The diversity of the wildlife in Rajasthan is as rich as those of flora and fauna. The great wealth of Rajasthan's wildlife can be imagined with sight the majestic elephant, the dance of the peacock, the camel stride, the roar of the tiger are unparalleled acts of beauty. Watching birds and animals in their natural habitats is an experience in itself. The ease with which they adapt themselves to the nature, their instincts are fascinating. The vastness of the wildlife and wilderness in Rajasthan is unparalleled in the world. This accounts for the immense opportunities for wildlife tourism in Rajasthan. Amidst the destruction of nature people are becoming aware of the importance of trees and wildlife for life on our planet.
The key wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries in Rajasthan are the following :
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve The Ranthambore Tiger Reserve named after an imposing, more than a thousand year old Ranthambore Fort, is set atop a broad hill, 700 feet above the ground. The Reserve consists of dry deciduous forest, spread over a highly undulating topography. The natural canvas is crowded with gentle to steep slopes or vertical rocky escarpments of conical hillocks and the sharp ridges of the Aravali, including the flat-topped Vindhyan hills. The landscape is interspersed with wide and flat grassy valleys and narrow rocky gorges.
The tiger reigns supreme here. Ranthambore is among the few places in the world where this super-predator, symbol of power, strength and magnificence, can be observed at close quarters. There are about 25 tigers and 40 leopards in the reserve. These are supported by a large population of healthy herbivores. The Sambar is at its best in Ranthambore. So is the shy, sleek and fleet-footed Chinkara which gracefully hops away in the presence of human beings.
Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) Keoladeo National Park, better known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, has the distinction of being a World Heritage Site. This small Park with an area of 29 square kilometers consists of extensive marshes and scrubland. It is considered the best waterfowl sanctuary in the world.
During the monsoons thousands of egrets, herons, storks, cormorants, darters, spoonbills and ibises breed here, forming a congested heronry. Small acacia trees are tightly packed together with nests of several species. Migratory waterfowl start arriving in October. Soon the marshes are packed with colorful geese, ducks, cranes, pelicans and flamingos. But the limelight focused on the Siberian crane-one of the most threatened species in the world.
In India, Keoladeo is the only place where these cranes winter. Regrettably the number of Siberian cranes arriving here has been declining due to suspected hunting on their migratory route. Last year only 5 of them visited the Park, and at the time of writing in mid-November, none had visited Bharatpur.
Sariska National Park Sariska became a sanctuary in the year 1958. The sanctuary came under the project Tiger in 1979 and became a national park in 1982. It is located at Kankwari fort, near Alwar, on the Delhi Jaipur Highway. The terrain is predominantly hilly, as it lies in the Aravalli range. It has total area of 788 sq. kilometres, with a core area of approx. 47sq. kilometres. At last count in 1985, there 35 tigers were reported. Other carnivores of the area are the panther, jungle cat, jackal and hyena. Three caracals were also reported during the last census in 1985. Other animals include the Sambhar, Chital, wild boar, hare, nilgai and umpteen porcupines.