Visitor Information -- The wildlife office is located at the main gate on National Highway 11 (tel. 05644/22-2777). Entry is Rs 200 per person, Rs 200 per video camera. To really get into the excitement of birding, you should borrow a copy of Sálim Ali's The Book of Indian Birds (OUP India), or Rajpul Singh's Birds of Bharatpur, and start ticking off those sightings! If you're staying at The Bagh, you'll find an excellent range of guides, including several copies of Krys Kazmierczak's A Field Guide to the Birds of India.

Getting There -- Bharatpur is a 4 1/2-hour drive from Delhi; it's 55km (34 miles) west of Agra and 175km (108 miles) east of Jaipur. If you travel by train from Delhi, it will take 2 1/2 hours by the convenient Kota Janshatabdi; it takes a little over 2 hours for this train to link you with Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore National Park). From Agra, the Marudhar Express gets you here in just 55 minutes.

Getting Around -- Park hours are 6:30am to 5pm in winter, and 6am to 6pm in summer. You can set off on foot or rent your own bicycle near the entrance to the park (Rs 25 per hour; some rental shops ask that you leave your passport or a deposit of no more than Rs 500), but roads aren't great and you will often find yourself on foot, actually burdened by the bike, especially if you try to traverse the dirt tracks. You can explore certain areas by boat (Rs 100), though if the drought persists, these will continue to be out of operation. The best way to get around the park is with a cycle-rickshaw or horse-drawn tonga (Rs 100 per hour); many of the rickshaw-wallas have spent years trundling visitors around and now have a good knowledge of the birdlife as well as keen eyesight (though a less than satisfactory command of English). If you want them to double as guides, they will expect a tip (Rs 200 is fair, depending on how long you use them). Official guides (Rs 200 per hour) carrying binoculars are also available at the entrance to the park; in a rather unwieldy arrangement, they travel alongside on their bicycles. The park now offers battery-operated minibus tours and electric auto-rickshaw rides through the park; these are considerably quieter than you might imagine; a 90-minute ride costs Rs 250.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.