Rajasthan is one of the largest states of India and has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Its vast size and latitudinal extent enables it to home a large variety of plants and animals scattered in all corners of the state. From varied vegetation to semi evergreen vegetation of Mt. Abu to almost dry and barren scrub vegetation of the desert, the state has a variety of habitat for different species of plants and animals. It is home to more than 500 species of birds and hundreds of other varieties of animals which make its wildlife very rich and varied. Some of the most popular wildlife sanctuaries of Rajasthan are as follows –
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
This reserve lies on the junction of Aravalli and Vindhyas and is the home of the celebrated Indian Tiger. This reserve has a very adventurous landscape that is formed by the gentle and steep slopes of the hills. There is also a 10th century fort which melts in the background. It has three big lakes – the Padam Talab, Malik Talab and Raj Bagh. Besides the tiger it is also home to many other birds and animals like the Leopard, Caracal, Hyena, Jackal, Junge cat, Marsh crocodile, wild boards, bears etc.
Sariska Tiger Reserve
This is another popular tiger reserves, but not as popular as Ranthambore, but built on a similar topography. It is spread over an area of 800 sq. kms with a core area of approximately 500 sq. kms. The landscape of this reserve consists of hills and narrow valleys of the Aravalli range. It is home to several animals like Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle cat, Sambar, Chital, Neegai, Rhesus monkeys among others. The park is open all through the year but the best time to visit would be between October to March.
Tal Chapper Sanctuary
it is located in the fringe of the Thar Desert and is home to the celebrated and the most elegant antelope in India, the Black Buck. It is almost a flat track and is located in shallow low lying areas and has open grassland with scattered Acacia and prosopis trees. All these vegetation gives it the look of a typical Savanna. It is located in the north eastern part of the state and is very close to cities like Bikaner, churu etc.
This sanctuary was an erstwhile royal hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Kota. This sanctuary has thick forests and lies along the south eastern border of Kota. The animals found here is Wold, Sloth bear, Chinkara, Leopard etc. It is spread over an area of 250 sq. kms and is about 50 kms from the city of Kota.
this sanctuary is just about 5 kms from the city of Udaipur and is surrounded by the Sajjangarh Palace that overlooks the city. A Safari park was created within the sanctuary and animals like Sambar, Wild Boar, Chital and Blue Bull were reintroduced. It also has an artificial lake named the Bari Lake or Tiger Lake.
the name of this fort is derived from the historic fort of Kumbhalgarh and is spread over an area of 578 sq. kms and lies at an altitude of 500 to 1300 metres. It is home to large varieties of animals, most of which are endangered species.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Rightly described as Ornithologists Paradise, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary spread over an area of 28.73 sq. Km was artificially created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in 19th Century. The bird sanctuary is well known across the world for having highest number of avian population including the highest number of migratory and endangered species of birds. The park is not only rich in avian population but it has quite remarkable population of wild species, amphibians, reptiles and various species of plants. During the winter time, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary becomes a true paradise for avian lover, photographer and avid bird watchers. Due to its rich avian population Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is also declared as World Heritage Site in 1985.