Rajasthan - National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rajasthan

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National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rajasthan (India)

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Rajasthan has a diverse landscape that ranges from the scrub-thorn forests, semi-arid barren desert, and rocks to wetlands, water-filled valleys and lush green forests. The Thar Desert also known as the Great Indian Desert, wetlands of the Indo-Gangetic plains and the Aravali mountain range play an important part in the landscape of Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is a dwelling of different variety of wildlife animals and birds like chinkara, the endangered caracal, rare desert fox, tigers, black bucks, the great Indian bustard, wild boars, bears and deers. Migratory birds which usually visit Rajasthan during winters are:  the rare Siberian cranes, imperial sand goose, falcons, common cranes, coots and pelicans. There are 2 national parks and a number of sanctuaries in Rajasthan. Almost all the sanctuaries are opened throughout the year and are closed during the monsoon.
Some of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Rajasthan are:

Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary, Kota
A fairly new sanctuary, it was established in 1983 and covers a total area of 229 sq km of scrub and dry deciduous forest. The Bhensrod Garh sanctuary is located 55 km west of Kota and covers a total area of 229 sq km of scrub and dry deciduous forest. Bhensrod Garh is one of the new additions in the list of Wildlife Parks or Sanctuaries as protected home to variety of rare as well as endangered animal and bird species. Wild animals generally seen in the park are Sloth Bear, Chinkara and Leopard. Best Season to visit this sanctuary is from October to May.
Darrah Sanctuary, Kota
Darrah Sanctuary was founded in the year 1955 in Kota , it spreads over an area of 266 square km. It is enclosed by thick forests and hills. In the days of yore, Darrah sanctuary used to be the royal hunting ground of the erstwhile maharaja of Kota before it was handed over to the government of India. The animals which are generally seen in the park are chinkara, leopard, wolf and sloth bear.  Best Season to visit this sanctuary is from February to May.
Desert National Park, Jaisalmer
Desert National Park was set up in 1980 in Jaisalmer, it spreads over an area of 3162 square km. Best Season to visit this park is from September to March. Desert National Park is a best example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The major landform consists of craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes. Besides a fragile ecosystem there also exists a wide variety of birdlife. This region is a heaven for the migratory and resident birds of the desert. Many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrel and vultures. Short-toed Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Spotted Eagles, Laggar Falcons and kestrels are the mostly common among these. Spotted near small ponds or lakes here are Sand grouse.
Jaisamand Sanctuary, Udaipur
Jaisamand Sanctuary was set up in 1957 in Udaipur. It is situated on the edges of the Jaisamand lake, a huge man-made lake and spreads over an area of 160 square km. This sanctuary is the habitat of innumerable species. The species include sloth bear, leopard, chital, chinkara, wild boar and a wide variety of the birds that breed here such as darter, open bill stork, pond heron, little cormorant and Indian Shag. The aquatic life and the amphibians are also found in the lake such as the fish and the crocodiles. Best Season to visit this sanctuary is from November to January.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of prominent bird sanctuary in the world. It is the largest bird sanctuaries in Asia. It was founded in the year 1956 and was declared as a national park on 10 March 1982. It is among one of the best bird sanctuaries.  This sanctuary covers an area of about 29 square kms. In this sanctuary more than 280 species of birds are found. Different types of migratory birds come here from Russia and Siberia during winters.  Different varities of migratory birds who visit the sanctuary include Brahminy ducks, herons, Siberian crane, geese, pelicans, egrets, ibis etc. The sanctuary is a very peaceful place to watch unique Indian and foreign birds.

Best Season to visit this sanctuary is from November to February. More.....

birds at Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur
Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh
Deers at Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh

Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary is a very large sanctuary in the Aravallis, situated about 118 km from Udaipur. It extends over an area of 586 square km. Wild animals which are found in the sanctuary are Wild Boar, Four-horned Antelope,  Panther, Sloth Bear etc.  One of the most important attraction of the sanctuary is scientifically bred crocodiles.

The sanctuary becomes the dwelling of various migratory birds like Spoonbills, Egrets, Flamingoes, Cormorants etc. during winters.

Best Season to visit this sanctuary is from March to May and from September to November.

Mount Abu Sanctuary, Mount Abu

The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Aravali mountain ranges. The area was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1960. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest parts of the Mount Abu mountain ranges. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is about 7 kms long and only 300 metres wide. It is the home of a large variety of animals like Wild boar, grey Jungle Fowl, Sambhar, Langur, Chinkara, and Leopard. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary houses about 112 plant families with 449 genera and 820 species.

Ranthambore National Park, Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park is a famous tiger reserve in Ranthambore. It spreads over an area of 392 square km. This national park is the residence of a large variety of animals. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic park of the country due to its amazing landscape with its lake, fort and temples. Most Prominent attraction of this park is Tiger.  Other attractions of this park are Jungle Cat, Jackal, Sloth bear, Hyena, Wild Boar, Indian Hare, Marsh Crocodile, Leopards, Deer, Antelopes, Sambhar, Chinkara, Chital, Nilgai, Caracals, Porcupines, Mongoose etc. Best Season to visit this park is from November to March. 

Ranthambore National Park was a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur in the beginning. In the year 1955, Ranthambore was given the status of game sanctuary.  More.....

Tiger at Ranthambore National Park
Sariska National Park, Sariska
Sariska National Park, Sariska

Sariska National park is one of most prominent Wildlife Reserve of India.Sariska National Park is located on the Aravalli and spreads over an area of 500 square km. Sariska was the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Alwar in the beginning, in the year 1958 it became a wildlife sanctuary by the government of India. Sariska National park is one of most prominent Wildlife Reserve of India.  It came under Project Tiger in 1979 and was declared as a national park in 1982.

Wild animals which are generally seen in the park are: Tiger, Leopard, Hyena, Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Jackal, Wild dog, Jungle Cat, Four-horned Antelope, Crocodiles, Common Langur, Caracal and Porcupines. Various species of birds can also be seen in Sariska National Park. Best Season to visit this park is from November to June. More....

Sitamata Sanctuary, Udaipur
Sitamata Sanctuary is situated about 105 kms from Udaipur. It is enclosed by the forests of bamboo and dry deciduous vegetation. Sitamata Sanctuary is the dwelling of a large variety of wild animals like Chousingha, Deer, Caracal, Wild Boar, Pangolin and Leopard.
 
Talchappar Sanctuary, Shekhawati
Talchappar Sanctuary is situated in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Wild animals which are found in this sanctuary are: Desert Fox, Sandgrouse, Blackbuck, Desert Cat, Partridges etc.
 

SHIKAR (Hunting in Rajasthan which is nor more allowed)     
Rajasthan’s picturesque forests dotted with hills and lakes are well-stocked with a variety of wild life. In fact, shikar used to be a favourite sport with the princes and the nobility. The tradition is kept alive today, and the State Government have taken steps to preserve the colourful fauna of the region.

Rajasthan is specially known for tiger shoot, pig sticking and imperial sand-grouse and migratory duck shoots. For those who wish to oberve wild life or ‘shoot’ with a camera, there are sanctuaries where birds and animals live in their natural habitat without fear of molestation. In brief, Rajasthan affords ample opportunities within easy reach of the principal cities, whether one desires to shoot with a gun (no more allowed) or a camera.

Big Game in olden times since the Royal time

The forest areas where wild life was plentiful and had been divided into shooting blocks. Each block had three to four water-holes and a few good camping grounds within easy approach of a rest house or a town. The schooting season started in October and lasted till the end of March. The tiger and the panther could, however, be shot till the end of June. In fact, the best time for a tiger shoot was between March and June when game was abundant. The days, during these
months, are warm but dry and healthy and the nights cool and pleasant.

A variety of good game was available in the forest areas around Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, Kotah, Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar. Tigers and panthers, were common in these forests and with reasonable luck, a hunter might secure other trophies, such as the bear, sambhar, blue bull, chinkara, cheetal and occasionally a wild boar. In the southern parts of the State, bears were found in most of the forests. Kotah forests had brown bears in addition to the black variety. The sambhar were distributed all over the region, but the spotted deer was available only in the southern parts. Wild pigs, blue bulls, black bucks and chinkaras were well distributed throughout the State. The four-horned antelope was met with at a few places, between Alwar and Jaipur.


Feathered Game
During the winter months, feathered game was plentiful in many parts of Rajasthan.
Bikaner and Bharatpur are famous for imperial sand-grouse and duck shooting. A record number of 6,000 birds of each species had been bagged in a day at these places. Also commonly found wete the great Indian bustard, grey and black partridges, fowls, four kinds of quail and snipe, green and blue pigeons, floricans, plovers, teals, geese, pochards and ducks of many kinds.

Game Sanctuaries in Rajsathan

To ensure the preservation of wild life a few blocks have been declared by the State Government as reserved areas or Game Sanctuaries. These are Sariska in Alwar, Keoladeo Ghana in Bharatpur, Van Vihar in Dholpur, Darrah in Kotah, Jaisamand in Udaipur and one in Sawai Madhopur. Shooting, hunting, netting and trapping of animals and birds are prohibited in these areas. The visitor, however, is welcome to study wild life and ‘shoot’ with a camera.

Of the five game sanctuaries, those at Sariska and
Ghana are the more popular, for they are easily accessible. The Sariska Game Sanctuary is 193 km. (120 miles) from Delhi on the Delhi-Jaipur road. It has tigers, panthers, wild boars, black bucks, four-horned deer, sambhars, blue bulls, jungle cats, civets and hyaenas. Among the colourful birds are the pea-fowl and golden orioles.

The Ghana Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur is a vast marsh where thousands of migratory ducks come for the winter. A large number of storks, cormorants, darters, spoon-bills, egrets and cranes build their nests and breed there, and the whole place resounds with the calls of millions of young chicks during August-September. Apart from the birds,
Ghana has herds of black bucks, cheetals and bule bulls which can be photographed from close range.

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