Keoladeo Ghana National Park
WORLD HERITAGE sin regarded as one of the world's most important bird sanctuaries, Keoladeo Ghana derives its name fro a Shiva temple (Keoladeo) within a dense (ghana ) forest This once-arid scrubland was first developed by the Bharatpar rulers in the mid-18th century by diverting the waters of a nearby irrigation canal to create a private duck deserve , Extravagant shooting parties for viceroys and other royal guests were held here, and horrifying numbers of birds were shot in a single day. Today, the park spreads over 29 sq km (11 oq miles) of wetlands, and attracts a wide variety of migrant and water birds who fly in each
winter from places as distant as Siberia. Keoladeo dry Forest Lodge area has a mixed deciduous and scrub vegetation and
is home to many mammals such as the nilgai.
Around the Park
Expert boatmen navigate the wetlands and point
out bird colonies. Bicycles and cycle-rickshaws are
also available for touring the forest pathos .Dry scrubland provides good grazing
for many species of deer and cattle.
BIRDS, RESIDENT AND MIGRANT
The park attracts over 375 bird species belonging to 56 families. Egrets, darter cormorants, grey herons and storks hatch nearly 30,000 chicks every year. The parka's most eagerly awaited visitor is the Siberian crane, now
an endangered species.birds include the peregrine falcon, steppe eagle, gargaoery teal snake bird and the white ibis. Among the large variety of storks are the open-bill stork, the painted stork and the blacknecked stork, considered to he the world's tallest stork. When standing on coral legs, the bird rises to a height of 2 m (6 ft), with a wing spread of 2.5 m (8
ft).The Sams crane, a symbol of fertility in Indian mythology, woos its partner for rife with an elaborate mating dance.
Between July and October, the trees become nesting sites for nearly 5,000 pairs of these birds named after their colourful beaks and plumage which is "painted" with black bands.
Other living species include turtles , otters,
foxes and reptiles such as the rock python.
Nilgai (Blue Bull)
The largest of all Asiatic antelopes, avid crop grazers protected against hunting because of their resemblance to
the holy cow. Their broad backs offer comfortable resting places to birds.
The subcontinent's only winter habitat for this rare bird, Kesladeo was risied by a lone pair in 1999. Poachers on the
6,400 km (.3,977) route have mdigrant flocks ecimated their migrant flocks.
ith the arrival of the monsoon (late June), thousands of birds set up nesting
colonies. As many as 60
noisy nests on one tree may
be seen during this season.