Bharatpur India - things to do plus visiting Bharatpur Keoladeo National Park.

Lohagarh Fort and Moat - Bharatpur, India.

About Bharatpur in India and how to get there.

Bharatpur City is located in the State of Rajasthan and is right next to Keoladeo National Park (originally known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) which is a World Heritage Site - the nearest other major tourist locations are Agra (about 50kms) away and Fatephur Sikri (25km). The nearest commercial airport is at Gwalior - some 130kms away and that airport has one flight a day from Delhi - or is meant to have but often as not even this may not operate. Indian Railways have a station at Bharatpur (station code is BTE) - the city is on the main Mumbai to Delhi line and also on the line which actually goes from Gwalior via Agra Fort station - therefore the cities of Kota and Jaipur are also accessible from there. India's NH11 main road from Jaipur (around 190kms away) goes past Bharatpur and there are quite fast and frequent local buses to both Agra and Fatephur Sikri. Therefore Bharatpur is a possible place to stay for visiting those locations rather than perhaps staying within the mayhem and higher priced Agra hotels.
Mathura Gate - Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur, India.

Bharatpur does have an old fort called Lohagarh Fort (Iron Fort)

which was built in the early 18th Century by Jats and which is still surrounded by a moat. Bharatpur's Fort looks very impressive as you approach and then walk over the moat into it via one of it's two massive gates however the area is very populated and it's quite difficult to see any "Fort" - i.e. walls and battlements - as such once inside apart from in the very centre of the islet.

Bharatpur Accommodation - hotels - guesthouses and places to eat.

Much of the accommodation at Bharatpur is offered by small guesthouses - centrally there are around 20 or so and the room rates are pretty low and the facilities are pretty basic too - prices ranging from under 1200rs to 5000rs per night. There are no proper restaurants available that we could find in the city and for some reason the few mostly 3 star hotels did not seem to want non-staying guests to use their internal restaurants.

About visiting Keoladeo Ghana National Park - with Photos.

Set on the edge of Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Bharatpur's Wildlife Sanctuary is enjoyable although the long drought being suffered in this part of India means quite a few parts of the park are dry so not so many waders and so on to spot - but there ware still plenty of other types of birds to be spotted and nice walks to do around the remaining wetland and lakes. Opening hours are sunrise to sunset all year round and the entrance fee at the time of visiting the Park was 200 Rupees each but it's worth noting that unusually you may have to produce your passports or other similar identification before being let into the Park. Having widely travelled in India we have not come across this requirement anywhere else - perhaps this is due to over-zealous local police after the bombings and other troubles but it's worth carrying such if intending to visit just in case.
Established by Suraj Mal (1707-1763) in the mid 1700s for use as a hunting area for the Maharajas of Bharatpur, the bird sanctuary became a National Park in 1982 and is now named after the small Shiva Keoladeo Temple situated inside the grounds. The park's 30 square kilometre area contains extensive wetlands, woodlands and grass areas and floods extensively during the monsoon season.
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A Chital Deer at Bharatpur India. Bharatpur India - femail Comb Duck. A Pond Heron at Keoladeo National Park, India.
By the entrance gate there are quite a few cycle-rickshaw drivers who want you to hire them so they can apparently take you for a tour round the sanctuary - if the rickshaws have a yellow plate this means that they can also act as official guides. They can get quite pushy and don't leave you alone (i.e. if you decide to just go for a walk through the Park they will cycle alongside you trying to get you to hire them) unless you are strict with them and tell them no thanks or similar!. The Park is probably much more enjoyable and peaceful if you just walk on our own - also what is obvious is that these rickshaws often as not simply take people at quite a pace straight along the main road through the Park and then come straight back. They did seem quite reluctant to stop very often so that their passengers could take a closer look at the wildlife. Similarly when you buy your tickets at the gate you are then surrounded by "guides" who want to take you round - actually the same as above in effect.
Rhesus monkey nibbling something - Bharatpur, India.Keoladeo Ghana National Park - India.The wetlands at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, India.

Easy to walk paths at Bharatpur Park, India.The Keoladeo Shiva Temple situated in Bharatpur National Park.A Painted Stork at Bharatpur India.

There are many side paths going off from the main route and it was whilst walking on these that we saw most of the wildlife - including many (very noisy squabbling) painted storks. Around half way along the central road through the Sanctuary there is a small cafe where you can get cold drinks and another cafe at the very end of the road near the Keoladeo (Shiva) Temple, where there are a few seats around for a quiet sit if you wish.

Places to visit which are easily reached from Bharatpur on daytrips (by local buses)
Fatephur Sikri and Agra.
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