Around 5 kilometres beyond the city of Bharatpur is one of the most fascinating wildlife reserves on the Indian subcontinent, Keoladeo Ghana. Accompanied by the park’s experienced guides, the first leg of our journey travels across a well-worn route to Python Point that, due to its population of Tiger Pythons, most assuredly lives up to its name.
Despite the picturesque landscape, the local maharajas were more interested in the region’s wildlife, especially the population of wild duck. In the middle of the 19th century, the maharajahs recognized the merits of this newly created habitat and officially declared it to be their very own hunting grounds. Unlike today, the numerous water birds of Keoladeo Ghana were not protected but instead were hunted for sport.
The park’s varied scenery is quite remarkable. Low-lying forests, shrubberies, swampland and savannah-like grasslands influence the external appearance of this fascinating nature reserve. In the northeast of the park, the dry forests consist mainly of the babul tree, a unique variety of acacia tree, and rose apple.
For many visitors, the remoteness of the park is in stark contrast to life in India’s lively, noisy and hectic cities. However, this world famous bird sanctuary is located close to civilization and also to a good network of roads. Yet motor vehicles are few and far between in Keoladeo Ghana where the bicycle rickshaw is the most common means of transport.
Few bird sanctuaries in the world provide visitors with such a variety of bio-diversity and scenic beauty as does the Keoladeo National Park.