Keoladeo Ghana National Park, more popularly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
has one of the most prolific bird life in the country. Two-thirds of the Park lies
under water and the remaining one-third is covered in dry deciduous forests and
The history of the area dates back in time when Prince Bhamji of Morvi state, Gujarat,
used the area as a hunting preserve. Gradually, it became popular with the ruler
of Bharatpur. On one occasion held in honor of Viceroy Lord Curzon in 1902, thousands
of birds were killed and their exploits engraved on stone plaques standing near
the Keoladeo Temple, standing tall in the heart of the Sanctuary.
After Indian independence, the Reserve was notified as a Bird Sanctuary but the
former rulers of Bharatpur continued with their exploits till killing of birds was
banned in 1972. The area was declared a National Park in 1981 credited to the efforts
of eminent ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali.
Today, the Park supports a population of 375 species of birds along with many mammals
and reptiles. The most notable winter visitors to the Park are the rare Siberian
Cranes, whose numbers have dwindled to only two over the years.