A Complex mix of HISTORY, WILDLIFE, MYTHOLOGY... that's what SARISKA is. Sariska is located in Alwar district of Rajasthan. and can be considered a central point for visiting various attractions within its vicinity. Located close to Sariska are three old settlements Bhangarh Fort, Ajaibgarh and Pratapgarh. The Sariska terrain has taken roots in this semi arid deserts of Rajasthan and supports scrub-thorn arid and dry deciduous forests that are full of rocks and grass patches intertwined with some thick foliage.
The wildlife present in the area is diverse and is a perfect example of adaptability and symbiosis between nature and animals. The climate, as in any desert, is dry and varies towards the extremes.The area of Sariska, being a part of the Aravalli Range, is rich in mineral resources, such as copper. In spite of the Supreme Court's 1991 ban on mining in the area, marble mining continues to threaten the environment.
The place is also famous for old temples and palaces around the sariska. The temples and chhattris and even the rare waterfall offer an exquisite view. However, the ruins of many of these monuments only serve as a reminder of how glorious the history of this land has been.
Sariska provides an opportunity to view tiger, langur, nilgai and various many bird species. However, apart from the wildlife and forest Sariska is surrounded by numerous places of historical interest, interspersed with temples and monuments.
Enjoy the famous Sariska Tiger reserve in these forests, once a part of the ancient 'Matsya' kingdom, are also supposed to have sheltered the exiled Pandavas. It is believed that Bhima, smote the rock face of a cliff with his cudgel at Pandu Pol and made a passage through a gorge in the sanctuary. The sight of the huge gaping orifice with a picturesque spring emerging from the rocks, is an awe-inspiring sight.
While in Sanctuary, trek on the numerous rugged hills and explore the ruined palaces located atop them. The mornings and evenings are the busiest periods in a day and the same holds true even in the forests. The Jungle Safari organized for groups from the guest house or from the entrance is a thrilling ride full of amusement and trepidation throughout. It's the dawn and dusk period when the wildlife ventures out of compulsion towards one of the many water holes scattered around the Park. The Game is not the correct word to describe these extremely beautiful creatures that roam fearlessly in their own domain thus providing the tourists the best chances of an awe inspiring spectacle.
PLACES TO VISIT
Sariska National Park:
Sariska Tiger Reserve is an area of 800 sq. kms. Sariska was declared a sanctuary in 1955 and it became a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger in 1979.
Sariska, with its awe inspiring craggy canyons and the tropical dry deciduous scrub jungles and limited water supply, was the western limits of the distribution of the tiger in India. Tigers could be seen in the area even during the day time till 2002 or so. But unfortunately, due to poaching and many other reasons Tigers have disappeared from Sariska. The State Government started an all out effort to re-introduce Tiger in Sariska under the technical supervision of the Wildlife Institute of India and has sent the detailed proposals, to Government Of India, for Re-introduction of Tigers in Sariska.
Finally Sariska got a Tiger Couple in July 2008.
Sariska is a special Tiger Reserve also because the natural history of the ecosystem combines with the rich history of the country. The ruins of Shiv temples and a few Jain temples that exist in the archaeological complex of Garh Rajore, belong to a period between 8th and 10th century. The abandoned fort of Kankwari tells of the grim story of the Moghul Empire , where Prince Darah Shikoh was kept in prison for years by his younger brother Aurangzeb. Pandupole, with a legend of Pandava period, Narainimata temple and Bharthari temple are the centres of attraction for thousands of pilgrims.
Park Flora and Fauna:
Located in the desert lands of Rajasthan, the flora and fauna of Sariska comprises of scrub-thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and scanty grasses. Due to very little rainfall received here the most important plants of Sariska include dhok, khair, tendu and ber. The Sariska National houses tigers, varieties of panther, jungle cat, jackal, hyena and fox. The park is also the natural habitat for sambhar, chital, wild boar, hare, nilgai, civet, four-horned antelopes, gaur (Indian bison) and porcupines. Bird species include the peafowl, grey partridges, quails, sand grouses, tree pies, white-breasted kingfishers, golden-backed woodpeckers, crested-serpent eagles, vultures and horned-owls.
Kankawadi Fort: The Kankawadi fort though not maintained properly, is an important tourist attraction of Sariska, being the only historical monument showing the Mughal link with Sariska. According to history, Aurangzeb had imprisoned Shah Jahan’s oldest son, here. Located on a hill, this fort overlooks the Kankawadi plateau and the adjoining Gujjar villages. Leopards from the park occasionally stroll around this fort in search of food and solitude.
HOW TO GET HERE
By Air: There are no regular flights from other major cities of the country to Sariska. Nearest airport is Sanganeer Airport.
By Train: Sariska does not have an train station. Nearest option is Alwar Junction.
By Bus: Instead of Sariska you can a get a bus to Alwar on regular basis.