Home of the majestic Tiger, Sariska is one of the protected sanctuaries in India where Project Tiger was a success. Set amidst the scrubby Aravali Hills, the sanctuary sprawls with dry thorny deciduous forests, covered almost ninety per cent by the Dhok tree. Sariska was declared a Sanctuary in 1955 and became a Tiger Reserve in 1979.
Within the Sanctuary, there are also historical ruins of monuments symbolic of its past. The Kankwari Fort, the ancient Shiva Neelkanth Temples that date back to the 6th-13th century A.D. and the Palace built by the Maharajahs of Alwar, now converted into a hotel, are all great sights.
Sariska is open to visitors throughout the year, although certain jungle tracks are closed during the monsoon and the breeding season. The best time to visit the park is late in the winter around January or February. If you don’t mind the heat, April to June is a great time to see animals at the waterholes.
Flora and Fauna:
The landscape of Sariska comprises of hills and narrow valleys of the Aravali hill range. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. The broad range of wildlife here is a wonderful example of ecological adoption and tolerance, for the climate here is variable as well as erratic, especially in terms of rainfall, which is an important source to replenish the region.
The bird life comprises of the pea fowl, gray partridge, quail, sand grouse, tree pie, white breasted kingfisher, golden – backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle and great Indian horned owl.
Major Wildlife Attractions:
Sariska National Park is known for its tigers, its most popular resident. According to the latest available data, there are about 35 tigers at Sariska. Rajasthan is a pristine platform for viewing wildlife in the country because of its two national parks and over a dozen sanctuaries. Other wildlife in the park includes sambhar, chital, wild boar, hare, nilgai, civet, four-horned antelope, gaur (Indian bison) and porcupine.
The best way to explore the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is in a Jeep. Vehicles can be arranged at the Forest Reception Office on the Jaipur Road. Booking an inconspicuous ‘hide’, overlooking one of the waterholes, can provide an excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing and wildlife photography.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to sight The Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is in the month of November to January. The sanctuary remains open round the year.
How to Get there:
Air: Jaipur is the nearest airport from Sariska at a distance 107-kms.
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Alwar (37-kms).
Road: Sariska wildlife sanctuary is situated off the Delhi-Alwar-Jaipur Road. Sariska is well connected with Alwar, which is further directly connected with bus services from Delhi and Jaipur. The road route from Delhi is through the NH8 to Shahpura via Gurgaon and Behror. From there state road leads to Sariska via Bairat and Thana Ghazi. To travel by road from Jaipur, take the NH8 to Shahpura via Amer and Chandwaji, and state road to Sariska.
General Info / Tips:
The entry to the park is from the Sariska gate, while entry fee has to be paid at the park office located near by.
Book a hide near one of the water holes for wildlife watching and also to photograph the wild cats in different moods.
All visitors to the park require an entry permit, which can be obtained from the entry gate at reasonable prices. Extra charges are levied for photography equipment and vehicles.
The park timings are 6 to 10 AM and 3 to 6 PM.
The best time to spot animals is during the months of April and May, but beware as the heat can be relentless during that time.
Do not wear flashy clothes or strong perfumes. Avoid talking loudly and never play loud music or honk car horns.
Do not pollute the environs by littering or throwing any non biodegradable material.