We reached Bharatpur in the evening and immediately went to see the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Next morning we took another round of this outstanding heronry, which is listed among the World Heritage sites.
Every winter, one of the world's rarest and nearly-extinct birds,The Siberian Crane migrates to the Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary flying an incredible 3,900 miles in its two month journey.
Some of the rarest species of animals and birds in the numerous wild-life sanctuaries and national parks of Rajasthan ironically owe their existence to the hunting pleasures of the erstwhile maharajas, who carefully nurtured forests to ensure supply of regular sport.
Bharatpur is no different. Created in the late 19th century by the Maharaja of Bharatpur to bring the pleasures of wildfowl hunting to his doorstep, the reserve came into being by the simple act of diverting water from a nearby irrigation canal.
Amongst the 400 varieties of birds in the park, we saw many painted storks, spoonbills, cormorants, egrets, herons, sarus cranes, porchards, ibis and kingfishers.
While the Maharaja used his Rolls Royce within Ghana, motor-vehicles are strictly forbidden today and one has to travel either by boat, bicycle or cycle-rickshaw.