Tourist prospects in Rajasthan only keep getting better and better. Otherwise known as the Eastern gateway of Rajasthan, Bharatpur emerges as an interesting option for those who want explore bird sanctuaries, ancient forts and palaces.
Bio-diversity at its’ best
For nature lovers and those with an interest in ornithology, the Keoladeo National Park, famously called the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is integral to any tour itinerary. The wildlife sanctuary, a World Heritage site, is home to several species of resident and migratory birds like the Siberian Crane. The striped Hyena, the Golden Jackal and the endangered blackbuck are among the fauna that inhabit the reserve. Boat trips, bird-watching trips and bicycle rides make the sanctuary an exciting experience.
Forts and palaces
History has left its mark as well, what with the numerous forts and palaces that are integral to the cityscape. Tour guides would tell you that the Lohagarh or the Iron fort is among the strongest forts in the history of Indian architecture and stood out because of its inaccessibility to external forces. Constructed by a Jat king, Maharaja Suraj Mal, this 18 century structure could withstand repeated attacks by the British. The Moti Mahal and the Koti Khas are the monuments in the vicinity. Yet another attraction on the Bharatpur map is the Bharatpur palace, where Mughal and Rajput architectural styles converge. Around 30 kilometers from Bharatpur is the Deeg Palace, a popular summer resort of the Bharatpur Rajas, with its beautiful gardens.
Accommodation worries maybe abandoned, as there are several hotels and resorts that offer lodging at reasonable rates. The Bharatpur experience is a good opportunity to indulge in authentic Rajasthani food, a delight for vegetarians. However, the timing of the trip is the key as climate-wise; summer is probably not the best time to visit Rajasthan with mercury levels touch 45. The monsoons offer respite later in the year so September-October is a safe bet. Shopping expeditions may not yield much, apart from semi-precious stones and brass works. Make sure you pick up a Bandhej piece or two that represents the best of Rajasthani tie-and dye. The district of Bharatpur is 176 kms by road from both Delhi and Jaipur. The nearest airport is at Agra. The rail route is a good option too.