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Bharatpur


Bharatpur is considered as the Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan. Bharatpur is popular for its bird sanctuary-the Keoladeo Ghana National Park - finest in Asia rich avian variety. Of the remnants of the royal past remains the marvellous Bharatpur Palace housing a rich repository of a large number of ancient exhibit that date back to the early 15th century. As with all other places of Rajasthan, Bharatpur's track record in the history is also long and important. But the person singularly responsible for Bharatpur's claim to fame is undoubtedly its Raja Surajmal Jat. For without his creative passions, the World Heritage Bharatapur National Park could not be there on the map, nor would there be the stunning palaces of Deeg and the impregnable Lohagarh fort. The best season to visit Bharatpur is between the months of November and February- the time of the arrival of migratory birds. ( The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is open throughout the year.)

Bharatpur at a glance :
Area 29 sq. km
Altitude 250 m above sea level
STD Code 05644
Best Time To Visit October to March

How to Reach Bharatpur

By Air
Nearest airport at Agra is only 65 km away.

By Train
Bharatpur is on the Delhi to Mumbai broad-gauge line.

By Road
Bharatpur is connected to the rest of India with good Bus service.

Distance from Bharatpur to :
Agra 55 Km
Alwar 110 Km
Bhandarej 110 Km
Deeg 32 Km
Delhi 184 Km
Fatehpur Sikri 22 Km
Jaipur 175 Km
Karouli 110 Km
Kesroli 120 Km
Madhogarh 165 Km
Mathura 39 Km
Mahuwa 65 Km
Persar 23 Km
Pachar 210 Km
Ranthambore 250 Km
Sariska 145 Km

Places of Interest in Bharatpur

Lohagarh Fort
Bharatpur Government Museum
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj
The Bharatpur Palace
Keoladeo National Park


The Keoladeo Ghana National Park

Each year before the advent of winter in the northern hemisphere thousands of birds wing their way across the frozen waters of Siberia, Mongolia, Tibet and the high reaches of eastern Europe to the warmer subcontinent of India. One of the choicest destinations for these avians is the marsh of Bharatpur lying between the cities of Agra and Jaipur in the north-west. More than 300 species of birds are found in this small park of 29 sq. km. of which 11 sq. km. are marshes and the rest scrubland and grassland. The sanctuary derived the first part of its name (Keoladeo) from a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva situated in the central zone of the park. The other part (Ghana) of the name is a Hindi word denoting dense and thick forests. In earlier times, Bharatpur town used to be flooded regularly every monsoon. In 1760, an earthern dam (Ajan Dam) was constructed, to save the town, from this annual vagary of nature. The depression created by extraction of soil for the dam was cleared and this became the Keoladeo lake. At the beginning of this century, this lake was developed, and was divided into several portions. A system of small dams, dykes, sluice gates, etc., was created to control water level in different sections. This became the hunting preserve of the Bharatpur royalty, and one of the best duck - shooting wetlands in the world. Poaching was banned by the government in 1965 and large-scale conservation efforts began by famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali led the sanctuary to be declared as a National Park in March 1982. The sanctuary was accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is home to an astonishing range of flora and fauna. Birds come to this national park in waves. From August through November, it is indigenous water birds. In early October the first migrants arrive from the high plateaux of Central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia, the most eagerly awaited of the lot being the gravely threatened Siberian crane. There are only two wintering places, left for this extremely rare species.One is in Feredunkenar in Iran, and the other is Keoladeo Ghana. The journey to Bharatpur takes them 6,400 kms from their breeding grounds, in Siberia. They arrive in December and stay till early March. Unlike Indian cranes, the Siberian crane is entirely vegetarian. It feeds on underground aquatic roots and tubers in loose flocks of five or six. The month of March sees most of these migrants leave the national park. But animals that have made it their home-the nilgai (blue bull), sambar, jungle cat and mongoose-spend the entire summer here. A bike or rickshaw ride through the length and breath of this sanctuary is an unforgettable experience. Most parts of the sanctuary can be reached by using bicycles or rickshaws that can be hired from the office of wildlife authorities situated at the main gate. Binoculars and English-speaking trained guides can also be hired to increase your chances of sighting a Siberian crane, the most famous of its migratory guests. With almost 377 bird species already spotted at Bharatpur, the place is certainly one of the most inviting bird sanctuaries in the world.

Bharatpur Government Museum
Located in the centre of the famous Lohagarh Fort, the Bharatpur Museum houses a rich collection of archaeological wealth of the nearby areas as from the old Bharatpur State. The huge palatial building Kachahari Kalan, once the administrative block of the rulers of Bharatpur state, was converted into a Museum in 1944. Later on, the Kamra Khas (personal chamber) building on the first floor was added to the museum. It exhibits sculptures found during the excavation of old villages e.g. Noh, Mailah, Bareh, Bayana etc. ranging from the Kuslian period.

Places of Interest around Bharatpur

Deeg
Alwar
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Nandgaon
Barsana
Neemrana and Kesroli
Karauli (121 km southwest of Bharatpur)

Deeg

Hardly 35 kilometers from Bharatpur town is Deeg, famous for its water palaces. Once the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur, it served as the second capital of the region. It is dotted with a number of forts, palaces and gardens--well known for their spectacular architectural splendour. The gardens have beautiful tinking fountains and the aura exudes a majestic Mughal style. As towns go, Deeg is not much of a place, being small and dusty and primarily agricultural. Deeg has a fort with all of twelve bastions. The largest of these, Lakha Burj, is still mounted with a cannon. The buildings form a large rectangle enclosing a garden and two large tanks at the eastern and western ends. The largest and most impressive structure is Gopal Bhawan inside which, even on a summer's day, the air is cool and refreshing. Perhaps the most attractive part of the garden complex is the summer pavilion, Keshav Bhawan. On special occasions the 500 fountains around the pavilion used to spout coloured water while fireworks lit up the night sky. Some of these fountains still play during local festivals. The small but famous pilgrimage centre, Govardhan, lies along the narrow spur of hills east of Deeg.