Bharatpur is "the bird city" in the far eastern part of Rajasthan state in India. It is also referred to as the "Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan". The city does have other historic sites but it’s importantly known for the Keoladeo National Park, formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This man-made sanctuary was created 250 years ago, named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. Initially, it was a natural depression and was flooded after the dam was constructed by the ruler of the princely state of Bharatpur between 1726 to 1763. The dam was created at the confluence of two rivers, Gambhir and Banganga. The park was a hunting ground for the kings of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organized yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the Governor-General of India. Later in 1971, it was declared a protected sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Now it’s one of the world's best-known bird feeding and breeding grounds. Every year thousands of migratory waterfowl from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China, and Siberia visit the park for wintering and breeding.
Bharatpur is drenched by its culture and the folklore can be heard from miles. Ruled in history by a myriad of rulers, from Jats to Nizams, to the British imperialists, Bharatpur has its own regal history, enshrined in places such as Lohagarh Fort, an exotic offbeat destination that serves tourists with authentic Rajasthani traditions.
Explore & Experience in Bharatpur -
EXPLORE (Places to visit in Bharatpur):
- Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary)
- Lohagarh Fort
- Bankey Bihari Temple
- Government Museum
- Bharatpur Palace & Museum
- Ganga Mandir
- Laxman Mandir
EXPERIENCE (Things to do in Bharatpur):
- Birdwatching at Keoladeo National Park
- Rickshaw ride in Keoladeo National Park
- Brij Mahotsav (Brij festival)
- Village tour