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India Travel Guide Help » Parks & Sanctuaries
Parks & Sanctuaries
Rajasthan is a haven for a wide spectrum of wildlife. The topography of Rajasthan ranges from the barren desert, scrub-thorn arid forests, rocks and ravines to wetlands and lush, green forests. And each of these areas houses a large variety of animal and bird life. Some of them rare while some endangered.

Rajasthan is the home of the tigers, black bucks, chinkara, the rare desert fox, the endangered caracal, the great Indian bustard, gavial, monitor lizard, wild boars, porcupine. Migratory birds like the common crane, ducks, coots, pelicans and the rare Siberian cranes, imperial sand grouse, falcons, buzzards flocks to this state during the winter months. Typical areas representing each of the ecosystems have been earmarked as special areas wildlife. Rajasthan boasts of two National Parks, over a dozen Sanctuaries and two Closed Areas. Most of these areas are open to visitors round the year but are closed briefly during the monsoon.

Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary

A fairly new sanctuary, it was established in 1983 and covers a total area of 229 sq km of scrub and dry deciduous forest. Leopards, chinkara, sloth bear can be spotted here if one is lucky. The best time to visit is between October and May.

Darrah Sanctuary

The 250 Sq.Km. Darrah wildlife sanctuary is located about 50 Km. from Kota. Here there are spotted deers, Wild boars, Bears ,Sambhars , Leopards , Panthers and Antelopes.The sanctuary is sometimes closed during the monsoon (usually from early july to mid -september ).

Entry Requirements

You need to get permission to visit from the local forest ranger or contact the district forest office in Kota. The foreign tourist visiting to Darrah wildlife sanctuary need to pay an entry fee of Rs 100 per person and local visitors Rs. 20 per person.

Desert National Sanctuary

The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar desert and its diverse fauna. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The major landform consists of craggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, inter medial areas and fixed dunes which are quite suitable for the chinkara to move at high speed. The black buck is another common antelope of this region. Its other notable inhabitants are the desert fox, Bengal fox, wolf and desert cat.
Sudashri forest post is the ideal place for observing the wildlife of Desert National Park and is the most suitable in the entire 3162 sq. kms. of this park for watching and photographing the activities of the animals from behind cover.

Birdlife in this sandy habitat is vivid and spectacular. Birds such as the sandgrouse, partridges, bee-eaters, larks and shrikes are commonly seen. Demoiselle crane and Hobard arrive in the winter. The birds of prey seen here are tawny and steppe eagles, long legged and honey buzzards, falcons and kestrels. But the most outstanding of the avifauna is the great Indian bustard. This tall, heavy bird is an epitome of confidence and grace. It is good to see five or six bustards near Sudashri water hole.

Entry Requirements

All visitors to Desert national sanctuary need to pay an entry fee of Rs 100 per person and for jeep, car fee is Rs.100 and for coach fee is Rs. 200

Accommodation and other facilities

Fortunately for tourists, accommodation is not a problem in Jaisalmer. The town (not the park) has a number of guest houses, forest lodges and hotels, including some luxurious heritage properties.

Besides the accommodation in the town, there are two forest lodges and two restaurants within the park. The restaurants are however, extremely basic and it’s advisable to bring your own food if you plan to spend the entire day within the park.

Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary

The lake and forested hills of this reserve, 32 km from Bikaner on the Jaisalmer road, are inhabited by wildfowl, hares , wild boar, desert foxes and a number of deer and antelopes including black bucks and blue bulls. The lake at Gajner attracts water birds in thousands. Imperial sand house migrate here in winter. Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, houses the former Hunting lodge of Bikaner and has a beautiful lake surrounded by a dense forest.

Accommodation and other facilities

There is no other infrastructure or accommodation for infrastructure for Visitors except Gajner Palace Hotel and, there are no authorised guides at the sanctuary. The reserve is only accessible through Gajner Palace Hotel vehicles( which can be hired by the non-guests also). Jeeps can take maximum six people.

Jaisamand Sanctuary

Jaisamand Sanctuary is situated 50 kms south of Udaipur the picturesque city of lakes verdant valleys and hills. It is on the bank of Jaisamand Lake, the second largest artificial Lake in Asia. The sanctuary extends over an area of 52 sq kms of thick forests land.

The leopard, hyena, jungle cat, fox and wolf are among the carnivores of the sanctuary. Other wildlife here includes sambar, chital, langur and chinkara. The Jaisamand lake is the abode of crocodiles, turtles and a variety of fish. Various species of terrestrial and water-birds can also be seen here.

Accommodation and other facilities

Fortunately for tourists, accommodation is not a problem in Udaipur. The town (not the park) has a number of guest houses, forest lodges and hotels, including some luxurious heritage properties. Besides the accommodation in the town, there are two forest lodges and two restaurants within the park. The restaurants are however, extremely basic and it’s advisable to bring your own food if you plan to spend the entire day within the park

Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur

Amongst India’s premier wildlife sanctuaries is the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur, situated at the border between the states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It’s a marshy area, stretching over 29 sq km of kadam forests, grasslands and shallow lakes. Created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the 19th century by diverting water from an irrigation canal, Keoladeo was founded as a shooting preserve, but given the status of a bird sanctuary in 1956. Upgraded to a national park in 1982, the area today ranks as one of the best waterbirds preserves in the world- and it’s a World Heritage Site. Keoladeo Ghana, Bharatpur harbours some of India’s richest Birdlife, including the gorgeous shocking-pink tinted painted stork, several species of cormorants, egrets, pelicans, ibises, cranes, ducks and geese. One can see over 350 species of birds, both native as well as migratory. Among the latter, the highly endangered Siberian Cranes, which come to nest in winter, are the rarest. Bharatpur is the Siberian Crane’s only known wintering ground in India; at last count, only 2 cranes nested at the park, definitely a cause for worry. In addition to the birds, Keoladeo is home to a wide range of mammal and reptile species, including deer, jackals, black buck, fishing cats, otters and blue bulls.

Entry Requirements

All visitors to Keoladeo Ghana, Bharatpur need to obtain an entry permit from the Warden or Ranger at the entrance to the park. Foreigners need to pay an entry fee of Rs 200; Indians pay Rs 25. Extra charges are levied for cameras and photographic equipment.

How to get there

Keoladeo Ghana is situated just two km from the town of Bharatpur, which is connected by train and road to Delhi (176 km away) and Agra (50 km away). There are regular buses plying to Bharatpur from Delhi, Agra, and other cities, and taxis can also be hired to do the trip. Within the park, walking or cycling is easily the best way of seeing Keoladeo’s fabulous range of avian life. Taxis or private vehicles, however, are allowed into the park and can be used. The forest department also operates mini buses and boats within the park. If you decide to pedal through the sanctuary, cycles can be hired at the entrance to Keoladeo; a map of the park’s walking trails can be obtained from the reception counter at the entrance.

Best time to visit

Keoladeo Ghana Bharatpur is open throughout the year for visitors, although winter is definitely the best time to visit. Summers are too hot and monsoons too wet for comfort, but the months between October and February are very suitable for a trip. Besides the fact that the weather’s good at this time, the park’s migratory birds arrive during the winter.

Accommodation and other facilities

Fortunately for tourists, accommodation is not a problem in Bharatpur. The town (not the park) has a number of guest houses, forest lodges and hotels, including some luxurious heritage properties. Besides the accommodation in the town, there are two forest lodges and two restaurants within the park. The restaurants are however, extremely basic and it’s advisable to bring your own food if you plan to spend the entire day within the park.

Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary

Kumbhalgarh is just 90 kms. from Jodhpur on the Udaipur - Pali - Jodhpur road. This jungle adjoins the historical Khumbhalgarh Fort and used to shield the fort from invaders. Now it protects the rare species of animals, struggling for their survival.

Situated in the lush green region of Udaipur, Khumbhalgarh is the only sanctuary of Rajasthan, where activities of the rarely found wolf can be seen. More than forty wolves inhabit the Job area of the sanctuary. During summer, when water becomes scarce, pack of wolves roaming around water holes is a common sight.

Mount Abu Sanctuary

Between the Himalayas and the Nilgiri mountain ranges, the highest place (about 1700 MSL) is Mt. Abu is not only a sanctuary but also a fascinating hill station of Rajasthan. It is a living example of an inextricable mix of religion and tourism. The sanctuary spread over 288 kms is dominated by subtropical evergreen forests known for its cool refreshing air, fully charged with the jasmine.

It is unique in the sense that more than 250 species of birds are found here, but the speciality of the Abu sanctuary is the grey jungle fowl. The leopard sloth bear, wild boar, sambar, chinkara and langur are the other inhabitants here. A variety of fauna including highly rare, threatened and endangered species are found in this sanctuary.

The past history of Mount Abu indicates the presence of Lion (last recorded in 1872) and Tiger (last reported in 1970). Presently, the Panther is the apex predator. Other animals found here are Sambhar, Jungle Cat, Small Indian Civet, Wolf, Hyaena, Jackal, Indian Fox, Common Langoor, Wild Boar, Pangolin, Ratel, Common Mongoose, India Hare Porcupine, Hedgehog, etc.

The sanctuary provides an ideal habitat for Sloth Bear. The population of Sloth Bear is increasing regularly as it can be seen while going through the forests or motoring on the road. This sanctuary is so filled with the activities of birds that it is a sort of pilgrimage for bird lovers.


The sanctuary comprises the oldest mountain ranges the Aravalis in Sirohi district of Rajasthan. The detached group of hills rise suddenly from the flat plain like a rocky island. The sanctuary is situated between 24°33' and 24°43' North latitude and 72°38' and 72°53' East longitude.

Ranthambhor National Park

The name Ranthambore is derived from two hills in the area, Ran and Thanbhor. Another version says that Ranthambore was once called Rana Stambhapura or City of the Pillars of War. It is located near Sawai Madhour township about 100 kms south east of Ajmer in Rajasthan, where the Vindhayas and the Aravalli Hills meet, the Ranthambore National Park is bound by the rivers Chambal, in the south, and Banas, in the north. It was established as a sanctuary in 1959 and included in the very first phase of Project Tiger in 1972. In 1981 Ranthambore was awarded National Park status. Characterized by rocky plains, flat hilltops, gentle slopes and precipitous cliffs, covered by dry deciduous forests. Ranthambore is virtually an island rich in flora and fauna in an ocean of villages, farmland and over grazed arid land.

A heaven for a multitude of wild animals, the park boasts of playing host to tigers, leopards, the elusive caracals, striped hyenas, sloth bears, jungle cats, wild boars, crocodiles and so on. Besides, there are over 300 species of birds, from the rare Indian Courser to the beautiful Painted Sand Grouse.
You can go for National Park rides, jeep safaris, camel rides, bird watching excursions and nature walks.

Location and Geographical Details

165 km from Jaipur which is the nearest airport. Nearest railhead is Sawai Madhopur (12 km).

Sariska Tiger Reserve

Sariska, in Rajasthan, the erstwhile royal preserve of the rulers of Alwar, became a sanctuary in the year 1958. The sanctuary came under the Project Tiger in 1979 and became a national park in 1982. It is located at Kankwari fort, near Alwar, on the Delhi - Jaipur Highway. The terrain is predominantly hilly, as it lies in the Aravalli range. It has total area of 788 sq. kilometres, with a core area of approximately 474 sq. kilometres. The beautiful Siliserh Lake runs along the edge of the reserve, with a quaint hunting lodge overlooking it.

At last count in 1985, there 35 tigers were reported. Other carnivores of the area are the panther, jungle cat, jackal and hyena. Three caracals were also reported during the last census in 1985. Other animals include the sambar, chital, wild boar, hare, nilgai and umpteen porcupines.

The bird-life comprises of the pea fowl, gray partridge, quail, sand grouse, tree pie, white breasted kingfisher, golden - backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle and great Indian horned owl.

Magnificent ruins peppered around the neighborhood of Sariska add to the region's fascination. The Neelkanth (Shiva) temples (6th-13th century AD) are just 32 kms from the Park and the ancient Kankwari Fort inside the Reserve, is where Emperor Aurangzeb once held his brother Dara Shikoh captive. A beautiful palace complex built in 1902 has been converted into a hotel.

Entry Requirements

All visitors to Sariska Tiger Reserve need entry permits to get into the park. for these permits, available at the office of the Field Director, or at the gate to Sariska.

The town closest to Sariska is Alwar, and the park itself lies off the Delhi-Alwar-Jaipur highway, just over 100 km from Jaipur, and about 200 km from Delhi. Alwar, a mere 21 km from Sariska, is the nearest railhead, and has frequent trains from Deeg, Bharatpur, Jaipur and other towns. In addition, the high-speed Shatabdi Express comes daily from Delhi, except on Sundays. The train stops only for two minutes at Alwar, so you’ll have to be quick on your feet, getting on or off.

The nearest airport is Jaipur, which, by virtue of its being the state capital, and an important tourist destination, is well connected to the rest of the country.

Hot to get there

Regular buses connect Alwar to Delhi and to other towns and cities within Rajasthan as well. From Alwar, there are buses to Sariska, and rented vehicles or taxis can be taken to get to the park. Within Sariska, jeeps can be hired from the Forest Reception Office to tour the park. The other option for avid wildlife-watchers is to hire a machan or `hide’ near one of the water holes.

Best time to visit

Sariska is open to visitors throughout the year, although certain jungle tracks are closed during the monsoon and the breeding season. The best time to visit the park is late in the winter around January or February. If you don’t mind the heat, April to June is a great time to see animals at the water holes.

Accommodation and other facilities

Hotel accommodation is available in close proximity but outside the park limits. The RTDC has two hotels on the periphery of Sariska, and the forest department operates a small rest-house. A room at the rest-house costs between Rs 300 to 700 per night, while rooms at the RTDC hotel range between Rs 700 to 1,900 per night.

A little further from Sariska is the Hotel Sariska Palace, a heritage hotel where a double room costs between Rs 3,000 – 4,000 a night. Rates at the nearby resorts are also approximately the same as at the Sariska Palace.

The other option is to stay at Alwar, which offers accommodation facilities ranging from budget to deluxe.
Further information on Sariska can be obtained from the Field Director, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Distt Alwar, Rajasthan, or from the offices of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC).

Amber Fort | Chittaurgarh Fort | Jaigarh Fort | Sonar Fort | Junagarh Fort | Mehrangarh Fort | Nahargarh Fort | Taragarh Fort | Fateh Prakash Palace, Chittorgarh |
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