Desert National Park, Jaisalmer
Rajasthan is an abode of many wildlife sanctuaries and National Park, however none of them is similar to the Desert National Park. The park is widely different from a usual park and actually for a novice, the park has little importance. Nonetheless, the Desert National Park has an important role to play in maintaining the ecological balance of the region. This is one of newer sanctuaries and was established in the year 1980.
It is the largest park in the state of Rajasthan spreading over an area of 3162 sq km. Around one fifth of the park is covered with sand dunes. The rest of the landmass comprises craggy rocks, compact salt lakes bottoms, inter medial areas and fixed dunes.
In Desert National Park, a protected sanctuary largely over sand dunes, you get to see the fauna and flora as in a desert and some of the species peculiar to a harsh terrain.
The Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1955 and covers an area of 250 sq kms today. It was once the hunting grounds for the Maharaja of Kota before he handed it over to the government.
The vegetation is sparse with only few grasses and shrubs that provide food for the wildlife inhabitants of the park.
The animals of the park include Desert Fox, Bengal Fox, Desert Cat, Wolf, hedgehog, Black Buck and Chinkara. These animals live in an extremely difficult terrain, still they have managed to survive.
There is a fair number of reptiles found in the park as well. These are Spiny Tail Lizard, Monitor Lizard, Russel's Viper, chameleons and Sind Krait.
The bird population of the park is responsible for making it hugely attractive. The Great Indian Bustard which is a protected species in India, finds a safe shelter in this park.
Birds found in this park are Sand Grouse, Partridges, Bee Eaters, Larks, Shrikes, Harriers, Falcons, Buzzards, Kestrel, Vultures, Short-toed Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Spotted Eagles and Lagger. Demoiselle Cranes and Houbara flock to this park in the winter months.
Prior permission is required for entering in to the Park. Best time to visit: November to March.
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