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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What do I need to know about the Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve?

Manavi Kapur DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Are you dreaming of bird calls, the wind swishing past tall, green trees and the occasional eyes of a jungle creature peering at you? If an adventure is what your heart seeks, set out on an expedition to the Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve.

An erstwhile hunting reserve of the royal families of Rajasthan, Sariska became a wildlife sanctuary under the sustained efforts of Maharaja Jai Singh in 1958. Since then, hunting has been completely banned in the region, providing a safe haven and natural habitat for endangered species over the 800 sq km area that it is spread across. Once the Project Tiger was launched in 1971, Sariska was then declared as a Tiger Reserve, an attempt towards preserving the fast depleting numbers of tigers in India.

These efforts haven’t been fruitless, as the national park now houses a large number and variety of jungle creatures, including leopards, wild dogs, jungle cats, hyena and jackals, and prey animals like sambars, cheetals, nilgais, chausinghas, wild boars and langurs. Birds are in no way a distant reality, with birds like Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden-backed Wood Pecker, Crested Serpent Eagle and the Great Indian Horned Owl being either permanent residents or migratory visitors at the sanctuary.

The ideal way to explore this abundance of natural beauty is of course in an open jeep safari. Most hotels in the vicinity have facilities for arranging these expeditions. There also RTDC approved tour operators who arrange for a safari at government approved rates. A jeep safari for 5 people costs around INR 1100, with the possibility of one additional person at the charge of INR 200.

Entry Fee: INR 25 for Indian nationals, INR 200 for International tourists

Camera Charges: Nil for still cameras, INR 200 for video

Timings: 6am to 4pm (Summer), 7am to 3pm (Winter)

Duration of Safari: 3 hours

Guide Charges: INR 150 (one guide is compulsory per jeep)

Needless to say, hunting is completely banned in the national park and surrounding areas and can lead to heavy penalties and punishment. On these safaris, it is ideal to carry water bottles, some light snacks, sunglasses and mosquito repellent lotions. A basic first-aid kit, with band-aids, antiseptic cream, etc. is also advisable, in case of any emergency. The sanctuary is open all through the year except between 1st July and 30th September. During these two months, the Pandupol temple complex is, however, open for visitors.

The vast and endless expanse of nature, with its exciting secrets await you for an unforgettable holiday. Are you ready for a thrilling adventure yet?

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