KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK
Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, the Keoladeo National Park is recognised as one of the world’s most important bird breeding and feeding grounds. It originated in as a royal hunting reserve during the 1850s and was a game reserve for Maharajas and the British. In fact, Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943, shot over thousands of ducks with his hunting party in a single day! In 1982, Keoladeo was declared a national park and then later listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The park is home to over 370 species of birds and animals such as the basking python, painted storks, deer, nilgai and more. Noted Indian ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali used his influence to garner government support to create Keoladeo National Park. It was also known as the breeding ground for the rare and elusive to spot Siberian crane. Keoladeo National Park offers well-defined treks which can be covered on either foot, or cycle or rickshaws. In fact, the park management has trained the rickshaw pullers in bird watching and they make for extremely knowledgeable guides.