If you’re a nature enthusiast or a wildlife lover, Sariska Tiger Reserve should be on your list of must-visit places. This protected area in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, is a haven for biodiversity and offers a thrilling wildlife experience.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history of Sariska National Park, explore its rich flora and fauna, discover the gates and zones within the reserve, learn about the different types of safaris you can undertake, and find out the timings for a perfect wildlife adventure.
We’ll also discuss where you can stay near Sariska. So, let’s embark on this journey to explore the wonders of Sariska Tiger Reserve.
History of Sariska National Park
Sariska Tiger Reserve, originally known as Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, has a captivating history. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1958 to protect this region’s abundant flora and fauna. However, it wasn’t until 1978 that it became a national park and was later designated as a tiger reserve in 1982, becoming the Sariska Tiger Reserve we know today.
The reserve covers an area of approximately 800 square kilometers and is nestled in the Aravalli Hills. One of the most notable milestones in Sariska’s history is the successful reintroduction of tigers in 2008, after they were declared extinct in the reserve in 2004 due to rampant poaching. This reintroduction marked a significant conservation achievement and rejuvenated the park as a prime tiger habitat.
Today, Sariska Tiger Reserve is home to tigers and houses a wide range of wildlife species, making it a prominent destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
Flora & Fauna in Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve boasts a diverse and thriving ecosystem that includes a variety of flora and fauna. Let’s explore some of the highlights:
Dry Deciduous Forests: The reserve primarily consists of dry deciduous forests dominated by species like Dhok, Tendu, and Ber. These forests shed their leaves during the dry season, creating a unique landscape.
Grasslands: Sariska is also home to vast grasslands that provide essential grazing grounds for herbivores like sambar, chital, and nilgai.
Hilly Terrain: The Aravalli Hills within the reserve add a hilly dimension, featuring rocky outcrops and cliffs.
Royal Bengal Tigers: The highlight of Sariska, these majestic predators are the reserve stars. Spotting one of these elusive creatures is a rare and thrilling experience.
Leopards: Apart from tigers, Sariska is home to leopards, another big cat species that commands attention.
Wildlife Diversity: The reserve also houses a variety of other wildlife, including sambar deer, chital, nilgai, wild boars, and hyenas. Birdwatchers will be delighted to know that Sariska is a paradise for bird species such as peafowls, Indian eagle-owls, and crested serpent eagles.
Reptiles: Sariska is home to several reptiles, including monitor lizards, Indian pythons, and a variety of snake species.
Gates and Zones of Sariska Tiger Reserve
The reserve is divided into several zones to explore Sariska’s diverse landscapes and wildlife, each offering a unique experience. There are currently three entry gates:
Sariska Gate: This is the main gate and provides access to the reserve’s core area, where the highest chances of tiger sightings exist.
Tehla Gate: This gate allows entry into the buffer area of the park and offers a great opportunity to observe wildlife.
Kund Gate: The Kund Gate provides access to the buffer zone and is a less crowded alternative for wildlife enthusiasts.
It’s essential to check each gate’s entry rules and permits, as they may have specific restrictions and regulations.
Types of Safari at Sariska Tiger Reserve
To get up close and personal with the wildlife of Sariska, you can embark on various types of safaris, each offering a different perspective of the reserve:
Jeep Safari: Jeep safaris are the most popular and flexible way to explore the reserve. They allow you to venture deep into the jungle, increasing your chances of spotting tigers and other wildlife.
Canter Safari: Canter safaris are larger vehicles that can accommodate more passengers. They are an excellent option if you’re visiting with a group.
Timings of Sariska Tiger Safari
The timings for safaris at Sariska Tiger Reserve vary depending on the season. Here’s a general guideline:
Summer (April to June): Safaris typically start early in the morning and late in the afternoon to avoid the scorching midday heat. Morning safaris usually begin around 6:30 AM, while afternoon safaris start around 2:30 PM.
Winter (October to March): With milder temperatures, you can enjoy safaris starting a bit later in the morning, around 7:00 AM, and in the afternoon around 2:00 PM.
Please note that these timings can change, so it’s advisable to check with the reserve authorities or your safari provider for the most up-to-date information and to make reservations in advance, as the number of vehicles allowed inside the park is limited.
Where to Stay Near Sariska National Park?
Choosing the right accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable visit to Sariska Tiger Reserve. One excellent option is the Meladin Sariska Resort, which offers a blend of comfort and proximity to the reserve.
Meladin Sariska Resort
Location: Located just a stone’s throw away from Sariska Tiger Reserve, Meladin Sariska Resort offers a convenient base for wildlife adventure.
Accommodation: The resort provides a range of comfortable rooms and cottages, ensuring a relaxing stay amidst nature. The rooms are well-appointed and come with modern amenities.
Dining: Meladin Sariska Resort has an in-house restaurant serving a variety of cuisines to cater to different tastes. After a day of exploring the reserve, you can savor delicious meals and unwind.
Swimming Pool: A refreshing dip in the resort’s swimming pool is the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after your safari.
Campfire: Enjoy the serene evenings around a campfire, sharing stories and experiences with fellow travelers.
Adventure Activities: Apart from wildlife safaris, the resort can arrange adventure activities like trekking and birdwatching to make your stay even more exciting.
Staying at Meladin Sariska Resort not only ensures a comfortable stay but also positions you strategically for early morning safaris, as you’ll be closer to the reserve gates. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season, to secure your spot at this convenient and cozy resort.
Sariska Tiger Reserve is a testament to the wonders of nature and wildlife conservation. With its diverse flora and fauna, intriguing history, and thrilling safari experiences, it has earned its place as a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Whether you’re on the lookout for tigers or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world, Sariska Tiger Reserve offers it all. So, plan your visit, book your safari, and maximize your stay, perhaps starting with a comfortable and convenient stay at Meladin Sariska Resort. Nature awaits, and the adventure begins here!