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.
Their great duck shoots and tiger hunts were major events on the sporting calendar of old Imperial India, and British generals used to vie for invitations.
Every winter, one of the world's rarest and nearly-extinct birds, The Siberian Crane migrates to the marshlands of the Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary in Bharatpur - flying an incredible 3,900 miles in its two month journey.
Arguably the world's most outstanding heronry, the Keoladeo Park houses nearly 400 varieties of birds including painted storks, spoonbills, cormorants, egrets, herons, sarus cranes, porchards, ibis and kingfishers.
Various other lakes and ponds spread over the state also offer a delightful opportunity to bird lovers. Flocks of Flamingos near the salt-water lake of Sambhar and the Demoiselle Cranes in Kheechan and Churu make a pretty picture.
Another equally rare and nearly-extinct bird, The Great Indian Bustard can be seen in the rolling sand-dunes and scrub-covered hills of the Desert National Park near Jaisalmer.
One of the most breathtaking sights, however, is that of the peacock dancing during the monsoons. The National Bird of India, this graceful bird can be found all over the state.
The tiger, one of the most magnificient animals of India has long fascinated people with its awesome power and beautifully striped coat.
Amongst the 20 reserves selected under Project Tiger (launched in 1973 to save this endangered species), The Ranthambhor National Park and Sariska Tiger Reserve are considered by both naturalists and photographers as the best places covered under wildlife tours in India.
The Desert National Park near Jaisalmer is home to the Chinkara, the smallest Indian antelope. Other animals include panther, leopard, desert fox, striped hyena, jackal, wolf, caracal, gharial, sambhar, blackbuck, chital, nilgai and sloth bear also form a part of wildlife in Rajasthan.