Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Tourism

Tourism      Wildlife      Tiger Reserve      Rajasthan     Alwar    



Sariska National Park & Tiger Reserve

 

Place

:

Alwar district, Rajasthan

Best season

:

October to March

Nearest Town

:

Alwar (37 kms)

Significance

:

Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger

Park timings

:

6-10 am, 3-6 pm 

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For those looking for adventure, greenery, fresh air and loads of fun with nature, then Sariska National park is the place for you. Surrounded by the barren Aravalli hills, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar district is one of Rajasthan's popular wildlife destinations.  

Formerly a hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Alwar in the Aravallis, the park was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955 and then a Tiger Reserve in 1978 under Project Tiger. Sariska is among the 28 Tiger reserves in the country which have come up since 1970. Covering an area of 800 sq km in total including a core area of approximately 500 sq km, the place is located 249 km South West of Delhi and 110 km North East of Jaipur.

An area of 274 sq km was demarcated as a National Park in 1982. Similar, but larger than Ranthambore National Park, which is also in Rajasthan, Sariska is comparatively less untouched by commercialization. But the sanctuary had become infamous creating nationwide uproar for having lost all of its tiger population.

The topography of the park is mainly hilly with two plateaus, and the vegetation include scrub-thorn arid forests, Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests represented by Acacia nilotica, Acacia catechu Willd (Khair), Acacia leucophloea, Prosopis cineraria, Capparis aphylla, Zizyphus spp., Anogeissus pendula (dhok), Anogeissus latifolia, rocks and grasses. Dhok is the dominant tree species in Sariska covering 90 per cent area of the forest area. Katha Acacia catechu and bamboo are common in the valleys. All these remain lush green during the monsoon period and dry in summer.

Apart from tigers, the fauna of the Sariska Wildlife Reserve comprises of Leopard, Panther, Wild boar, Hyena, Jungle cat, Civet, Four horned antelope, Sambar, Cheetah, Ratel, Caracal, Chinkara, Nilagi, Jackals and other varied and rare kind of animal species. The park is also famous for its large number of Rhesus and Langur monkeys but it is not safe to play with them. 

Amongst the birds, ground birds such as Peafowl, Jungle fowl, Spur fowl and the Grey partridge; Golden - backed woodpecker, Green pigeon, Crested serpent eagle, Great Indian horned owl and Tree pies can be seen. Babblers, Bulbuls are regularly caught sight of.

Besides the fauna, Sariska park offers other interesting places for tourists to explore. Within the sanctuary there is the Kankwari Fort (where Emperor Aurangazeb is believed to have imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh). Mostly in ruins, because of lack of proper maintenance, the fort attracts many tourists. The sanctuary also houses Neelkanth Mahadeva, a Hindu - Jain temple complex (more than 300 temples) dedicated to Neelkanth (Lord Shiva) dating back to 6th-13th century AD. Similar to the carvings of the Chandelas of Khajuraho Temple, this complex is surrounded by exotic flora. Another attraction in Sariska, is the Bhartrihari Temple. Located to the south of Kushalgarh in the sanctuary area, the temple is visited by quite a number of devotees. It is named after Bhartrihari Baba, former ruler of Ujjain (the raja left his kingdom in order to become a saint). Every year a fair in the months of September - October and a six hour dance- drama is organized at the temple. Another attraction in Sariska is Pandupol with a legend associated with it.  It is believed that Pandava brothers spent time here during their exile period. 

There is an old Hanuman Temple in Pandupol built by Saint Nirbhaya Das Ji.  From here one can view the Pandu gate, where a water stream can be seen which is said to have been created by Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers). The pathway to this temple is surrounded by langurs, peafowl, spur fowl, and the ubiquitous tree pies. A large fair is held at Pandupol every year. Every Tuesday and Saturday, devotees are given permission to drive through the park to visit this temple. 

Safari
Jeep safaris can be arranged  at the Forest Reception Office on the Jaipur Road. 

Entry Fee
Tuesdays and Saturdays are days of free entry for the pilgrims.
For Indians :  Rs. 25/-,  Foreigners :  Rs. 200/-, Indian Students Rs. 2/-
Parking vehicle charges : (Bus Rs. 125/- Gypsy/Car/Jeep/Mini Bus Rs. 65/- Motorised two Wheeler Rs.10/-
Video camera : Rs 200/- , Camera : Rs 25/-

Best Time to Visit
The park is open throughout the year for pilgrims to visit Pandupol, but in the rains, in the months of July, August, and September, it’s closed for wildlife visits. Sariska vegetation is very dense during the monsoon and travel can be very difficult, so summer months (November to March) are better for animal viewing but the temperatures can get extremely high.

 






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