Bharatpur is a 55 km long journey by road from Agra. Best known for it's bird sanctuary, the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, with a rich avian variety, is perhaps the finest in Asia . Every year the rare Siberian cranes migrate here to spend the winter in the warmer climate of Bharatpur.
The splendid Bharatpur Palace has a large number of ancient exhibits that date back to the early 15th century. The maharajas of Bharatpur became famous for the bird-lands they carefully developed in the marshes just outside Bharatpur. In old times, the duck shoots hosted here were attended by several maharajas and visiting British dignitaries. These splendid bird-lands have now been converted into a remarkable, if small, national park.
Bharatpur town has nothing to offer but is set in a region rich in history, replete with the old forts and palaces of the Jat kings. Deeg, with its pleasure palaces, is oft visited. The proximity to the Taj Mahal at Agra adds attraction to Bharatpur. There are also other interesting places nearby, including Dholpur, Karauli, Goverdhan and Bayana.
Keoladeo National Park
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People & Culture
The park originally called Ghana meaning "dense" takes its name from the ancient temple of Keoladeo, where Lord Shiva is worshipped. This park was painstakingly created in the 19th century by diverting the waters of a nearby canal to the arid scrublands, creating a series of dykes and dams. The new ecosystem that emerged became an ideal habitat for birds of all kinds.
Exotic migratory birds front Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tibet as well as Siberian cranes from the Arctic, greyleg geese from Siberia and barheaded geese from China, come here in July/Aug to spend the winters in the warmer climate here, and they breed till Oct/Nov. Colonies of cormorants, spoonbills torks, egrets, heroins, pelicans, ebis and grey heroics can be spotted all over the Park. The raised paths camouflaged by babul trees make it easier to spot them.
This massive iron fort, conceived and designed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur, was built in the early 18th century. With its impregnable defences it withstood several British attacks. The fort has three palaces within its precincts - Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas.
A rich collection of artefacts, exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions are exhibited at the Government Museum located in the Palace.
The PalaceThis royal edifice has elements of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles, with intricately designed floor tiles of interesting patterns. Ancient exhibits are displayed in the museum here.
Deeg (32 km)Deeg with its exquisite complex of pleasure palaces lies 22 miles north of Bharatpur. Created in the mid-eighteenth century by Raja Badan Singh with additions by Raja Surajmal, this was an idyllic refuge from the battles which the erstwhile rulers constantly waged. Once the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur, it served as the second capital of the region. This interesting town has massive fortifications amidst beautiful gardens.
How to get There
Air :Agra, 56 kms away, is the nearest airport.
Rail : Rail : Regular trains connect Bharatpur with several cities on the Delhi-Mumbai trunk route, as well as to Jaipur and Agra.
Some important train connections are :
Road : A network of bus services links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the State.
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.