Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Just outside Bharatpur, considered to be one
of the world's outstanding heronries, covering an area of just 12 square
miles, this is an interlocking ecosystem of woodlands, swamps, wet
prairies and dry savannah.
Home to over 370 varieties of
birds, more than 115 species are migrants flying in from Central Asia,
Siberia and Western China during the winter months. Perhaps no other
bird sanctuary in the world has so many different species within so
small a radius, creating an uniquely rewarding bird watching experience.
Bhamji of Morvi state in Gujarat converted this area into a world famous
wildlife reserve. Duck shoots were organised in the area every year by
the rulers of Bharatpur, in honour of Viceroy Lord Curzon and his party
on 1st December, 1902. The exploits of all visiting dignitaries since
1902 have been engraved on stone plaques standing near the Keoladeo
Largest number of birds (4273) were killed on 12th
November, 1938, by Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy & Governor General of
India and his party. After independence, this reserve was notified as a
bird sanctuary but the former rulers of Bharatpur continued to enjoy
their shooting rights over the area till 1972. The area was notified as
a National Park in 1981 but made effective only in Novemeber,1982.
efforts originally started by Dr. Salim Ali received a further impetus
when the area was deemed a national park in March 1982. In 1985,
Bharatpur was accepted as a World Heritage Site.