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Lat:27o12´56´´N/77o´29´25´´E 29,700ha 3,000 (Keoladeo Park), flat 251m 
Keoladeo National Park & Keoladeo Park (Bharatpur) Ramsar and World Heritage site 

Flat with shallow manmade lagoons and more arid areas on the edge of the Thar Desert. 

October to February (Keoladeo/Bharatpur 07.02.94) 

For a map see foot


Birding Site Guide


The park, formerly known as Bharatpur, is located in central N India, Chitwan District, Rajasthan and is easily reached from Agra (56km away) which has an airport, or from Delhi (190km away). As well as the regular buses, Bharatpur has a railway station and of course many travel agencies take tours. If driving, India’s roads are not for the nervous, and road signs can be scarce, but there are always people to ask. 

Hotel accommodation inside the park is at the Bharatpur Forest Lodge. There is a tourist complex, the Park Palace and Govind Niwas with alternative accommodation at Saras Hotel, Shanti Kuteer, Circuit House and Dak Bungalow. There is the Birder’s Inn not far from the gate and also the Sunbird hotel which is small, basic and very cheap (US$10) and only a few hundred metres left from the park gate (as facing). 

This magical place is heaving with birds and other wildlife, and is a former hunting reserve of the India maharajas, and was created using canals from the nearby Narayani river. The Keoladeo Park part of the national park is fenced, with a small fee at the entrance gate, and is closed at night and opens at sunrise. It is possible to walk, hire pushbikes or take a rickshaw (cUS$0.50) around the grid of main paths and sandy tracks. The licensed rickshaws in the park have been trained by park staff as bird-spotters and are very good and quite knowledgeable. They can easily locate the various bitterns and other waterbirds. Further through the park and at the rear, where there are no lagoons the more arid desert edge provides the possibility of locating different birds.

Species Notes

The park boasts a list of 375 species of bird. Siberian Cranes appear to no longer return here (not seen 2003 and 2004). For a bird checklist try Nature Safari India. 


Birds seen

We saw 115 species each in the first 3 hours. Guides showed us from the rickshaws, Chestnut, Black and Yellow Bitterns. Siberian Cranes (re-introduced). At evening a guide who was called Gordon sneaked us back into the park and showed us Tickell`s and Orange-headed Ground-Thrushes in the Nursery area, we also saw Indian and Long-tailed Nightjars.

The following day we hired some bikes from inside the park, be warned the best bikes are kept for people who are actually staying in the Lodge, not for hard up birders staying in cheap B+B outside. So with our more `well used steeds` we birded the route around the west of the reserve and found a couple of Collared Scops Owl and later on saw Dusky Horned Owl. Other species were Avadavat, Sirkeer Cuckoo, Marshall's lora, Brainfever Bird, Imperial Eagle and our only White Necked Stork. 

The semi-arid field at the rear of the reserve are good for a number of open area species, we saw Pintail Snipe, Rufous-tailed Finch-Lark, Isabeline, Pied and Desert Wheatears. 

Species seen 


Mammals seen

Herptiles seen

Butterflies seen (all sites)

India Wildlife Tours bird list 

Other Fauna 

Other wildlife is abundant and includes Spotted Deer (Chital) Cervus axis, Sambar Cervus Unicolor, Black Buck Antilopa cervicapra, Blue Bull Boselaphus Tragocamelus, Fishing Cat Felis viverrina, Asiatic Jackal (Indian or Golden) Canis aureus, Smooth Indian Otters Lutra perspicillata, Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, and Wild Boar Sus scrofa. Commoner reptiles are Indian Rock Python Python molurus molurus and Yellow Monitor Lizard Varanus flavescens


India Wildlife Tours very good information on Indian national parks. 

Nature Safari India, this is the best website for all information. 

Author: BSG and Geof Grafton