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Keoladeo Ghana

Bharatpur

Keoladeo Ghana NP Badge The wetland reserve at Keoladeo Ghana is one of the world's best birding sites. It was created in 1760, when a dam was built to save the town of Bharatpur from flooding during the monsoon. In the early 1900s, the lake created by the dam was developed for hunting. In its hunting heyday, many huge 'bags' of ducks were slaughtered for 'sport'. From this ignoble beginning has arisen a habitat of international importance (it became a World Heritage Site in 1985), where the 350+ species of birds are safe, and the hunting is with binoculars and cameras. As well as the birds, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai and Wild Boar may be seen in the Reserve.     Bharatpur 2

The emblem above shows wintering Siberian cranes, a beautiful and endangered species for which the reserve is famed (their only other known wintering place is Feredunkenar in Iran). Their migration from the Aral mountains in Siberia is c6400km. Sadly, we didn't see them, but they visited the reserve a few weeks after our visit.

We stayed at Forest Lodge, which is situated within the reserve and is thus very convenient for early morning trips. The trips are made by bicycle rickshaw, and bird guides are available for hire - very much worth the small fee charged.
Indian Rock Pythons (53k) We were taken to see this entwining of Indian Rock Pythons, quite near the Lodge.
 


Click here to see a photo of shed snake skin!
Our bird guide also took us to see the Indian Nightjars roosting in the orchard area.
They are beautifully camouflaged among the fallen leaves.
Long-tailed Nightjar (35k)
Morning mist (26k)
 

Most of our walks were taken in the early morning, when the birds were most active. Although it was cool, it was nothing like as cold as it was at Ranthambhor: one pair of trousers was enough!

 

This is Duncan in the foreground, on the morning I had Delhi Belly and was pretty well slowed up. Duncan got his the next day!

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