Sariska National Park - A Traveller's Guide
Table of Contents
About Sariska National Park
Sariska National Park is one of the lesser explored jungles of India. Situated in the western state of Rajasthan, Sariska Tiger Reserve has had a rough history. It was once a hunting ground for the royal families of Alwar, which sadly left the forest with a constantly depleting population of the big cat. It went on to be declared a wildlife reserve in the year 1955 and as a tiger reserve under project Tiger in 1978. Even with their consistent efforts, the government could not stop basic issues of man animal conflict and poaching for illegal trade.
This further depleted the tiger population in Sariska National Park, leaving the forest void of any traces of the big cat in 2004. It was reported that no tigers were sighted in the reserve, and that no indirect evidence of tiger presence was found such as pug marks, scratch marks on trees, scats etc. The Rajasthan Forest Department explained that “the tigers had temporarily migrated outside the reserve and would be back after monsoon season”. These assumptions were further backed by team Project Tiger.
It was only much later in the year 2008, that two tigers were relocated from Ranthambore National Park to help Sariska grow its tiger population. Added to this, another tigress was relocated in the year 2009.
Sariska National Park finally saw a ray of hope with increased tiger numbers. Cubs were spotted soon after in 2012 owing to the successful relocation efforts and consistent vigilance of the forest department. As of 2021, the tiger population is up to a total of 23 in Sariska National Park.
Quick facts about Sariska National Park
Location : Alwar District, Rajasthan
Total Area : 881 sq. km.
Forest Type : tropical, dry, deciduous, and tropical thorn
Altitude : between 300 and 722 m
Average Rainfall : 700 mm
Operational Months : October – June
Current Tiger Count : 23 as of December 2021
Sariska National Park is accessible by road from most of the major cities in India by busses or private cabs:
Jaipur – Sariska : 110 kms
Delhi – Sariska : 180 kms
Agra – Sariska : 250 kms
Jodhpur – Sariska : 444 kms
Udaipur – Sariska : 504 kms
Wildlife at Sariska National Park
Some of the major wildlife attractions at Sariska National Park are listed below:
Types of Safaris at Sariska National Park
Sariska National Park primarily hosts two types of safaris, timings of which vary depending on the time of year you’re visiting the park. Only vehicles that have prior permits can enter the park.
Safari Timing in Winter
Morning Safari : 0630 – 1030 hours
Evening Safari : 1400 – 1830 hours
Safari Timing in Summer
Morning Safari : 0600 – 1030 hours
Evening Safari : 1430 – 1830 hours
As of 2021, Sariska National Park has 20 jeeps and 15 canters for guests to enjoy safaris in.
Jeep Safaris are the best way to explore Sariska National Park. A jeep seats 6 guests along with a guide and driver. There are two types of jeep safaris being conducted in Sariska National Park:
Shared Jeep Safaris : In sharing safaris, 6 random guests along with a guide and driver take the excursion. You do not have the vehicle to yourself and it could get a little distracting and crowded for some. We do not recommend shared jeep safaris to our guests.
Exclusive Jeep Safaris : These safaris are undertaken exclusively by you. You will be accompanied by the forest guide and driver. We recommend these to our guests since they are not only safer in COVID times, following all social distancing protocols, but it gives you the freedom to view wildlife at leisure. Unlike a shared safari, where your wildlife interests may differ and so the experience could be compromised, exclusive jeep safaris allow you ample time to witness wildlife that you want to check off your list.
Read a real life jeep safari experience in Sariska National Park HERE.
If you are visiting the park as a group of 20 or more people, a canter safari would be your best pick when it comes to exploring the depths of the jungle and getting as close as possible to the wildlife. This is also the most affordable among safari options.
Zones in Sariska National Park
National Parks are typically divided into multiple zones to make safari tours across it more convenient and easier for tourists. You can access Sariska National Park through one of two gates – Sariska Gate or Tehla Gate.
The Sariska Gate is one which is more popular among tourists. It has three zones within, namely, Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3 and tiger sightings are maximum here. The Tehla Gate on the other hand is quite far and not as preferred due to proximity issues.
Best Time to Visit Sariska National Park
Sariska National Park can be visited and explored throughout the year, but the most suitable time to visit is between the months of October to June.
Luxury Hotels & Resorts in Sariska National Park
We’ve curated all of the finest lodgings the National Park zones have to offer and created a list of the best luxury hotels and resorts in Sariska National Park
Hotels and Resorts at Gate 1 : Sariska Gate
Trees and Tigers Resort
Trees & Tigers Resort is situated in village Kushalpura amidst the lush green and pollution free atmosphere surrounded by the picturesque Aravalli Mountains. The famous Sariska wildlife sanctuary is just 15 kms from the resort and provides interesting spots for the wild life lovers.
Sariska Safari Lodge
Nestled in Aravalli’s, Sariska Safari lodge is an eco-friendly resort that offers absolute comfort amidst nature. The simply designed cottages are decorated with locally sourced material and have an old school charm to it.
Sariska Palace is placed on the borders of the Sariska National Park. It turned into one of the most popular hotels of Rajasthan. This property is spread over 120 acres of land. The spacious rooms and suits of Sariska Palace are luxurious and have lavish interiors.
Hotels and Resorts at Gate 2 : Tehla Gate
Just 2.5 hours from Jaipur and 4 hours from Delhi, Utsav Camp is a peaceful sanctuary set in the Tehla region, surrounded by boulders, deciduous forests and the Aravali hills. Explore an immersive experience that harnesses the healing power of nature to replenish your spirit, rejuvenate your body, and reset your rhythm.
Located only 1200 metres from one of India’s oldest tiger reserves, Sariska Manor is a boutique luxury wildlife resort with twenty-six rooms across seven quaint cottages inspired by the glorious colonial-era British hunting lodges, fully equipped with modern luxuries and amenities.
An extravagant wilderness cradled in luxury with royal hospitality, experience the unusual camping experience at Vanaashrya. Set amid a sprawling 12 acres of lush landscaping and surrounded by a lake, Vanaashrya offers you a true jungle ambience created by perfect natural surroundings.
Places to Visit Near Sariska National Park
1. The Kankwari Fort
This fort, which is known for its spectacular Rajasthani architecture, is one of the most important destinations to visit in Sariska because of its historical significance and surrounding scenery. Jai Singh I erected the fort, but Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb later used it. He used it as a prison for his brother Dara Shikoh, who was imprisoned here for the rest of his life. However, the lush beauty and sweeping green meadows are not the only attractions that draw a large number of travellers to this location. It also offers a panoramic view of the fort's woodland below, which is another fascinating feature.
Timings : 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, daily.
2. Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh Fort, also known as the most haunted spot in India, is a marvel of Moghul construction. This fort, built by Madho Singh in 1631, is a cultural treasure in Rajasthan, yet it is said to be cursed by a black sorcerer.
It is one of the most interesting spots to visit in Sariska, as well as the greatest for adventurers. The fort's ruins can be visited only after sunrise and before sunset, as admission is forbidden at night. Many supernatural events are still recorded from this location, earning it a well-deserved reputation as a must-see for thrill-seekers.
Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM, daily.
3. Siliserh Lake
The picturesque Siliserh Lake, which was established in 1845, is one of the most beautiful spots to visit in Sariska to spend time with your loved ones while taking in the breathtaking scenery. The lake is a man-made marvel that stretches for over seven kilometres.
It is a major water supply source for Alwar's bordering communities, as well as an engineering marvel. Furthermore, families come to the lake to unwind and refresh while enjoying boating or other water activities. Green meadows and the beautiful Aravalli range in the background enchant visitors.
Timings : 5:30 AM - 6:00 PM, daily.
The ruins of an ancient Indian Buddhist monastery complex can be seen near Viratnagar, Rajasthan, some 66 kilometres north of Jaipur. The fact that these ruins are the earliest known remnants of a freestanding Buddhist chaityagriha or prayer hall in India makes them notable. These remains, which are located high above a rocky hill known as Bijak-ki-Pahadi, are particularly impressive.
The town is claimed to have been established by King Kirata, in whose dominion the five Pandavas spent their exile in disguise for 12 years. There are a number of spots nearby named after the Pandavas, including 'Bhim ki Dungari' or 'Bhima's Hill,' as well as a site known as 'Ban Ganga,' which was created by Arjuna with his arrow.
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