The name Rajasthan has a habit of invoking the images of sun-bathed sand dunes of the Thar Desert, the rustic turban and mustache of Rajasthani men, and the elegant embellishments in the women’s ghagra (long skirt). Little does the attention go to the immensely rich and magnificently diverse wildlife of Rajasthan. It is worth noting that Rajasthan has the maximum number of wildlife sanctuaries and parks in India. Most of them have been declared as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. Rajasthan is home to a wide variety of wildlife that includes the rare and the endangered. Some of the honourable mentions are The Great Indian Bustard, the rare Desert fox, Siberian Cranes, the imperial tigers, buzzards, and on goes the list. At least a single tour of the great wildlife of Rajasthan should definitely be a part of your bucket-list.
The Rajasthan wildlife can be experienced almost solely by visiting the numerous national parks situated there. The prominent ones are:
Bharatpur Wild life Sanctuary
Declared a world heritage site in 1985, this is the only wildlife habitat created by a maharaja. Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National park, it is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in India. It’s known for its bird feeding and breeding ground. The natives of this haven include migratory birds like the pelican, eagles, wagtails, wheat eaters, etc. The best time to visit is between August and November.
Situated in Jaisalmer, the exotic town of Rajasthan, one of the largest wildlife parks in India. Almost twenty percent of the park is covered in mesmerizing sand-dunes. The wildlife includes birds, animals and reptiles. Milak Talao Lake, Rajbaugh Lake and Padam Talao are the major water reserves of the area. Other attractions include the famous sand-dunes of Khuri and Saam, Akal wood fossils park.
Known to be the best tiger reserve in whole of India, Ranthambore National Park is located at Sawai Madhopur. It contains six man-made lakes and is home to a wide variety of exotic trees like the peepal, banyan etc. The air of the national park is always filled with the magnificent slow rumbles and roars of the tigers. Other wildlife includes chitals, gazelles, sambar, amphibian species and reptiles like the cobra, Indian python etc.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary is situated at the foothills of Guru Shikar. The main attraction of the Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary is the abundantly rich and diverse flora and fauna. For the nature lovers who are looking for the botanical part of Mother Nature, this is the perfect place. There are 81 species of trees that can be found here and plants like wild roses, algae, orchids, bryophytes are quite commonly found over here. Wildlife includes hedge-hog, jungle cat, hyena, the rare grey jungle fowl etc.
Sariska National Park
Previously a hunting ground, it was later converted to a national park to protect the wildlife. The Sariska National Park is a part of a tiger reserve project. It is situated on the Aravalis and has wide variety of flora and fauna. Jungle cat, jackal, langur, sambar, the great Indian horned owl etc. form the wildlife of the area.
These are just few of the national parks that contain the towering wildlife of Rajasthan. Witnessing the wilderness of Rajasthan can truly be a rewarding experience for anyone. So, go forth and enjoy.