The primary reason for our trip to the city of Bharatpur
was the strong urge to visit the world famous Bharatpur
Bird Sanctuary. The excitement of watching some of the
most beautiful species of birds around the world had
been slowly mounting all through our tour to Rajasthan
and we were now eagerly waiting to witness the amusing
antics of these innocent creatures from close quarters
during our three-day-long stay in Bharatpur.
The fast developing city of Bharatpur came as a pleasant
surprise after a visit to the small rural township of
Sawai Madhopur. The city is far more developed than
the latter and offers the best of modern comforts to
discerning travelers arriving from across the globe
to its Keoladeo Ghana National Park (the other name
for Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary). We checked into a hotel
that was conveniently located in the vicinity of the
national park. In fact, owing to the location of the
bird sanctuary here, a large number of hotels in Bharatpur
are ideally found in close proximity to the park.
On the first day of our stay in Bharatpur, we left
for a visit to the national park on a cycle rickshaw.
We were told at the hotel that it is the most convenient
means of traveling within the bird sanctuary as it allows
you to thoroughly experience the beauty of the park
and its fascinating residents while enjoying a joyride
on the rickshaw. Moreover, the rickshaw pullers in Bharatpur
themselves serve as forest guides and are extremely
familiar with all the birds in the sanctuary. They can
even recognize each of them just by hearing their sound!
We enjoyed every moment of our visit to the Bharatpur
Bird Sanctuary and learned so much en route from our
rickshaw puller that we could now actually spot nearly
all the birds just by their body shape and color. It
was an amazing experience to watch varied species of
some of the most intriguing birds like Indian robin,
Mac Pie Robin, Doves, Black Drango, Tiger Bird, Saras
Cranes, Black Necked and Painted Storks and striking
White Ibis at the park. We also a good variety of animals
like Spotted and Sambhar Deer, Monkeys, Langoors, Blue
Bull, Jackal, Hyena, Monita Lizards and Chameleon.
Tired after a long tour through the Bharatpur Bird
Sanctuary, we preferred to rest in the latter half of
the first day. The next morning, we left early to visit
some of the prominent temples of Bharatpur city that
are an equally famous tourist attraction besides the
national park. The most beautiful of all was undoubtedly
the Ganga Temple that is a remarkable piece of architecture.
The exquisite carvings and designs on the temple pillars
and arches are truly commendable.
After admiring the striking beauty of the temple, we
left to visit the Laxman Temple that was equally appealing
in its architecture. Particularly striking were the
designs of 'Shesh Naag' exquisitely carved out on the
temple pillars. The last on our list was the Banke Bihari
Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The most noticeable
feature of this temple is the beautiful Brij paintings
on the walls of the temple that remarkably portray different
stages of the life of Krishna from his infancy to adulthood.
The last and final day in Bharatpur was dedicated to
a visit to the two famous forts of the city - Iron Fort
and Deeg Fort. The former has been now converted into
a government museum and displays some of the intriguing
antiques, weaponry and furnishings of the royal period.
We decided to visit the Deeg Fort on our way towards
Alwar (the last destination on our Rajasthan tour itinerary)
as it lies about 35 km from Bharatpur. As we reached
the fort, the local officials present at the site advised
us to see the magnificent Deeg Palace since the fort
nearly lies in ruins and has not much to offer to a
visitor. As we went round the royal palace, we were
stunned to see the picturesque beauty of the place that
is hard to express. Deeg Palace in Bharatpur is surely
a must visit.
Our stay in Bharatpur was indeed enjoyable, the memories
of which linger on our minds till date and which we
have tried to put down in our traveler's diary on Bharatpur.
However, the city needs to be experienced for itself
to be truly admired.
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