SARISKA NATIONAL PARK
The park was once the hunting grounds for the Maharaja of Alwar and is now a fascinating destination for nature lovers.
The dry deciduous forests of Sariska are home to several native flora and fauna of the Aravallis. The abundance of prey species like Sambhar, Chital, and the Wild Boar attracts the likes of predators such as the Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Hyena, and Jackal. The rich flora of the reserve also boasts a rich avifauna. It is home to birds like Golden Oriole, Grey Francolin, Indian Eagle Owl, Barred Buttonquail, and also several species of birds that migrate to the area in winters. These include Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed Wood Pecker, Crested Serpent Eagle and the Great Indian Horned Owl.
The habitat is dominated by sharp cliffs and valleys, symbolic of the 370 million-year-old Aravallis, the oldest range in India. Besides wildlife, history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts are also drawn to the area because of the 10th and 11th-century ruins located in the park.
Places to visit in Sariska National Park
The Kankwari Fort
Located 21 km inside the reserve, stands the Kankwari Fort built by Maharaja Jai Singh I in the 17th century. The fort offers stunning views of its surroundings owing to its location on top of a hill. Paintings of that period can still be found inside the premises.
Blue Throated Lord Shiva Temple
The Blue Throated Lord Shiva temple also popular as Neel Kanth Mahadev temple is a complex located inside the Sariska National Park in Rajasthan. It is located at a distance of 32 km from the entrance of the Park. The complex accommodates ruins of more than 300 temples, of which a few are still being worshipped by devotees.
The Neelkanth Temple is surrounded by thick forests that add to its beauty. Although in a dilapidated condition, the temple is very much similar to an old museum. The temples in this complex date back to the 6th and 13th centuries and are known for their excellent stone carvings.
Located in the north-eastern part of Rajasthan, is a beautiful lake that goes by the name of lake Siliserh. The lake has a beautiful palace, then built by the Maharaja for his wife. The lake is a popular stopover point for people travelling to Sariska National Park. One can make their way to Ajabgarh, Tijara and Vijay Mandir Palace. For convenience, one may stay at the Siliserh Lake Palace where the stunning backdrop of the Aravalli Hills adds to the charm of the palace.
Rajasthan is well-known for its rich flora and fauna, The Sariska National Park highlights the same and for ages has been a preferred location for wildlife enthusiasts. The tiger reserve is famous for its Bengal Tigers, birdwatching and the Jungle Safaris that take you through the pristine forests.
Though the best time to visit is from October to March, the park is open throughout the year.
However, if one is planning a trip during the holidays, kindly take note that the park may remain shut to the public on a few gazetted holidays.