476586865),an open air restaurants is good one.
Where to stay
- Shagun Guest House: Telephone Numbers +91 5644 232455. Single: Rs 80, Double: Rs 90 ( with shared bathroom )
- Swaraj Resort: Opp Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, NH-11 (Across the road from the bird sanctuary),Telephone +91 9251033673, checkin: 1PM; checkout: 12 noon. Pool, wifi, multicuisine restaurant, well stocked bar, and lush green garden. Rs 1,800 per day
- The bagh, Old Agra – achnera rd, Telephone 05644-228333.A royal Shikargah , with cottages in the bushes to make you feel like inside a mini bird sanctuary with diversified fauna , birds & butterflies Rs 7500 per day.