Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in India – Keoladeo National Park | Ticket, Timing, Flora and Fauna

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in India – Keoladeo National Park | Ticket, Timing, Flora and Fauna

Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur

In the heart of Rajasthan, India, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. With over 370 species of birds calling it home, the sanctuary is a paradise for those seeking to witness the incredible diversity of avian life. From resident birds like the vibrantly coloured Indian rollers and majestic painted storks to migratory visitors like the elegant demoiselle cranes and the long-legged Siberian cranes, the park offers a spectacle for every season. 

History of the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo National Park, boasts a rich history that has transformed it from a royal hunting ground to a globally recognized bird haven. 

Early Days (18th Century):

  • The story begins with a natural depression created by the confluence of the Gambhir and Banganga rivers.
  • Maharaja Suraj Mal, ruler of Bharatpur, built the Ajan Bund between 1726 and 1763, flooding the area and creating a wetland ecosystem.
  • The area, named after the Keoladeo Shiva temple within its boundaries, became a private duck shooting preserve for the Maharajas.

Hunting Ground (1850s – 1970s):

  • The sanctuary became a popular hunting ground for the Maharajas and even British dignitaries like the Viceroys.
  • Infamous hunting events, like Lord Linlithgow’s 1938 shoot where over 4,200 birds were killed, highlighted the unsustainable practices.

Shifting Tides (1970s – 1980s):

  • Growing awareness about conservation led to a shift in perspective.
  • The last major hunt took place in 1964, and the Maharajas’ shooting rights were revoked in 1972.
  • 1976 the area was officially designated as a bird sanctuary, marking a significant turning point.

Conservation and Recognition (1980s – Present):

  • The sanctuary’s importance as a breeding and feeding ground for resident and migratory birds was internationally recognized.
  • It was designated a Ramsar site under the Ramsar Convention in 1981 and elevated to a National Park in 1982.
  • In 1985, Keoladeo National Park earned the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site status, solidifying its global significance.


  • With its diverse avifauna and unique wetland ecosystem, Keoladeo National Park continues to attract bird enthusiasts, researchers, and conservationists worldwide.
  • The park’s history serves as a reminder of the evolving understanding of wildlife conservation and the importance of protecting these vital ecosystems.

Location of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Keoladeo National Park, is located in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Specifically, it is situated near the town of Bharatpur, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Agra, famous for the Taj Mahal. The sanctuary covers an area of approximately 29 square kilometers (11 square miles) and is easily accessible by road from major cities in Rajasthan such as Jaipur and Delhi.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Tickets

The above-mentioned charges might differ.



Ticket cost


Indian Student with Valid Student ID card






Non Indian Citizen



Tour Guide for a group less than 5

5 members Rs.250/ hour


Tour Guide for a group more than 5 members




Rs.150/ hours



Rs.300/ hour



Rs.75 for an hour per person


4 Seater Boating

Rs.300/ hour


8 Seater Boating

Rs.600/ hour


Electra Van/ Visit one hour

Rs.300 (minimum charge)

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Photography/ Videography

The charges mentioned above might differ.


Entry Ticket


Ticket cost


Handy Cam




Handy Cam




Video Camera Professional

Indian Agency



Video Camera Professional

Non-Indian Agency



Movie Camera for feature film

Indian Agency



Movie Camera for feature film

Non-Indian Agency


Timings of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The timings of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo National Park, vary depending on the season:

  • Summer (April to September: 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Winter (October to March: 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Best time to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The best time to visit Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo National Park, depends on what you’re hoping to see and experience:

  • October to March: This is the peak season for the park, coinciding with the winter months in India. Temperatures are comfortable, ranging from 10°C to 25°C, making it ideal for exploring the sanctuary. This period also sees the arrival of migratory birds from Siberia and Europe, significantly boosting the park’s avian diversity. Witness the spectacle of painted storks, Siberian cranes, and demoiselle cranes, amongst many others.
  • August to November: If you’re primarily interested in resident birds like Indian rollers, kingfishers, and darters, this is an excellent time to visit. The monsoon season brings lush greenery to the park, creating a vibrant atmosphere. However, temperatures can be high, especially during the day.
  • April to June: This period can be suitable if you prefer a quieter experience and don’t mind the warmer weather. However, bird activity is generally lower compared to other seasons.

Layout of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The layout of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo National Park, can be broadly divided into three main zones:

  1. The Wetland Zone:
  • This is the heart of the sanctuary, covering approximately 11 square kilometers.
  • It comprises shallow pools, marshes, and grasslands, interspersed with several man-made structures like dams and dykes.
  • This zone provides an ideal habitat for resident and migratory birds, offering them nesting grounds, feeding areas, and protection.
  1. The Woodland Zone:
  • This zone surrounds the wetland area and consists of dry, thorn scrub forests and patches of mixed deciduous trees.
  • It provides shelter and nesting sites for birds like owls, woodpeckers, and eagles.
  • Several trails meander through this zone, offering visitors birdwatching and nature walks opportunities.
  1. The Grassland Zone:
  • This zone occupies the park’s fringes and comprises open grasslands interspersed with scattered trees and shrubs.
  • It attracts ground-dwelling birds like larks, coursers, and sandpipers.
  • This zone also has several mammals, including blackbucks, nilgai, and chital.

Birds at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Keoladeo National Park, is a haven for birdwatchers with over 370 species of birds calling it home. These birds range from resident species to migratory ones, making the sanctuary a year-round destination for bird enthusiasts.

Resident Birds:

  • Painted Stork
  • Indian Roller
  • Oriental Darter
  • Black Drongo
  • Spotted Owlet

Migratory Birds:

  • Siberian Crane
  • Demoiselles Crane
  • Bar-headed Goose
  • Eurasian Wigeon
  • Greater Flamingo

Fun activities at Keoladeo National Park

Here are some fun activities you can do at Keoladeo National Park:

  • Birdwatching: This is the main activity at the park, and with over 370 species of birds to see, you’re sure to spot something unique. Be sure to rent binoculars or bring your own, and consider hiring a guide to help you identify the birds.
  • Photography: The park is a photographer’s paradise, with stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera and lenses, and respect the animals when taking photos.
  • Nature walks: The park has a network of well-maintained trails that are perfect for a leisurely walk. You can explore the different habitats and get close to the plants and animals.
  • Boat rides: Take a boat ride on the sanctuary’s waterways for a different perspective of the park. This is a great way to see birds and other wildlife up close.
  • Cycling: Rent a bicycle and explore the park at your own pace. This is a great way to cover more ground and see more of the park.
  • Visit the Keoladeo Shiva Temple: This historic temple is located within the park and is worth visiting for its cultural and religious significance.
  • Visit the museum: The park’s museum has exhibits on the sanctuary’s history, ecology, and birdlife. It’s a great place to learn more about the park before you head out to explore.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Places to Stay

Here are some hotels you can stay in near Keoladeo National Park:

  • Hotel Surya Vilas palace – 3-star hotel 
  • Regenta Resort Bharatpur – 4-star hotel 
  • Udai Vilas Palace – 3-star hotel 
  • Hotel Kiran Villa Palace – 3-star hotel 
  • Clarks Inn Express Bharatpur – 3-star hotel 

Luxury Resorts near Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Here are some luxury resorts you can stay in near Keoladeo National Park:

  • The Birder’s Inn

Location: 314, Bird Sanctuary Colony, Rajendra Nagar,, Vijay Nagar colony, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001, India

  • Chandra Mahal Haveli

Location: Jaipur -Agra Road, Paharsar, Nadbai, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001, India

  • Swaraj Resort

Location: Opposite Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Bharatpur 321001 Rajasthan, 321001, India

  • Mahal Khas Palace

Location: Lohagarh Fort, Maharaja Surajmal Road, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001, India

  • Kadamb Kunj Resort

Location: NH 11, Fatehpur Sikri Road, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001, India

How to Reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Here are some ways to reach Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary:

  • By car: It is located 180 kilometers south of Delhi and 200 kilometers west of Agra. You can take the NH21 highway from Delhi or Agra to reach Bharatpur. The drive takes about 3-4 hours.
  • By train: The nearest railway station is Bharatpur Junction, which is well connected to major cities like Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Mathura. From the station, you can take a rickshaw or taxi to reach the sanctuary, which is about 5 kilometers away.
  • By bus: There are regular buses from Delhi, Agra, and other nearby cities to Bharatpur. From the bus stand, you can take a rickshaw or taxi to reach the sanctuary.


Piyush Kumar

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