National Park In Rajasthan
The Desert National Park is a protected sanctuary situated in the Indian state of Rajasthan near Jaisalmer. Considered largest not in the state but also in the state of Rajasthan, this park has the catchments area of nearly 3100 sq. km.
The desert is a harsh place to sustain life and thus most of the fauna and flora live on the edge. Regardless this place attracts large hoard of migratory birds due to its close proximity to Bharatpur.
The Desert National park or The Thar Desert, is known as the ‘ocean of sands’, covering a large portion of western Rajasthan. The great Indian Bustard is a magnificent bird and can be seen in considerably good numbers. It migrates locally in different seasons. The migratory and resident birds of the desert attract tourists as it is considered heaven for the bird watchers. One can see many Eagles, Buzzards, Harriers and Vultures. Short- toed Eagles, Falcons, Tawny Eagles, Kestrel, Spotted Eagles; Laager Kestrels Falcons are the most common among these.
The substantial part of the park forms a landscape comprising lakebed of extinct salt lakes and thorny scrubs and a considerable area consists of sand dunes. It is a wonder in itself that the Thar Desert is the home to the myriad species and a unique genetic storehouse of Indian desert wildlife in spite of its harsh conditions. The fragile ecosystem of the Desert National park supports the unique and varied wildlife species.
Sand-dunes, both fixed and shifting, grasslands, scrublands and low rock-faces, characterize this park where the greatest need is for water. The terrain of the park comprises of craggy rocks, compact salt lake bottoms and vast sand dunes, which form about 20% of the Park.
There are three main lakes in this sanctuary – Milak Talao Lake, Rajbaugh Lake and Padam Talao Lake providing the major watering holes for the inhabitants of the national park. As the desert only supports a few type of vegetation, this park is not rich in flora. Vast tracts are stuffed with sewan grass, and the oak shrub and khejra, khair and rohira trees are widespread, but sand dominates every scene. Despite of the harsh and the inhospitable landscape, number of creature have adapted to this environ.
There are over 40 species of reptiles, including the burrowing Spiny-tailed Lizard, Russel’s Viper, Saw-scaled Viper and the dragon-like Common Monitor, the Desert Skink is known as the sand-fish as it ‘swims’ or burrows through sand down to a depth of 30 cm. The most remarkable feature of this park is the nested birds in large number. Nearly 1 20 species add color to the dull shades of the desert.
Rich in avian population, bird life in this sandy habitat is vivid and spectacular. The wintering Macqueen’s Bustard and The Indian Bustard which are highly endangered species can be seen here. Besides, the great Indian bustards the park supports a wide variety of exotic and rare and graceful birds and hence it draws the thousands of bird watchers all around the corner.
While in the park you can spot birds such as gray partridges, spotted eagles, shrikes, sand grouse, peafowl bee-eaters, quails, larks, harriers, eagles, demoiselle crane, falcons, warblers, kestrel, buzzards, orioles, babblers and vultures to name a few with. Doves, shrikes, parakeets, chats, bee-caters, larks, babblers remain throughout the year, preyed upon by the buzzards, eagles, falcons and kites that hover and swoop over the landscape.
The other inhabitants of the Desert National Park include the blackbuck, Indian fox, desert fox, hare, chinkara, and wolf and desert cat. The best place for spotting the wildlife of the Desert National Park is the Sudasari waterhole provides ideal conditions for snapshots and a perfect sight for bird lovers to see five or six bustards. Observation hides also offer close encounters with desert wildlife.
The best season to visit Thar Desert is from November to March. It is located at the distance of 40 kms from Jaisalmer. You can hire a taxi or cab to reach here.
The major tourist’s activities in Desert National Park are Jeep safari, Camping, Bonfire and bird watching.
Exploring the magnificent wildlife at the Desert National Park by setting out an adventure-filled jeep safari would be the best idea.