Sariska Sanctuary

Perfect Holiday Travels

nce the huntinKEOLADEO NATIONAL PARKg reserve of the maharajas of Alwar in whose jurisdiction it fell Sariska's forests are typical of the Aravallis with their undulating terrain of low hills, teep escarpments, wide valleys and hill plateaus, A atural habitat for the tiger, it ould have held a commendable population of these tigers hald the forest around the park not been vadalised in the recent decades, Today, the region is a major milk pocket and cattle have eroded the forestlands and pastures around the park so that the population of wildlife has shrunk to the limits of the park alone.

Observers often gather at hides close to waterholes to view and photograph wildlife though of course , they cannot stay beyond evening light, when deer come to feed at these waterholes, they attract the presence of leopards, tigers and wild dogs, especilly in summer when all ogher sources of water shrink and vapourise.

Base : Sariska has accommodation to offer outside the park, in the state owned tourism complex as well as in a former royal hunting lodge. Sariska is connected with both Jaipur and Delhi.

Best time to visit in winter though chances of tiger sighting increase in the summer the park is closed in the rains.

Located 107 kms from Jaipur, the Sariska National Park is in a wooden valley, surrounded by barren mountains. The dry deciduous forests of the ancient Aravalli range cover the area of the Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve.

The main fauna in the park includes the Tiger, Panther, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Civet, Sambhar, Chinkara, Nilgai and Four-Horned Antelope. Declared a Sanctuary in 1955, it became a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1979.

The other great predator of Sariska's forests is the leopard besides the ferocious tiger. Sariska has a healthy porcupine population, and this tiny creature often pits itself against the tiger, which is particularly fond of porcupine flesh. The 'Chowsingha' (four horned antelope) is commonly found at Sariska; exclusively Indian, it is the world's only wild creature, which has two pairs of horns. The Park's terrain is also congenial to the Chinkara (Indian Gazelle) and Nilgai.

Remarkable for their lack of timidity are the Rhesus and Langur, which, at Sariska tolerate human closeness with astonishing equanimity.

The birdlife comprises of the Pea Fowl, Gray Partridge, Quail, Sandgrouse, Tree Pie, White-Breasted Kingfisher, Golden-Backed Woodpecker, Crested Serpent, Eagle and Great Indian Horned Owl.

Viewing the Wild

He best way to visit the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is by jeep and these can be arranged at the Forest Reception Office on Jaipur Road.

Booking a `hide', overlooking one of the waterholes, can provide an excellent opportunity for viewing and photographing wildlife. So, pick up your sleeping bag and some food and settle down to watch.