Bharatpur, Sept 4 : Heavy monsoon showers have given a new lease of life to Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur in Rajasthan as myriad birds flock the once parched national park for nesting.
For winged beauties from as far as Siberia and Europe and many parts of Orient, this place was a haven till a few years ago. Deficit rainfall in the region played a cruel joke on Keoladeo, home to the birds for successive years, with hardly any migratory birds seen. After a prolonged dryness, this year the monsoon had been satisfactory and as a result, the birds are seen coming back to this sport.
Bird watchers and ornithologists have termed this as a paradise. Even in the tourist map, Keoladeo was listed as a heritage spot.
Birds have started building their nests on trees indicating their keenness to either stay put or for the periodical nestling to breed, lay the eggs and fly back once the climate changes.
Last year, the sanctuary was on the verge of being struck off from the heritage list. This in turn had hit the tourism industry, particularly the cycle rickshaw drivers who used to ferry the tourists in and around the sanctuary.
This year, birds are coming in good numbers due to the heavy rains.
"For the past three years, there was no rainfall and this year the rainfall is good resulting in good nesting. Taxi drivers, tourists and rickshaw drivers are benefiting from it. Migrating birds are not here yet, but Indian birds are nesting here before the season, exhibiting a good sign," said Rajan Kumar Gupta, Forest Range Officer, Keoladeo Nationalark.
"The sanctuary is very beautiful. There are many birds here. There are so many animals like antelopes and foxes," said Gerard, tourist from France.
With a view to avoiding air and noise pollution, motorized vehicles are barred from entering the sanctuary and cycle rickshaws are the sole means of transport.
Likewise, the taxi and other tour operators as well as hotels in Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur and Agra also stand to gain from the inflow of tourists, both domestic and foreign.
Usually the birds come to the sanctuary just before the winter sets in.
The Keoladeo National park located at the confluence of the rivers Gambhiri and Banganga was the only wintering ground for the highly endangered Siberian crane, which flew 6,400km to the sanctuary every year until recently.
Besides a large species of bird population, the sanctuary is also home to various species of deer like Sambar, Chital, Nilgai and Boar. By Brijesh Kr.Singh