Keoladeo Ghana National Park- Bharatpur

Keoladeo Ghana National Park- Bharatpur

The Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan was earlier known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Bharatpur is in Rajasthan and every year it plays host to thousands of migratory birds during the winter season. Keoladeo Ghana National Park is truly a paradise for birds with over380 resident and migrant species, including the Common Demoiselle and the rare Siberian cranes. The migratory birds include several species of cranes, hawks, pelicans, geese, shanks, ducks, eagles, warblers, stints, wagtails, buntings, wheatears, flycatchers, larks and pipits. Keoladeo Ghana National Park is also an excellent place to spot mammals like the golden jackal, jungle cat, sambar, nilgai and blackbuck. There are 42 species of raptors, 9 species of owls, 22 species of reptiles, 34 species of mammals, 8 species of amphibians, 57 species of fish, 71 species of butterflies, 30 species of dragonglies and another 30 species of spiders in Keoladeo Ghana National Park. The Saras Crane with its spectacular courtship dance is one of the main attractions of the Keoladeo Ghana National Park.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park is also known simply as the Keoladeo National Park. It is named after the Keoladeo or Shiva temple that is inside the park. In the past, the area encompassed by the park had a natural depression, surrounded by a forest or 'ghana'. This depression was subjected to seasonal flooding by the waters of the river Banganga.

The area was developed into a duck shooting reserve in 1899 AD by the ruler of Bharatpur. Inspired by the duck shooting events that he had experienced in England, he got bunds and dykes constructed between 1850 AD and 1899AD and increased the water-holding capacity of the depression. The park became a popular hunting ground for the Maharajas of Bharatpur who organized the duck shoots for visiting royalty. Later, the Rajasthan Government took over the park and made it a bird sanctuary in 1956. In the year 1967, the area of Keoladeo Ghana was finally declared as a protected forest. In 1981, Keoladeo was declared as a National Park. Keoladeo Ghana National Park was declared UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

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