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Bharatpur

Bharatpur is a city in Rajasthan state of India. It was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in Mewar region, Bharatpur was once an impregnable, well-fortified city, and the capital of a kingdom ruled by Jat maharajas. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the Jat history of Rajasthan. Located 50 km west of the city of Agra, it is also the administrative headquarters of Bharatpur District.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park

One of the finest bird parks in the world, Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a reserve tha protection to faunal species as well. Nesting indigenous water- birds as well as migratory water birds and waterside birds, this sanctuary is also inhabited by, Chital, Nilgai, Sambar and Boar.

The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. Initially, it was a natural depression; and was flooded after the Ajan Bund was constructed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the then ruler of the princely state of Bharatpur, between 1726 to 1763. The bund was created at the confluence of two rivers, the Gambhir and Banganga. The park was a happy hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India. After India's independence, the rulers of the princely states were allowed shooting rights until 1972. In 1982, grazing was banned in the park, leading to violent clashed between the local farmer and Gujjar communities and the government.

The sanctuary hosts a small wintering population of the rare Siberian Cranes. Other species include the ruddy shelducks, gulls, northern shovelers, northern pintails, coots, garganey, tufted ducks and common pochard.

late 2004 however, the Rajasthan government led by Vasundhara Raje succumbed to pressure from farmers to prevent water from being diverted to the sanctuary. The water supply to the park dropped from 540,000,000 to 18,000,000 cubic feet (15,000,000 to 510,000 m³). The result was an ecological disaster with the marshlands turning dry and inhospitable. Most of the birds flew off to alternate avenues as far as Garhmukteshwar, Uttar Pradesh (90 km form New Delhi) on the river Ganga for breeding. This resulted many of the birds being hunted for their meat.

Special Rajasthan Tour