The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the most important wetlands in the Asian continent where a great variety of bird species gather.
In the overpopulated state of Rajastán, scarcely 176 kilometres from Delhi and 50 from Agra and its famous Taj Majal, a small national park covering occupying only 29 square kilometres is the destination of thousands of birds arriving from different countries of the eastern Palearctic region.
In the midst of a region replete with tourist attractions of historical and cultural interest, the Keoladeo Ghana National Park goes unnoticed and yet it is an oasis for many bird species in danger of becoming extinct.
Despite its reduced size, Keoladeo Ghana is one of the most important wetlands on the Asian continent; a goal for ornithologists from all over the world to see some of the rarest and scarcest birds on earth. What began as a hunting ground for aquatic birds has today become a bird sanctuary as a result of hunting interest and the enterprising initiative of a former maharaja.
Sunrise in Keoladeo. This year the monsoon rains have been very scarce and in the month of March the brooding colonies of painted storks are empty.
Everything at the small national park revolves around water. A slight disturbance in the annual rainfall cycle can alter the population of different species of aquatic birds, their egg-laying or the time they spend in the park before migrating. But water is also the greatness of Keoladeo because, although its level varies depending on rainfall, there is a year-round minimum surplus, which is used by half a million birds pertaining to more than 350 different species.
A third of the birds at Keoladeo are migratory and spend the winter here before returning to their brooding grounds which may be as far away as Siberia or Central Asia, while 120 other species come to the park to lay their eggs. Some pause here in their long migratory trip to get their strength back and many others are residents. So all year long Keoladeo Ghana is an ornithological show.