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a walk on the wild side

Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Alwar

Location 40 kms from Alwar
Area 232 sq. Kms.
Best Time to Visit November to June
Speciality Blue Bull
Built in 1892 - 1900

Overa-Aru Biosphere Reserve located 76 km from Srinagar, near Pahalgam, it has an area of 32 sq km. Several species of birds as well as fauna are found here -- musk deer, brown bear, leopard to name a few. The altitudinal range varies from 3,000 to 5,425 meters above sea level. Prime viewing time for the upper areas is from May to August In the lower areas, for bird viewing the best time is March to May and for animal viewing from September to March. Accommodation in two bedroom huts is available. For passes contact the Regional wildlife Warden, Srinagar.

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is just 40 kms. from Alwar and about 107 Kms. from Jaipur and 200 Kms. form Delhi. The sanctuary can be visited all year-round except during July-August when animals move to higher ground. The senctuary is in a wooded valley surrounded by barren mountains. 'Dhok' (Anogeissus pendula) is the dominant tree species of the lower hill slopes, forming almost the pure crop. On higher and steeper slopes it is replaced by strands of 'Salar' (Boswellia serrata) trees and in the valleys by 'Ber' (Zizyphus species), 'Dhak' (Butea monosperma), 'Ronj' (Acacia leucophloea and khair (Acacia catechu). Sariska has a very good population of sambhar, chital, nilgai, four-horned antelope, wild boar and common langur. The caracal and jungle cat, Porcupines, purely nocturnal rodents, are conspicuous after sunset. Water holes have been created at number of spots in the sanctuary. These water holes are now acting as the nerver centers of the sanctuary. Common birds at Sariska are partridges (Grey and black), peacock, red spurfowl, pigeons (blue, rock and green),qualis.Sand grous, parakeets baya,kits,eagle and vultures.

You see mainly deer during the two-hour tour, most of them fleeing in panicat the approach, at tremendous speed, of a lurching minibus full of screaming tourists with a man halfway out of the cab waving a spotlight and shouting excitedly. A better way to see the game is to hook a 'hide' overlooking one of the waterholes for Rs 10 (Rs 20 for foreigners). Take along food, drink and a sleeping bag(mattersses are provided). Entry to the park costs Rs 2 (Rs 10 for foreigners)

Number of spots of historical importance are scattered all over the reserve. Pandu Pol temple narrates the stroy of the Mahabharat period when the mighty Bhim was taught a lesson on humility. The ruins of Ghar Rajor date back of 9th and 10th century. A.D. Here an area of approximately three square kilometers is literally covered with invaluable pieces of rare sculptures and architecture. Historians believe that some of the art pieces were carved as early as in the 4th or 5th enctruy A.D. A stone incription of 10th centruy mentions about the destruction caused to the structures by an earthquake. Only three monuments that survived the earthquake present some glimpses of the past glory of the area. These are Neelkanth temple of Lord Shiva, a 16 feet high. Single stone statue of a Jain Tirthankar and a temple of Thankuriji. The ruins of Kankwari Fort reminds the visitor of the events of the 17th centruy. Bharathari is a sacred Place for thousands of Hindus living in the adjoining areas.The place is named after Raja Bharathari of Ujjain who meditated here for a number of years before finally taking 'Samadhi' on 8th of 'Shukla-Paksha in the Bhadon month of the Hindu calendar. Devotees, in hundreds of thousands from far and near,gather here on this day every year to commemorate the event. The area is well forested and is served by a perennial stream of water. It has a good population of Hanuman langurs. Tal Vrakhsha,located about 20 kms. fromt he Sariska comples, is another interesting place. It is believed that a Rishi (saint) Mandava lived and meditated here and he acquired divine knowledge at this spot. He worshipped lord Shiva and for salvation of the people living in the region, brought the sacred river Ganga', in the form of two streams of hot and cold water to this area. Temples of Ganga Mata and Lord Shiva still attract devotees to the area. Tal Vrakhsha now has a small grove of Arjun trees with a large population of rhesus monkeys. Both these places are worth visiting.

Sariska Palace built in 1892 - 1900 as hunting campy by the erstwhile ruler of Alwar is now a lusury hotel,Sariska is open to visitors throughout the year but the best season to observe wildlife is during winter months, i.e. from November to March. The rajasthan Tourism Dev. Corpn.ruins a hotel and also provides transport on hire to visit the sancturary.

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