Magical Keoladeo National Park

I had been taking interest in Wildlife and bird photography for the past some years and I had heard such great reviews of Keoladeo National Park, that I had decided that this year the visit has to be made. My visit was between 30th Jan to 3rd Feb 2019. Weather wise perfect except the last day. I had studied on the Park by doing lot of searches on google and reading blogs and one particular blog attracted my attention and I made my hotel booking in Sanctuary Tourist Lodge which is a budget hotel and my single bedded room non AC was 750/- per night. I had made all necessary reservations and Mr. Avasthi, one of the owner was extremely cooperative and helpful in every respect. His staff were helpful too. I arrived with a train delay of 6 plus hours at 1:45am and took the auto to the hotel while connecting the driver with the Mr. Avasthi and driver dropped me safely. The ride of 5kms was 100/- and I slept that morning for some more hours to visit the park at 9:30am which isn’t a good time to visit but I did as I needed some sleep. The entrance fee was 75/- per day for Indian citizen and guide charges are 250/- per hour and cycle rickshaw are 150/- per hour. I chose to walk and enjoyed my walk so much spotting vultures, eagle owl, oriental magpie robin, egrets, herons, and Indian Male Spotted Deer’s. While clicking happily and inhaling the beauty of these birds I walked 5kms and took a rest for a cup of tea for 7/- and set again. That day being tired wee bit, walked back 5kms to the entrance and in the hotel started downloading photos. Next day set at 6:20am after having a heavy brekky as park gate opens at 6:30am I thought of taking a cycle rickshaw and the person who was driving lives in a nearby village and is driving the rickshaw since 1975 and knows pretty good English and had the birds names on the tips of his fingers. I took a 4 hours ride and started walking while enjoying clicking Indian peafowls, fox, more deer’s in a mystic morning, Indian pelicans, Indian storks. Didn’t see the sunrise as it was wee bit foggy nevertheless walked and rested and clicked happily. Worth watching was a Indian cormorant catching a cat fish and trying to eat as it had difficulty with the bone of the catfish but it was a great sight. Spent the whole day in the park until sunset and the park closes at 4:30pm. Came back to the hotel and after enjoying a cup of coffee started downloading photos. The next day was same but it was getting more foggy and the last day it was so foggy and cold that I went to the park gate at 6:30am and headed back to the hotel as it was a bad fog day. Didn’t see the sun before 1pm and then set for the park and took lot of photos white collared kingfisher and love the kingfishers so much. Headed back to the hotel by 4pm as I had to take the return train which was delayed by an hour at the station but was finally delayed by 12 hours to make a 36 hours journey to Calcutta

My experience in one word was ‘stunning and magical’. Will sure head back to the park and make it an annual feature from now on

My hotel room

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