Synonymous with birds of great variety and density in the winter is a small swampy paradise called Keoladeo Ghana National Park. This centrepiece of the little town of Bharatpur, with its rich and eventful history, witnessed large-scale hunting by the maharajas and the visiting viceroys. But upon the establishment as a national park in 1982, the sanctuary was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
- Best time to visit:
December to March
- Recommended min. duration:
7 nights/8 days
When Sir Peter Scott described Keoladeo Ghana as “the world’s best bird area” he wasn’t given to hyperbole. Bharatpur’s long list of winter-meet attendees features the bar-headed goose, gadwall, shoveller, grebes, and ducks, including the comb duck and the lesser whistling duck in large numbers.
Northern pintails and greylag geese roost in the thousands while marsh harriers prowl the air looking to eat one of them. In the quest for fish, kingfishers perch on branches near water, black-necked storks walk through it hoping to stun one, and Oriental darters snake in and out trying to scoop one out.
The list of hooting callers features the brown hawk owl, collared scops owl and dusky eagle owl. To photograph the spotted owlet, hardly a better place can be conceived. Steppe, tawny, greater and lesser spotted and crested serpent eagles constitute the distinguished raptors, so do the black-shouldered kite, shikra, white-eyed buzzard and Oriental honey buzzard among others.
Storks are aplenty, and come in the open-billed, painted, black- and woolly-necked format, while herons are purple and grey, and ibises are black and glossy. Greenshanks, stilts, sandpipers and jacanas hang out at the waterfront with common coot and common moorhen. White-eared bulbuls adorn the bushes, and yellow-footed green pigeon and Eurasian wryneck decorate the trees.
Coppersmith barbets are not averse to approach, common hoopoes pose with erect crests, Indian coursers and yellow-wattled lapwings can be snapped at eye-level, and white-breasted waterhen can often be shot with a wide-angle lens!
Smaller birds like European and Indian rollers abound, while Indian nightjars perch still on branches. White-browed and red-throated flycatchers show themselves endearingly, and citrine wagtails, bluethroats and brown shrikes entice with their eponymous colours.
You might even enjoy seeing jungle cat, jackal and Bengal monitor lizard. Nilgai (blue bull) is commonly seen, and Bharatpur is one of the best places in the world to photograph the Indian rock python.
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Unlike travel agents who plan your vacation from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t experienced themselves, our Personalised Vacations offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the knowledge of experts who know the places first-hand. Besides, your holiday will be meticulously planned by making use of the best local contacts we have at every destination.
For whom is this destination suitable?
Anybody with an interest in birding and all the myriad marvels of nature, and is over the age of 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian) can go on a personal vacation to this destination.
How do I reach Bharatpur?
You may take a flight to Jaipur (from where Bharatpur is around 3 hours by road) or a train to Bharatpur (less than 15 minutes to Bharatpur by road). Talk to us for further advice.
Will you book my flight tickets if needed?
Certainly! We take care of the flight ticket bookings too.
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Absolutely everything! From booking the travel tickets and arranging for a comfortable stay to suggested itineraries and planning places of interest, Toehold takes care of all the details of your Vacation.
Do you rent camera equipment?
Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What’s better, you can enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on Toehold Personalised Vacations