If you are looking for a drivable weekend getaway from Delhi, Bharatpur at at a driving distance of 200 km is just right from November to March. Bharatpur is well known for the Bharatpur Bird Sancturay, which is officially known as Keoladeo National Park.
A good mix of adventure and heritage, Bharatpur is an ideal destination for both activity seeking travellers and someone who wants to take it easy. The park offers wonderful opportunity for people interested in bird watching and wildlife while the cultural and architectural heritage of the area draws travellers interested in history and architecture.
Pic by: Peter Steward
The present day bird sanctuary, ironically, was the duck shooting preserve for the Maharaja Suraj Mal. He is believed to have transformed the shallow depression formed by the confluence of the Gambhir and Banganga rivers into a reservoir by blocking the rainwater in monsoons. The area was a hunting ground for the British and the nobles of Bharatpur. It was in 1964 that the hunting was banned and in 1982 the sanctuary was declared a national park. Keoladeo National Park today is a world heritage site.
There is no dearth of places to see and things to do in Bharatpur. However, the bird sanctuary is the main attraction. The park administration offers various options to explore the sanctuary and one can choose to bicycle or hire a cycle rickshaw or a tonga for that matter. The Park opens from sunrise to sunset and the ticket price is Rs 200 for a foreign visitor and Rs 25 for an Indian visitor.
Visitors can take their vehicles up to Shanti Kutir, after which visitors can walk or take transport options mentioned above. The vehicles are charged at Rs 50 per vehicle.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo National Park is home to thousands of rare and highly endangered birds such as the Siberian Crane that come here during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home.
Other places of tourist interest in Bharatpur are Bharatpur Palace, Government Museum (10 am – 4:30 pm), Laxman Temple, Ganga Temple, Lohagarh Fort and Deeg Palace.
There is no dearth of hotels in Bharatpur and one can find budget as well as heritage hotels in Bharatpur.
Reaching Bharatpur by Road
Approximate distance from Delhi: 185 km
Route 1: Delhi – Noida – Greater Noida – Yamuna Expressway
Route 2: Delhi – Faridabad – Palwal – NH1